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Care and Maintenance for any dive or surf gear is important. With the harsh effects of the salt water and environment, it is highly recommended that everything is rinsed with fresh water before being left out to dry. If this is not possible, we suggest carrying a garbage bag and sealing up the suit with a cup of water so the suit won't dry full of salt water. If you let the sea water dry on the suit, it will eventually form salt crystals that eat away at the suit. When the suit is completely rinsed we suggest that you hang it with a wide shouldered hanger out of the sun to dry. When the suit is almost dry and the limbs are still dripping, taste that water. If it tastes salty, rinse the suit again until the salt is gone.

It is also imperative to rinse out your other gear. We have on many occasions found salt in valves, regulators and b.c.'s that have had damaging results. Repairs on these particular items can be very expensive. And of course, leaving these items without care can also cause certain dangers that we won't even get into.

There are some precautionary details that you as a diver can do to assure longevity to your gear. Very high on that list is taking your regulator for annual service no matter how much or little you use it. Even if it's been on the shelf since your last service. Then be sure to rinse it after every day of use.

The bladder of your buoyancy compenstator also needs to be rinsed out. We have found very large salt crystals in the bladder of a b.c. that was donated to our archive department. These crystals turned out to be extremely sharp and may have easily cut into the shell of the b.c. which could have been drastic.

The valves on a drysuit also need extra TLC. The inlet valve may not always require rinsing. Just rinse with the suit, occassionally removing it from the suit and soaking in fresh water. If the inlet leaks at any given point be sure to rinse it well in running water to make sure it is salt & sand free for your next dive. The exhaust valve should be soaked in fresh water after every use. To make sure it is working properly before placing it back into the suit, close the valve all the way and suck on the back to be sure no air is coming through. If so, it may need servicing. That is something we would be happy to do for you while you wait.

If you want to give your suit some extra care, we recommend using a water soluable silicone spray. Just make sure it is not an aerosol as that will soon destroy the suit. Our advice is to spray inside or the wrists and ankles of the suit when it is still mildly damp. Letting the silicon dry on the suit will help condition the suit and make it easier to don and doff. The entire suit can be also be sprayed by the silicone to help extend it's life. It is also good on neoprene drysuit seals. If your seals are latex, it is imperative that you wash the seals with soap & water to remove finger oils and anything else they were exposed to. Rinse the seals thoroughly. Once they are dry, we recommend coating the seals with cornstarch. Unlike talc or baby powder, cornstarch is a natural, non chemical product. The easiest way to evenly distribute the cornstarch on the seals is to make a sock out of t-shirt style cotton, with velcro closing the open end. Fill the sock half way with cornstarch and gently pat the seal with the sock.

Feel free to contact us with any questions about the above, or any other care and maintenance advice! We are always pleased to help you take care of your gear to make it last.
 
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