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Best wetsuit cleaner: How to wash a wetsuit

Freshen up your smelly wetsuit and keep your neoprene gear in good condition with a bottle of wetsuit cleaner

Best wetsuit cleaner

The dreaded wetsuit funk is inevitable, but thankfully avoidable with the help of wetsuit cleaners.

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We’ve all been hit with a waft of nasty dampness after opening a kit bag full of salty and smelly neoprene gear, so using a specialised wetsuit shampoo now and then is a handy solution to a stinky problem.

Cleaning your wetsuit with wetsuit cleaner can also help increase its lifespan, and many cleaning solutions aim to keep your triathlon neoprene gear in a stretchy, supple and flexible state.

In our list, you’ll find a range of bottle sizes so you can decide if you want a neat travel size or a large bottle that’ll keep you going for a long time. We’ve selected our items through in-depth research and analysis of user reviews.

How to wash a wetsuit

Start by rinsing your wetsuit in fresh water to remove the salt. You can wash your wetsuit in a bucket, a large container or even a bath. Just drop the specified amount of solution into water, and submerge your wetsuit.

Most soaking times are generally around the 10-minute mark and you can knead it too, like you would for a normal hand clothes wash, for a thorough clean. Check instructions to find out whether rinsing is required as products vary.

Can you rinse and spin a wetsuit? 

It’s best to avoid washing machine use, as hot water and fast spin cycles can damage neoprene.

How to dry a wetsuit  

For the best care, hang dry your beloved wetsuit. Using a wetsuit hanger, double your wetsuit over at the waist. This prevents it from becoming misshapen and over-stretched.

Try to dry your wetsuit in an airy and shaded area out of direct sunlight. If you’ve got the space, and easy-going flatmates, you could hang it in your bathroom.

Best wetsuit cleaners for 2022

Rip Curl Piss Off Wetsuit Shampoo

This wetsuit cleaner from Rip Curl is biodegradable, so it shouldn’t contain any unwanted nasty chemicals that could harm the environment. Designed for a range of neoprene equipment – including wetsuits, gloves, boots and hoods – you should find plenty of uses for this useful product. At 250ml, it’s a fairly neat size, so you can easily chuck it in your kit bag and wash on the go if necessary.

As well as keeping your equipment fresh, it’s designed to ensure your wetsuit remains stretchy too. It also claims you don’t need to rinse, so it’s a quick and faff-free choice.

McNett Wet and Dry Wetsuit Shampoo

Designed to remove salt deposits, chlorine and organic residue, this wetsuit shampoo should keep your wetsuit in good condition. Again it’s said to be suitable for all neoprene water sports equipment and you can use it on your dry suit too if you’re a kayaking fan.

Coco Loco Wetsuit Cleaner

If you want to bulk buy, this five-litre option is sure to last a while. Its decent size makes it a solid choice for keeping in the back of your car, so you can wash on the go. Described as a neutral cleaner and deodoriser, this wetsuit cleaner claims to be both biodegradable and non-toxic.

The Coco Loco wetsuit cleaner is made with eucalyptus oil and it’s designed to remove salt, chlorine and organic residue from your neoprene gear. It contains organic live cultures to tackle odour-causing bacteria and help you can get rid of any unpleasant whiffs.

Just add a few capfuls of solution to your bucket, or bath, of water and slosh your suit around for five minutes, then hang it to dry.

Slosh Wetsuit Shampoo

Another biodegradable option, this Slosh wetsuit shampoo promises a fresh scent. There’s both a 30ml and 118ml option, so you can opt for a tiny travel size if you’re heading off for a race and are looking to pack light.

It also claims to be suitable for dry suits, scuba gear and even ski gear, so it’s sure to come in handy whatever your water or snow sport of choice.

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O’Neill Wetsuit Cleaner 

For a larger size that can see you through plenty of training sessions, this 250ml bottle of wetsuit cleaner could do the job nicely.

You just need a couple of capfuls, and you should rinse your wetsuit with clean water after using this one. It’s another pick offering a pleasant smell, and it’s said to keep your kit in supple condition, too.

Gear Aid Revivex Wetsuit and Dry Suit Shampoo

    • $23.99

This wetsuit shampoo is a bit of an all-rounder, as you can use it on fishing waders, water shoes and gloves in addition to your wetsuit. It aims to remove the organic bacteria that causes unpleasant smells and neutralise chlorine and salt deposits in order to protect the neoprene. So it’s a handy choice, wherever you choose to swim and train.

Rather than a plastic bottle, it comes in a squishy pouch. You can use this wetsuit shampoo for heavily soiled areas too.