How to Clean Neoprene

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how to clean neoprene

Neoprene is a synthetic rubber that is used for making a variety of outdoor materials and is used for marine, automotive and even medical applications. It has excellent durability and has a lot of applications. When it comes to cleaning your neoprene, there are a few things you need to keep in mind. Here is everything you need to know about how to clean neoprene. 

If you want to save time and your elbows we recommend the Gear Aid Revivex Wetsuit and Drysuit Shampoo. It does an amazing job of removing dirt, mold, and stains from neoprene. You can check our full impressions with the product further down in this article. Before that here are a few methods you can try now.

How to clean your neoprene using soap and water

The easiest method that you can use to clean anything made of neoprene is to use soap and water. Here is how you can do it: 

  1. In case there are any stains on the material, take a damp cloth and wipe away the stain immediately. 
  2. Now, take a small bowl and fill it up with lukewarm water. You can use a mild liquid handwashing soap or a bar of mild soap for this method. If you are using a bar of soap, drop it into the lukewarm water and allow the solution to become sudsy and soapy. If you are using liquid soap, squirt a few drops of the liquid soap into the bowl of lukewarm water and mix it. 
  3. Now, take an old toothbrush and dip it into this soapy solution. Take the neoprene and gently scrub it using the toothbrush and the soapy solution. Be very careful while rubbing, as you don’t want to destroy or damage the material. 
  4. Once you have cleaned the neoprene, run it under cold water to remove the excess soap, till the water runs clear. 
  5. Layout the neoprene on a flat surface and allow it to dry naturally. Do not use any dryer or even clothespin for drying the material, as it might stretch out the material and damage it. 

How to clean your neoprene in the washing machine 

You can even choose to clean the neoprene in a washing machine, but do not wash it for a full cycle, instead, allow the washing machine to mix up the water and detergent, and then soak your neoprene into it for a while. Here is how you can do it:

  1. Fill up your washing machine using just lukewarm water (remember not to use hot water for this material). 
  2. Put in a mild detergent into the washing machine and allow it to mix it up during a cycle. After this, add your neoprene item into the washing machine and allow it to soak for a few minutes. 
  3. Run your washing machine for a short cycle on a gentle setting. 
  4. Now, remove the neoprene item from the washing machine and rinse it out under cold water only. Once you have done this, allow the neoprene to air dry naturally. Do not put the neoprene outside in direct sunlight for drying, as it will damage the material. 

How to clean your neoprene using vinegar 

In case of any stubborn stains, odors, or even the presence of mildew on your neoprene items, you can use a diluted solution of vinegar and water to clean the neoprene. Here is how you can do it: 

  1. Take a spray bottle and fill it up with equal parts of white, distilled vinegar and lukewarm water. Mix this solution well. 
  2. Take your neoprene item and directly spray the vinegar and water solution on it. Allow this to soak for just about 10 minutes. 
  3. Now, rinse out the neoprene in cold water till the neoprene is completely clean. 
  4. Air dry your neoprene item naturally; do not place it into a dryer or dry it in direct sunlight, as it will damage the item. 

How to clean your neoprene using a vacuum cleaner

You can use a vacuum cleaner for dry cleaning your neoprene in case there are no stains, but just for a regular clean up. Here is how you can do it:

  1. Layout your neoprene item flat with a large towel underneath it. 
  2. Take your handheld vacuum cleaner or attach the narrow nozzle to your canister vacuum cleaner and vacuum your neoprene on a low suction setting. 
  3. Turn over the item and vacuum the other side as well. 
  4. Now, simply hang out the item to remove any kind of musty smells or odors. Do not place it in direct sunlight. 

How to clean your neoprene using lacquer thinner

You might have some oil or grease stains on your neoprene item. However, you can easily remove it with just a little bit of lacquer thinner. Here is how you can do it: 

  1. Take a clean, dry, white cloth and pour a small amount of lacquer thinner on to it. Make sure that you do not put the excessive liquid on it, just slightly dip the cloth into it. 
  2. Rub the oil or grease-stained area gently using the lacquer thinner. Do not rub it too aggressively as you don’t want to damage the material. 
  3. Now, take a bucket and fill it up with some lukewarm. Add a few drops of a mild hand washing soap into this and mix it well to create a soapy solution. 
  4. Soak your neoprene item into this entirely, or simply use a brush and dip it into the soapy solution and use it for a spot cleaning treatment. 
  5. Rinse out the neoprene item under cold water only, as this will remove the excess soapy solution. Keep rinsing out the material until the water runs clear. 
  6. Now, place your item under a large towel and allow it to air dry naturally. 

How to clean your neoprene using your garden hose

How to clean your neoprene using your garden hose

Sometimes, all you need is just some water to clean out your neoprene item! Here is how you can do it:

  1. Take your neoprene item outdoors and place it or hang it from somewhere. 
  2. Take your garden hose and put it on a medium power setting. Use this water pressure to clean out the neoprene item thoroughly. You can use either lukewarm water or cold water for this. 
  3. Once you have done this, let your neoprene item air dry naturally. Do not hang it from a clothespin or allow it to dry in direct sunlight. 

How do you remove mold from neoprene?

Mold can form quickly on neoprene, even with the presence of slight moisture or dampness. It can be very dangerous for you to not clean out the mold immediately. The best way to remove mold from neoprene is to use a strong cleaner. Add the cleaner to warm water and stir it to let it mix properly. 

Then, unzip all the zipper compartments of your neoprene items and soak them in this cleaner for 15 minutes. Rinse off thoroughly and repeat the process if you need to. Make sure you dry the neoprene item in sunlight to kill off any mold. Dry the item carefully before you store it once again to prevent mold from reoccurring. 

Best cleaners for neoprene

Although regular washing and maintenance can do wonders for your neoprene, sometimes you need help from a professional-grade solution. Here are our top recommendations:

Gear Aid Revivex Wetsuit and Drysuit Shampoo

Our Pick
image source: gearaid.com

The Revivex Wetsuit and Drysuit Shampoo is by far the best shampoo we ever used for cleaning our neoprene gear. It removes all kinds of dirt, stains, and mold while extending the life of the material. The formula is powerful enough to remove the algae and the bacteria that can stick to the surface of the material. It also protects your gear from the harmful effects of chlorine.

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If you are looking for the best shampoo and cleaner, which will remove the bacteria, algae, salt, and chlorine from neoprene, then Gear Aid Revivex is an excellent option for you.

With heavy usage, the neoprene can lose its shape slowly and even its color. A gentle cleaner which will not only deep clean the material but also protects it is the best option here.

Gear Aid Revivex works in two ways; to clean neoprene and remove all traces of dirt, grime, odors, chlorine, salt, etc. It also works to keep the material soft and supple and prevents any discoloration.

Constant exposure to water, chlorine, and salt can really take a toll on the material. Still, Gear Aid Revivex ensures that your neoprene remains new. 

You can use Gear Aid Revivex up to 10 times to clean as well as condition neoprene. It works with unique ingredients to actively remove any organic residue from your neoprene safely and gently. 

Why We Like It:

  • Lasts for 10 washes
  • Cleans as well as protects neoprene- brightens colors
  • Removes organic residue safely without causing damage
  • Makes neoprene smell fresh while removing other odors

What We Don’t Like: 

  • For stronger odors, you might have to use a larger quantity of the cleaner to remove the smells

The fix: You can choose to add a larger quantity of cleaner, or soak your neoprene for longer to eliminate the smell. Of course, you can also add a few drops of tea tree essential oil to really combat the odor if it is too strong. 

Why You Should Get It:

Taking care of your neoprene has never been easier- Gear Aid Revivex does the job wonderfully. It removes odors, brightens colors, and cleans your neoprene thoroughly. Click here to check other customer reviews on Amazon. 

Sink the Stink Wetsuit Cleaner

Runner Up
iamge source: sinkthestink.com

If you need a highly concentrated cleaning solution for your neoprene gear, then you need to check out the wetsuit cleaner form Sink the Stink. This is a highly potent formula that is capable of removing the toughest stains. Although it is so powerful, the cleaning solution is safe for the environment and completely biodegradable. This is a perfect product when dealing with harsh smells.

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Sink the Stink does precisely what it advertises – it removes all kinds of musty odors from neoprene while cleaning it gently but effectively. The cleaner is straightforward to use; mix it with warm water to make your cleaner, and clean all your neoprene in it!

A significant advantage of this cleaner is that you need to use very little product. Simply ½ ounce of this cleaner is enough for 10 to 20 gallons of warm water- enough to clean even 10 neoprene products! 

Another great thing about Sink the Stink is that you don’t even need to rinse out the product. Soak your neoprene items in the cleaner solution for a few minutes, and then remove them and let them out to dry! That’s it! You will find that most of the odors are entirely untraceable within seconds of using this cleaner. 

The ingredients in Sink the Stink do not irritate your skin or cause any harm to your neoprene items. In fact, the cleaning process continues even when the product is drying!

Why We Like It:

  • You can use very little product to clean a large number of neoprene items
  • Completely deodorizes neoprene within seconds
  • No-rinse formula 
  • Cleans while it is drying

What We Don’t Like:

  • Since the cleaner has so much concentration of active ingredients, using too much of it can irritate your neoprene

The fix: If you find that you have put too much cleaner, add more warm water to dilute the concentration! 

Why You Should Get It:

When it comes to deodorizing your neoprene within seconds, Sink the Stink is an absolutely delightful product on the market! Cleaning and deodorizing with zero product wastage- Click here to check other customer reviews on Amazon. 

Jaws Slosh Shampoo 

Also Great
image source: jawsproducts.com

If you are looking for a completely natural formula, then you need to check out the Jaws Slosh Wetsuit Shampoo. It doesn’t contain any harsh chemicals and still removes all kinds of dirt, mold, and bacteria from neoprene gear. It works on all types of neoprene gear. After you are done cleaning, it leaves your equipment spotless and with a fresh scent, ready for your next adventure!

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There are many users out there looking for a greener product. For them, Jaws Slosh Shampoo is a great choice. Jaws Slosh is made of entirely organic and natural ingredients. No harsh chemicals mean you are not only preventing any damage to your neoprene, but also to the environment! 

For those with sensitive skin or allergies, Jaws Slosh Shampoo is an excellent option as the product is completely hypoallergenic. Even so, this shampoo contains active ingredients that remove all traces of dirt, chlorine, salt, and any organic residue from your neoprene. 

Jaws Slosh also has a pleasant scent which not only deodorizes but also leaves behind a pleasant fragrance on your neoprene. Finally, the special conditioning agents in this cleaner is what makes it so unique. Not only do you clean, disinfect, and deodorize your neoprene, but you also extend the product’s life! 

These ingredients help to restore the color, brightness, and soft texture to your neoprene items within the first wash. Dilute or concentrate the shampoo according to your cleaning requirements. You can choose to rinse off the product or allow it to dry without rinsing. 

Why We Like It:

  • Biodegradable and eco-friendly 
  • Hypoallergenic- safe for people with sensitivities and allergies
  • Leaves behind a fresh, pleasant fragrance
  • Contains special conditioning agents

What We Don’t Like: 

  • The smell can be slightly irritating to some people with sensitivities

The fix: In case the smell of Jaws Slosh Shampoo is something you can do without, then dilute the product with some more warm water and the smell will also reduce significantly! 

Why You Should Get It:

A green, clean, deodorizing shampoo is just what you need for your neoprene items. Use Jaws Slosh Shampoo according to gentle or heavy cleaning needs by concentrating or diluting the cleaner. Not only that, but you can also add freshness and a mild, pleasant fragrance to your neoprene items with just a little of this solution. Click here to check other customer reviews on Amazon.


Resources:

  1. Neoprene – Wikipedia
  2. How to take care of your neoprene – Scuba Diving

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