So, you have your own equipment now? Spent lots of money? Want it to last for a long time?
The chances are, if you look after all the components of your Scuba Equipment it will last for a long time. Personally, I treat all of my equipment as if it was my baby. I also treat all of the rental equipment in the same way. When you buy good quality kit it really can last you many many years and 1000’s of dives should you look after it correctly.
Washing your Scuba Equipment after every use.
Washing your equipment and getting it serviced regular are the 2 most important parts of maintaining your scuba kit. We will come to Servicing later in a different article.
Personally, I wash and rinse my Scuba Kit after every use and it has paid off and I’ll tell you why soon. How do you rinse your kit off? I personally dive salt water most days and the salt is very corrosive so its super important the salt is removed. It’s very easy to do. Simply rinse everything in running fresh water. The sooner you do this when leaving the water, the better as the salt will dry into the equipment fast, especially if you are in warm countries. It’s a lot harder to remove once dried.
How do you rinse the equipment? Well, starting with the BCD, I rinse with fresh running water for at least 2/3 mins, I also empty the internal bladder and fill at least twice with fresh water making sure I shake the BCD before emptying the water each time. I also make sure fresh water comes out of the low-pressure hose and other air releases on the BCD keeping them clean too. Rinse EVERY part of the BCD well and never leave salt water inside the bladder. Many forget to flush the inside out, don’t be one of those people.
Regulators – always flush your regulators with fresh water, hold the fresh water hose up to the mouth piece and air outlets and let the fresh water run through. Do this for a good 30 seconds and also rinse the First Stage not forgetting to put the dust cap on first. It can be very harmful getting water inside the first stage so this is something to be very careful of. Never submerse the First Stage in Water without it being screwed on to a tank.
Your mask, snorkel, wetsuit, fins ect also need to be rinsed well. I personally teach all of my Open Water Students how to wash and look after the equipment as part of the Course so its sets good habits from the beginning and teaches them how to look after the equipment right from the off.
Some people ask about putting wetsuits ect in the washing machine. This is something I would not suggest. If you feel your wetsuits smells it will be because it has not been dried correctly or for long enough. On occasions I have put a small amount of mild shower gel in a bath and soaked my wetsuits and boots in there but you have to make sure you rinse well and leave to air dry. Make sure your wetsuit and boots are super dry before storing them otherwise they will smell.
Drying your equipment is just as important as washing it. If you put your equipment away damp it will smell and you run the risk of it developing mould which is something you don’t want. I always tend to put some air in the BCD while its drying and this is also good for storing too to stop the bladder sticking together. Don’t forget to turn your wetsuit inside out to dry the other side too. Many forget this and leave the inside damp which again will cause it to smell. We at Dive UK Hurghada are always here to help so if you have any questions about equipment care just get in touch. If you are on holiday with us, we will gladly show you too.