How to Clean and Sanitize Your Scuba Equipment
In light of the recent outbreak of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), questions have arisen in the dive community about disease transmission when using rental equipment, especially regulators. With the threat of coronavirus on everyone's minds, divers want to know what precautions are being taken against the spread of disease. Properly sanitizing equipment is paramount. So here we collect trips how to clean and sanitize your scuba equipment. Keep the following in mind:
According to the CDC, household cleaners are as effective against COVID-19 as they are against the common cold and flu viruses. Therefore, cleaning and disinfecting equipment meant for personal use (such as second-stage regulators, masks, snorkels and BCD oral inflators) is very important.
The risk of acquiring a disease or infection from contaminated scuba equipment is low. H however, there are many benefits to using clean, well-cared-for scuba equipment. Properly maintained dive gear can last longer and is less likely to malfunction and cause a dive accident. Divers Alert Network (DAN) encourages divers to review the manufacturer’s recommendations in addition to the following guidelines when cleaning and sanitizing scuba equipment.
Regulators and Mouthpieces
Before rinsing a regulator, make sure the dust cap is clean, dry and secured over the first stage inlet. Submerge the regulator in fresh water for a short period. Then gently rotate any moving parts to ensure any salt residue is rinsed off or dissolves. Allow the regulator to dry completely before storing.
As an extra precaution, use alcohol or antibacterial mouthwash to sanitize the second stage mouthpiece. Swab the mouthpiece first, then scrub gently using a toothbrush with soft bristles. Rinse thoroughly, taking care not to press the purge button.
Wetsuits, Booties and Gloves
Unless you dive exclusively in freshwater, it’s important to rinse all neoprene items after every dive. Salt water causes neoprene to degrade and lose its flexibility.
All divers should clean and disinfect their wetsuits, boots and gloves periodically with a prolonged soak in warm water and wetsuit cleaner. Here are the basic steps:
- Undo Velcro and open all zippers
- Submerge and gently massage items
- Rinse thoroughly
- Hang wetsuits on thick hangers to dry with zippers open
- Store in a well-ventilated area away from direct sunlight or near where a gasoline engine is operated
- Always follow manufacturers’ recommendations
Use only cleaning products designed for scuba gear. Other cleaners can damage or degrade dive equipment.
Mask, Fins and Snorkel
Rinse your mask, fins and snorkel after every use and allow them to dry completely before storing to avoid mildew growth. Use fresh, clean water and rotate any moving parts to remove salt, sand or other debris. Sanitize snorkel mouthpieces the same way you would regulator mouthpieces.
Buoyancy Compensation Device (BCD)
Wash the exterior of the BCD thoroughly with clean, fresh water. Remove the weight pockets (if applicable) and rinse separately.
It is also a good idea to rinse the inside of your BCD. Start by dumping any water that entered the bladder during the dive, then pour clean, fresh water into the bladder via the low-pressure inflator hose. Orally inflate the BCD and shake the water around the fully inflated bladder. Finally, invert the BCD so that the inflator hose is the lowest point, and dump out the excess water. After a thorough rinse, inflate the BCD about halfway. Allow it to dry completely before deflating it, then store it away from direct sunlight.
Always follow the manufacturer’s guidelines for proper maintenance, inspect your dive gear before every use, and get it serviced regularly. To learn more about equipment care, basic repairs and maintenance, take an equipment maintenance course.
If you're a diver using rental gear and would like to take extra steps to protect yourself from transmissible diseases, thoroughly wipe the following equipment with a household disinfecting wipe and then rinse with fresh water before use:
- Regulator mouthpiece
- BCD oral inflator
- The inside of your mask
If you do not have access to wipes, you may wish to ask the shop you're diving with to properly sanitize the equipment before you take it with you.
Because of situation with corona virus we keep extra procedures for cleaning equipment (especially regulators and masks) at Coral Garden Diving Center: we sanitize all equipment with alcohol and cleaning products. Also its a good time to think about buying your personal equipment. We are also dive shop and Mares Distributor in Jordan. Ask about diving equipment for sell at diving center.
Learn more at www.dive-inaqaba.com