HOW TO REMOVE TAR FROM YOUR WETSUIT
When you spend a lot of time in the sea/ocean like I do there will be times when you stumble upon pollution. One of the more common ones is tar floating around on your favorite beach, polluting the sand and sticking to everything it comes into contact with. This weekend I went bodyboarding with my daughter. We had been in the water for about an hour when we realized we were covered in tar. It was on our hands, wetsuits and bodyboards. The sticky black stuff was all over the place.
I spend some time on the Internet searching for a solution and I there are a number of options to remove tar. The strangest one I found was the use of butter. I tried this, but it didn’t really work. Maybe I was using the wrong type of butter(?). Others suggest diesel fuel, but I don’t really feel like cleaning my wetsuit with that stuff. In the end I found one solution that really works; baby oil! Apparently any oil based product will do the trick but baby oil really worked best for me. You can also use baby oil to remove the tar from your equipment. Here’s what I did.
My wetsuit is partly white. That shows the tar stains even better.
I took the baby oil, put some on the tar and started rubbing. You’ll need to add quite a lot of baby oil depending on the size of the stain. You can see the stain disappear as you add oil and rub.
Once the stain had disappeared I took some normal dishwashing soap and cleaned the suit with water and soap.
The results look promising. I now cleaned the whole sleeve and wetsuit with great results!
As you can see the tar and stains have been removed.
I took it one step further and put my wetsuit in the washing machine to get ride off any residue and baby oil still left on the wetsuit. The wetsuit now looks as good as before and smells a lot better! :-)
TIP: You can wash your wetsuit in a washing machine. You have to be very careful though! Wash at low temperatures (cold) and for a short cycle. Don’t spin dry the wetsuit as that will damage the wetsuit. Also make sure you only use a small amount of detergent and make sure the detergent doesn’t contain any aggressive substances (like bleach) as that will damage the wetsuit as well. Any detergent aimed at delicate fabrics like wool will do. Still not sure about the washing machine? Get yourself a big bucket/tub with water and some detergent and put your wetsuit in there for a nice soak. It will get rid of all the nasty stuff you put in and on your wetsuit.