It’s no secret that scuba diving can play a part in keeping you healthy and in shape. Swimming is one of the most beneficial exercises you can engage in, and fresh air never hurt anyone. On the other hand, not-so-fresh water – as well as the practice of sharing scuba equipment – may have the opposite effect. Even clean water can turn your gear into a petri dish in certain conditions. And if a fellow diver has an infectious malady such as a respiratory or intestinal illness, you could catch it after lending your equipment out. Besides, proper maintenance won’t just keep you well – it can help your stuff last longer, too.
The following tips will outline basic cleaning for various items in your scuba setup. It always helps to use a bathtub or sink, but a hose can be just as effective. Make sure to rinse off any mud, seaweed, sand and other heavy sediment before submerging items. And only use cleaning products that are specifically safe for dive gear. Certain chemicals may harm and weaken such equipment components as silicone, rubber and plastic.
Buoyancy Control Device - In order to clean the “heart” of your scuba setup, you should first soak a BCD in warm water to remove any salt from the outside. Clean the inside by pushing the low pressure inflator deflate button and pouring a quart of warm water into the exhaust valve. Shake vigorously and drain through each exhaust valve. Taste the water to ensure no salt is present and re-rinse if necessary. Partially inflate and hang in a cool, dry location.
Regulator - Care must be taken to avoid water entering your first stage, so clean your dust cap first by wiping it with a cloth or blowing it off with air from your tank and then replacing it. You can then rinse your regulator by running water through the mouthpiece or soaking it for 5 to 10 minutes. Be sure to avoid pushing the purge button and flooding the first stage. Finish by hanging it up to dry.
Diving Suit - Suits, gloves and booties should be submerged in water, turned inside out and dunked thoroughly. You can also use suit washes sold at your local dive shop.
Hang all pieces up to dry.
Masks/Fins/Snorkels - Submerge and dunk all of these items, then thoroughly dry them with a cloth. Store in a dark area, making sure flexible surfaces are not bent out of shape.