Can You Tumble Dry A Wetsuit? (is it safe or will it damage it)

The short answer is NO, you cannot put a wetsuit in a tumble dryer

Putting a wetsuit in a tumble dryer, even with no heat is likely to damage the wetsuit.

If you put a wetsuit in a tumble dryer, not only are you likely to damage it, you will also void any warranty you have on the wetsuit.

If you search the forums, you’ll find many people advising the use of tumble dryers to dry wetsuits, but if you want to look after your wetsuit, you’ll keep it away from any heat source.

That includes direct sunlight, radiators, open fires, central heating vents or tumble dryers.

What The Tumble Dryer Symbols Mean On A Wetsuit

Tumble Dryer Symbols On Clothes

The only symbol relating to tumble dryers you will ever find on a wetsuit is the do not tumble dry symbol (see below).

But for your information, we have listed all of the symbols used on wash care labels pertaining to tumble dryers.

Square With White Circle And A Black X On Top

This symbol indicates that the item cannot be tumble dried. This is the symbol you are most likely to see on a wetsuit.

Square With White Circle

This symbol indicates that the item can be tumble dried. You will not find this on any decent wetsuit.

Square With Black Circle

This symbol indicates that the item can be tumble dried using no heat. You will not find this symbol on any wetsuits.

Square With White Circle, One Black Dot In Circle

This symbol is used to indicate that the item can be tumble dried on the low heat setting. This will never be found on a wetsuit.

Square With White Circle, Two Black Dots In Circle

This indicates you can dry the item on a medium heat setting. This will not be found on a wetsuit.

Square With White Circle, Three Black Dots In Circle

This symbol indicates that the item can be tumble dried using the high heat setting. You will definitely not find this symbol on a wetsuit.

How To Dry A Wetsuit Without A Tumble Dryer

Using A Wetsuit Hanger To Dry Your Wetsuit

These specifically designed wetsuit hangers are one of the best ways to dry your wetsuit.

They can be hung from your car, washing line, or even your shower curtain rod and will ensure that your wetsuit dries fast.

Using A Washing Line To Dry Your Wetsuit

As long as you remember to keep your wetsuit out of direct sunlight and prevent any creases as you dry your wetsuit, line drying is a great way to get your wetsuit dry.

Hang the wetsuit on the washing line, rotary line or retractable clothesline in a shady area and allow it to air dry. 

Line drying works particularly well using a wetsuit hanger. This is because hanging your wetsuit avoids any creases forming which could hinder drying.

You should turn the wetsuit inside out to prevent damage from the sun’s rays and to ensure the inside is dry.

Plus regular coat hangers are not usually sturdy enough to hold the weight of a wet wetsuit.

SEE ALSO: The Best Retractable Washing Lines For UK Homes

Using An Airer To Dry Your Wetsuit

You can use an airer outdoors or indoors to dry your wetsuit. Using an airer to dry your wetsuit also works well in conjunction with a wetsuit hanger.

This is because the wetsuit hanger is designed to take the weight of a soaking wet wetsuit.

If you use an airer outdoors, remember to position it in the shade to prevent any sun damage to your wetsuit.

Indoors, you should position the airer away from any heat sources like radiators, heating vents, open fires, etc.

SEE ALSO: The Top Clothes Drying Racks & Airers

Drying Your Wetsuit In A Garage

You can use a retractable clothesline, an airer or just a hook from the garage roof rafters to dry your wetsuit in the garage.

It is recommended that the garage door is left open while the wetsuit is drying to allow excess moisture to escape.

You can also assist with speeding up the drying time by placing an electric fan in the garage to help direct the airflow.

SEE ALSO: The Best Bladeless Fans On The Market Today

Indoor Drying Times Can Be Shortened Using A Dehumidifier

If the weather prevents you drying your wetsuit outdoors and you have to use one of the indoor drying methods, a dehumidifier can seriously reduce the drying time.

Place the dehumidifier in the same room as the drying wetsuit to remove moisture fast.

The dehumidifier can be used in any room in the house including the garage (but caution is needed in the bathroom).

Drip Drying Your Wetsuit In The Bathroom

This is another method of drying a wetsuit that works best using a wetsuit hanger.

Simply hang the wetsuit on the shower curtain rail and allow it to drip dry.

You can help remove the moisture from the room using the bathroom exhaust fan.

If you were to carefully place an electric fan in the bathroom to simulate a drying breeze this can really speed things up.

What Happens If You Tumble Dry A Wetsuit?

Always check the wash care labels

You should never tumble dry your wetsuit. If you do you can expect;

The Warranty To Become Voided

If your wetsuit came with a warranty, it is likely to be conditional. One of those conditions is likely to be that you follow the care guidelines.

Using a tumble dryer is usually one of the things advised against in those guidelines.

If you were to use a tumble dryer to dry your wetsuit you will find your warranty is invalid.

The Wetsuit’s Neoprene To Become Damaged

Neoprene is one of the main materials used to make wetsuits. It is a synthetic rubber that is designed to keep water, oil and heat out.

Neoprene is also a great insulator which means it stops the wearer from getting too cold as well.

However, neoprene can easily become damaged if it is exposed to high temperatures. Which is why wetsuits should be protected from direct sunlight and should never be put in a tumble dryer.

In extreme cases, neoprene can melt!

The Seams Of The Wetsuit Can Become Damaged

The seams are placed in such a way that they keep water out but still allow maximum flexibility. 

They can be connected in a number of ways, they could be glued, stitched or sometimes neoprene tape is used to seal seams.

Heat can damage all of these seals and once the seams become breached, they will allow water in.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is it safe to put a wetsuit in a tumble dryer?

It is not safe to put a wetsuit in a tumble dryer. It is likely to melt in extreme cases. Usually the seams will become damaged and the neoprene will lose its flexibility and allow water to enter the wetsuit.

Can neoprene go in the dryer?

Neoprene should never be put in the tumble dryer. It will become damaged or even melt in extreme cases.

How can I dry a wetsuit without a tumble dryer?

It is never a good idea to use a tumble dryer to dry a wetsuit. The best way to dry a wetsuit is to air dry it. You should hang your wetsuit on a wetsuit hanger either on a washing line in the shade or indoors on an airer, retractable clothesline or shower curtain rail.

Does heat damage a wetsuit?

Heat does damage wetsuits. That’s any heat including; sunlight, radiators, central heating vents, open fires or tumble dryers.

Should I hang or fold my wetsuit?

You should always hang your wetsuit, never fold it. Folding a wetsuit causes creases to form which will not only look bad but also cause cold spots.

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