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Scuba Knights | Singapore and Tioman's top Scuba Diving School

Cleaning and Storing your Dive Equipment

Now that many diving and travelling plans have been put on hold with the Covid-19 situation, hope everyone is doing well. With Singapore undergoing the extended “circuit breaker” period, we at Scuba Knights have been spending time servicing and checking our gears. With that, we thought it is also a good time to write a blog post on how to clean and store your dive equipment especially when you are not diving for an extended period of time. 

I am sure most avid divers will own some form of dive equipment, and we all know that replacing them is not cheap. However, if you clean and store your equipment properly, together with periodic checks and servicing, they can serve you for many years to come. Therefore, caring for the gears that keeps you safe and comfortable underwater diligently is definitely worth the effort. 

  1. Wetsuit 

How to clean: 

Please keep your wetsuits away from the washing machine and dryer. Not everything goes in there, especially your wetsuit. You should soak the wetsuit in warm fresh water for a few minutes, and knead the neoprene before rinsing it thoroughly. Do not forget to turn it inside out when rinsing as there is an inside too. After the last dive of your trip or when you are back home, we recommend to soak your wetsuit in a bit of diluted cleaner (like Dettol) so it smells fresh before packing. Remember to ensure both sides of the wetsuit are dried by hanging it at a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight, before storing it. 

How to store: 

Many people have the habit of just leaving their wetsuit packed in their bags after a trip. But when storing it for long periods of time, it is best to leave the zippers unzipped and fold the wetsuit over a non-wire hanger. Avoid hanging it like how you would hang T-shirts otherwise your wetsuit might lose its elasticity and shape.  

Regulator and Wetsuit Hung in the Cabinet

2. Regulator 

How to clean: 

There are few things to take note when cleaning your regulator: 

First and foremost, ALWAYS dry and replace your dust cap over your first stage post dive. Run fresh water over the first stage assembly for a minutes to clear up debris and salt. Never soak the entire first stage in water as most dust caps will not prevent water ingress in to the first stage assembly.  

Second, soak the second stages in fresh water. You may work the knobs of the second stages to clear out salt crystals.  

Third, make sure that you do not press the purge button on the second stage while it is immersed as we do not want any water creeping into the hoses. You could leave the entire regulator pressurized while performing the cleaning the ensure no water ingress.  

Fourth, which is something that I recommend for hygienic reasons – dab some anti-bacterial cleaner on your mouthpiece before storing it and before using it again. 

How to store: 

Keep in a cool, dry place away from sunlight. It is best to hang up your regulator as well. If you are storing it in a bag, make sure your regulator is thoroughly dried before storing it. 

3. Fins  

How to clean: 

I personally love cleaning fins as they are the easiest in my opinion. As long as you soak them in fresh water to rinse away salts after your dive, your fins will be able to keep its flexibility.  

How to store: 

Never ever put your fins over a long period of time standing on its flexible end. It will cause the material to deform under its own weight. Lay them down vertically under your bed or at the bottom of a shelving flat on the floor without any heavy objects on top.  

Avoid direct sunlight to prevent hardening of the material or discoloration.  

4. Masks 

How to clean: 

Like our fins, cleaning our masks is simple. You can soak it in fresh water, preferably warm water, to dissolve the salt. It is recommended to scrub your mask with a soft bristle toothbrush regularly. 

How to store: 

Remember those boxes or case that our masks came in? Putting it back in that box will allow for your masks to maintain its shape and at the same time protect the lens from scratches. Or if like me you’ve sat on your box and broken it and don’t have the original box anymore, you can use a Tupperware or any container that is big enough. Store it with a small face towel wrapped around the lens to prevent scratching the lenses. 

5. BCD 

How to clean: 

 Soak your BCD in some warm fresh water and clean the outside. It is recommended to mix in a little bit of cleaning agent (such as Dettol) to keep your BCD smelling fresh. The bladder inside requires cleaning as well. Fill the bladder of your BCD with water through the inflation hose and orally inflate it. Give it an all-round swirl and shake thereafter to ensure that the last bit of salt is dissolved. Next, you will need to drain the water inside by holding it upside down and letting water out through the mouthpiece of your inflating hose. Repeat 2-3 times to get rid of all salt residue. If salt crystals form, repeat with lukewarm water and shake vigorously. Lastly, hang it up at a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight. Remember to keep your BCD partially inflated as it prevents the bladder walls from sticking.  

How to store: 

Hang it up partially inflated in a cool, dry place outside of direct sunlight. You may want to grease the zippers with paraffin wax prior to storing the BCD.  

Before we end this post, here are some additional tips for your underwater cameras or torches: Always remember to TAKE OUT ALL batteries from your accessories. Batteries, be it rechargeable lithium or alkaline, may bulge and leak, causing damage to your precious equipment. Store your batteries in a cool dry place, preferably in a non-airtight container, away from direct sunlight. Always grease the o-rings of your torch or underwater housing with silicone grease each time you take them apart. 

What are some of the things you do to keep your dive gear for a prolonged period of time? Do share with us how you do it in the comments below.  

Stay safe and stay healthy during this period as we await for the diving season to be open once again.