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How to care for your wetsuit

08 September 2023

Everyone wants their wetsuit to last as long as possible, however our service and team frequently discover customers who have never been shown the basics for wetsuit care.

In this video, our product director Cameron Lamperd explains some best practices for looking after your wetsuit to ensure you get the most value from your purchase.

Here are some more tips from our product and service team:



  1. Rinse your wetsuit with fresh cold water after every use
  2. Hang your wetsuit on a thick hanger in the shade to dry. Do not hang on a wire hanger or in the sun.



  1. Avoid sharp objects! Contact with rocks, fins and other hard objects will damage the wetsuit.
  2. Never change into or out of your wetsuit whilst standing on gravel or other rough surfaces. Instead, use an O’Neill Wetsuit Change Mat or stand on a towel. 
  3. On back zip and Zen zip wetsuits, you should fold the Velcro (located on the neck seal) back onto itself immediately after unzipping the zip. This will avoid the Velcro hooks from catching, scratching and damaging the surrounding neoprene.
  4. Make sure the legs of the wetsuit are pulled all the way up the the crouch, before attempting to pull the body and shoulders over. 
  5. Rinse the wetsuit in fresh cold water, it’s important you do NOT wash the wetsuit in hot water, to dry it in direct sunlight or to leave it in the boot of your car for long periods of time because excessive heat damages the neoprene and glues and reduces the fabrics stretch, flex and durability.Hang to dry and store in a well-ventilated area to avoid mould. Do not store the wetsuit folded, if you can’t hang it you are better to roll than fold it.
  6. Avoid using wire or skinny coat hangers. Best to use a thicker hanger like a suit hanger. Skinny ones will stretch a single point in each shoulder over time.
  7. Wetsuits are designed to be worn in the saltwater only and not in chlorinated pools. Chlorine will shorten the life of a wetsuit.
  8. Never use a washing machine, dryer, iron, bleach or professional dry cleaner.
  9. To reduce the smell of your wetsuit, fill up the O’Neill Change Mat or bucket with cold water and soak your wetsuit inside out with specialty wetsuit cleaner. 
  10. When storing the wetsuit for extended periods of time, rinse with fresh water, hang to dry and then oil the buttons and zippers to maximise the life of the wetsuit.



  1. If you have trouble getting your foot in the wetsuit, try putting a plastic bag or sock over your foot to help slide your foot into the leg hole. 
  2. If the wetsuit is wet, make an extra effort to carefully pull the ankles of the suit over your foot. Wet wetsuits do not slide over the skin very easily, if you just stick your toes in the hole and pull hard, you may tear the ankle seems of the suit. Again, consider using a plastic bag or sock over your foot to help the wetsuit slide over your foot and ankle.



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