From the water to your bike, a triathlon wetsuit is an important article of clothing that aids you throughout every transition in a triathlon. Triathlon wetsuits can have a multitude of helpful features to keep you comfortable while providing a competitive edge. Features may include short-cut sleeves, special panels to reduce drag, or buoyancy inserts. In order to protect your wetsuit from damage, it's essential that you know how to properly care for it. This guide will teach you how to properly care for your triathlon wetsuit in order to prevent damage and increase its lifespan.
It is very important to thoroughly rinse your wetsuit with cool, fresh water after each use. By the time a triathlon is over, your wetsuit has experienced many different environments such as the ocean or extreme heat from the sun. Long-term exposure to the sun, saltwater, and chlorine can slowly damage your wetsuit. In addition, your wetsuit may produce an odor or lose flexibility if not properly rinsed. A good rinse with clean water will help remove residue and keep your suit smelling like new!
Cleaners and Home Remedies
After rinsing, soak your wetsuit in clean water for 10-15 minutes. To prolong the life of your wetsuit, it is a good idea to invest in shampoo specially designed for cleaning and preserving wetsuits. Wetsuit shampoos are used during the soaking process and remove salt, odors, and other residue to ensure a squeaky clean wetsuit.
If shampoo isn't available, there are a number of home remedies you can use. Mixing a cup of baking soda to your water will adequately clean your wetsuit and remove odors. Simply soak your wetsuit in this mixture for 10-15 minutes. You can also use a small amount of detergent designed for extra sensitive or delicate loads. Some popular detergents for this are Downy and Woolite. Make sure you avoid detergents not made for sensitive or delicate loads as they can ruin neoprene.
Hang and Dry
Once removed from the water, you can hang your wetsuit on a wetsuit hanger. Wetsuit hangers eliminate stress on the shoulders and help speed up the drying process. Most wetsuit hangers have a special bar where the wetsuit drapes over it. Once you drape your wetsuit over your hanger, it will look similar to how you would hang a pair of dress pants. Simply fold your wetsuit at the waist over the bottom bar of the hanger. If a wetsuit hanger is not available, a sturdy plastic hanger will work. However, it is important to stay away from metal hangers. Metal hangers will cause the neoprene to degrade over time.
Enjoy your Wetsuit for Many Triathlons
Although wear and tear does occur over time, the steps above can help increase the longevity of your wetsuit. Triathlon wetsuits are an investment and a major to the triathlon experience. Whether a beginner or seasoned pro, with a little effort, you can ensure a longer future with your wetsuit.