Keeping your kit clean
Hey everyone, I haven’t posted in a while so thought it’s about time I got my act into gear and started writing!
As we’re into the open water season and the warm weather is upon us (debatable!!!) the more and more I go to swim venues I’m seeing and hearing different things from various people about how they store their kit or keep it clean.
Depending on your venue – whether it be in the salt water of the sea, or the fresh water of lakes and rivers, the principle is really the same!
Once you’re out of your wetsuit, it needs to be properly rinsed out with clean fresh water and left to drip dry – inside out is key!!
A lot of people tend to just get out of their wetsuit, roll them up and stuff them into a bag until they get home. Which is fine as long as they are properly maintained at home.
I myself get straight out of wetsuit, run it in (cold!!) shower to get all the dirt and debris off then leave it hang on a coat hanger while I get a shower (depending on location!) What we don’t need is any little bits of dirt staying in the suit until you next come to use it as it could start to perish the neoprene and cause damage, I let mine drip dry in the garage hanging until I know that there is no more moisture in the suit, some people then like to fold them away which I think is fine however, I like to just leave all of my suits hanging. Although this does sometimes look a little scary if I go in the garage not for my wetsuit and thing arghhhh what’s that!
Leaving your wetsuit in the sun is not a good idea at all, as the UV rays from the sun will age the neoprene in the suit and it starts to get hard and will eventually lose its elasticity and flexibility.
To be honest, the same really applies with any other neoprene pieces of kit at your disposal, whether it be; gloves, hats or boots, they should all be properly rinsed and left to drip dry.
When I go out to different locations I always make sure I take a dry bag of some sort, sometimes I just use my tow-float and keep different things in there (gels etc) if needed. However if I decide I’m going to use my tow-float, once finished I always try and dry it with my towel a little bit to get rid of excess moisture and let it hang. Once moisture stays in any little crevices, over time it can start to cause mildew or mold to build up (and it doesn’t smell very nice!), hang them up to dry, inside and out – think about turning them just to make sure!
One thing I think quite a lot of people (myself included!!) forget to keep clean, is the actual bag that you carry your kit in. I use a variety of bags, one is a ‘bag for life’ from a sports company which is huge. There have been occasions when I have came home, cleaned everything else and I have just left the bag thinking ‘it’ll be fine!’ and guess what – it hasn’t!
I sometimes use my normal swim bag that I take to training, have all my general swim kit in and it even has a pocket / section for wet kit! Now, the lazy pool swimmer I am really needs to start making sure that this is properly cleaned out or I’m going to be needing a new bag very shortly!
I’d love to hear your thoughts on this, how often do you properly clean everything, bags included? Leave some comments!
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