To wash or not to wash...

O’Neill wetsuit cleaner

I often wondered who would spend $15 on wetsuit cleaner and conditioner? Who needs to take their wetsuit to the spa anyway? This thought stuck in my head for as long as I can remember seeing this product, then it happened. My viewpoint changed…

This Winter has been colder than average with lots of days in a 5mm hooded suit with boots and gloves. We all know the smell of a well-used wetuit, but what was going on inside my gloves and boots was something I had NEVER smelled in my entire life. It was RANK!!! Even to its founder…ME! I’ll even stretch to say it was the worst smell I had ever produced in my life. I could go on forever about this, but I’ll save you the pain I was experiencing. It was really bad, and nothing I did would make it go away. Not rinsing them out, not washing them, nothing. I was just about to throw them away when I saw the O’Neill wetsuit cleaner and conditioner in the board loft. I gave it a try this week.

This stuff was easy to use for boots and gloves. I normally get out of my wetsuit in the shower, so I just dropped a dab of the soap in each glove and in my boots, filled them to the top with hot water, pinched the top and shook them up to get the soap kicking. After that, I dumped them out and repeated. I hung my boots to dry, turned my gloves inside out and let them dry out overnight. The next day, …the smell was gone!

If you’ve always been afraid of “washing” your wetsuit with harsh detergents, you should be. Modern wetsuits run upwards of $600 and not knowing how your suit will react to the soap is a risk not worth taking. The O’Neill Cleaner and Conditioner killed the smell (which is caused by bacteria growing in a damp environment) and left the wetsuit soft and pliable, not dry and stiff. My 5mm suit isn’t nearly as smelly as my boots and gloves, but you can bet by the end of the season I will be using the cleaner on my suit before I store it for the warmer waters of the Summer.

You’d be amazed the pleasant smells you can experience in a mid-Winter surf when your not gagging on the smell of your own gloves. Thanks O’Neill for producing this product and putting it in surf shops !!!

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