Written by Dive Box, 13 December 2020. 17:05 HRS
With many scuba divers landlocked due to the covid-19 outbreak, dive equipment spend most of their time locked up in cabinets, under utilised and left to wear away. Without proper care and storage, most diving gear are rendered short lived and replacing them will incur costs that most recreational divers will not be able to bear. Therefore it is of utmost importance to make sure that you consistently clean and store your diving equipment properly such that once borders reopen, you are able to take them out and enjoy your dives once again.
But how should one store his/her diving equipment properly to maintain its quality? Here are some of our tips and tricks to cleaning them and keeping them safe when you are not using them:
How to Clean Your Scuba Diving Regulator:
When it comes to cleaning your diving regulator and mouthpieces, it is first important to ensure that the dust caps are clean, dry and secured over the first stage inlet. Following that, allow your diving regulator to run under fresh water for a while. Remember to never soak the entire first stage as most dust caps do not prevent water from entering into the first stage assembly.
Secondly, allow the second stages to soak in fresh water, gently rotating any moving parts to ensure that any salt residue is washed off. Avoid pressing the purge button on the second stage while it is submerged to avoid water creeping into the hoses. Leave the entire regulator pressurized while cleaning to ensure no water enters it.
Lastly, use alcohol and any antibacterial mouthwash to sanitize the second stage mouthpiece. Swab the mouthpiece first then scrub gently using a toothbrush with soft bristles. Rinse carefully and avoid pressing the purge button. Do also make it a habit to change the mouthpiece once every 6 months even though it is not worn out. This is because bacteria and mould that cannot be seen by the naked eye may thrive.
How to Store Your Scuba Diving Regulator:
For all scuba diving regulators, you want to store it in a cool and dry place that is away from direct sunlight. It is recommended to hang your regulator as well. If you are storing it in a bag, do ensure that your regulator is completely dried before storing it.
How to Clean Your Diving Wetsuit:
Manually soak your diving wetsuit in warm fresh water for a few minutes, kneading it before rinsing it thoroughly on the inside and outside. It is important to rinse all neoprene equipment thoroughly after every dive as long exposures to salt water causes neoprene to degrade and lose its flexibility. Also, avoid throwing it into the washing machine or dryer as this will damage your wetsuit.
We recommend using the McNett Wetsuit Shampoo to kill off any bacteria, ensuring that your wetsuit is clean and fresh once it dries. Remember that once the stench settles in, it will be almost impossible to remove it.
How to Store Your Diving Wetsuit:
Store it in a dry place such as in cabinets. When storing it over long periods of time, unzip and zippers and fold the wetsuit over a non-wired hanger. Avoid hanging it like how you would normally hang your T-shirts to maintain its form and elasticity.
How to Clean Your Diving Mask:
Rinse your dive mask with fresh and clean water after every use and allow them to completely dry before storing it to avoid mildew growth. While washing, remember to rotate any moving parts to remove any salt or other foreign sediments. You may also use a soft bristle brush to gently scrub off any foreign objects.
Dish washing detergent also helps to remove any persistent oil stains on the lenses and products such as the McNett Sea Gold helps to coat a layer of anti-fog gel on the lenses to improve its performance, especially when your diving masks fog up easily. It is also important that you remove the anti fog gel on your dive mask before stowing it away for a long period of time.
How to Store Your Diving Mask:
A good practice when it comes to buying a dive mask would be to keep the original box that came along it. It comes in handy when you need to store it after washing as it helps to maintain the shape of the mask and protect the lens from potential scratches. Otherwise, you can also store it in any container that is large enough to store the mask comfortably. You may also store it with a small face towel wrapped around the lens to avoid scratches.
Diving BCD (Buoyancy Compensation Device)
How to Clean Your Diving BCD:
Rinse the exterior of the diving BCD thoroughly with clean and fresh water. Remove the weight pockets (if any) and rinse separately. When it comes to washing inside of your BCD, first clear out any water that entered the bladder during the dive and then pour in clean, fresh water into the bladder via the low-pressure inflator hose. Manually inflate the BCD and shake the water around the fully inflated bladder. Lastly, invert the device to allow the water. Repeat the process about 2-3 times just to rid off any salt residue.
We also recommend using the McNett B.C Life to help break down salt which is considered as the number one enemy of Diving BCDs. Other products like the XS Scuba BC Wash Out Hose also helps to ensure that your inflating mechanism is completely flushed too! Do remember to ensure that the rubber gasket does not fall off the Over Pressure Valve when washing your diving bcd. It is one of the most common components that gets lost fairly easily.
How to Store Your Diving BCD:
After a thorough rinse, inflate the BCD about halfway and let it dry completely before deflating it. Grease any zippers with the McNett Zip Care and store up in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight.
How to Clean Your Diving Fins:
Simply soak your diving fins in fresh water to rinse away any salt or other foreign objects after your dive.
How to Store Your Diving Fins:
Avoid standing your fins on its flexible end for a long period of time as it will damage its flexibility and cause it to deform. Lay your fins down flat under your bed or cabinet without any heavy objects on top of it. Avoid direct sunlight to prevent hardening of the material or discoloration. We highly recommend applying the McNett Silicone Spray on both the blades and the straps as it helps to prolong the lift of the rubber/silicone compound and prevents the straps from snapping easily.
In summary, it is very important to clean and store your diving equipment properly so as to prolong the lifespan of your gears for a long period of time. While many of us are landlocked for now, borders will eventually reopen soon and you do not want your diving gear to malfunction the moment you take them out of your cabinets or dive bags.
If you are interested in finding out more tips on how to care for your equipment, you may visit our physical dive store or check out some accessories to help with storage and cleaning on our online dive shop!