How to Wash and Care For Your Neoprene Goods

by - Wednesday, August 09, 2023

How to Wash and Care for Your Neoprene Goods

Neoprene is a versatile material that works well in various applications, ranging from weekender bags to laptop cases. However, since neoprene is a synthetic rubber material, it requires a slightly different care routine than traditional cotton blends. With the following tips, you can learn how to care for neoprene fabric to keep your items in excellent condition for a lifetime of use.

Neoprene Laptop Cases

While neoprene, a type of synthetic rubber, is a durable fabric option, it requires proper cleaning and drying to ensure it remains in good shape. You should hand wash and rinse your neoprene goods regularly and as soon as possible after spills and other stains occur. To clean your neoprene, complete the following process.

1. Rinse the Item

Run the item under cool water for several minutes to rinse off any dirt on the surface. You can use a garden hose for this purpose if the item is large. If you have oversized items, such as a weekender bag, you will submerge it entirely in a tub of water. After immersing your item, empty the basin and replace it with clean water several times to ensure you rinse all parts of the bag.

2. Apply Soap

Take a large amount of mild laundry detergent or baby shampoo and rub it into your item until it’s soapy. Another cleaning option is to fill a container with detergent and fresh water to hand clean the item. As you wash the item, gently squeeze it to remove any grime buildups or other contaminants from the surface.

3. Rinse off the Soap

Use a hose or detachable shower head to spray water onto your item. For larger items, you can submerge them in a tub of water again while making sure you change the water several times. Repeat both processes until the water is clear and free of soap suds.

Remember, you should never use hot water or bleach when washing neoprene. Also, it’s best to avoid machine-washing neoprene as the washer can harm the fabric. For stubborn stains, consider using a wetsuit shampoo or other wetsuit cleaner/remover. Neoprene is very commonly used by scuba divers, but can quickly be damaged by saltwater. As such, there’s a variety of wetsuit care products that can be used on your neoprene products. 

Drying Your Neoprene

After washing your neoprene item, you will need to ensure you dry it correctly.

1. Squeeze Water From the Garment

Try to squeeze as much water out of the item as possible. Before laying your item out to dry, turn it inside out and drape it over a hanger or towel to minimize creases. 

2. Let the Item Dry Completely

Let the item dry completely before using it again. Larger bags can take a day or two to dry thoroughly, while smaller items may only take a few hours.

3. Check on Your Item During the Drying Process

As your neoprene dries, you'll want to check on it periodically to ensure there is no damage, mildew, or bad odors.

Tips to Keep Your Neoprene Fabric in Good Shape

Keeping your neoprene items safe is simple when using the following six tips.

1. Always Rinse With Cold Water

Using cold water effectively removes dirt and other stains from your bag during the washing process. As you wash your item, rinse both sides with cold water for a deeper clean.

2. Dry Your Items in the Shade

Extended exposure to direct sunlight can damage neoprene fabric. You should always dry both sides of your neoprene fabric in the shade as the UV rays can damage it. If you choose to hang your item, be careful using a hanger as the pincers may cause deformities.

3. Don't Wash Your Items in the Washing Machine

While it may be tempting to wash your neoprene item in the washing machine on a delicate cycle to save time, this gentle process can still damage the seams of your wetsuit material and expose it to further tears. Ideally, you should always wash your neoprene item by hand without wringing the fabric.

4. Don't Use a Brush to Remove Stains on Neoprene

It's normal for your neoprene bag to become stained over time, especially if it's a lunch pail or other item that faces constant exposure to liquids and dirt.

When cleaning these stains, it's best to avoid using stiff bristle brushes as they can wear the material and make the damage worse. Instead, apply soap to the spot and gently rub it with a cloth. Let the soap sit for 30 minutes, then remove the stain with fresh water.

5. Don't Use an Iron

Since heat is harmful to neoprene material, you should not use an iron to remove wrinkles. Proper drying and storage is the best way to ensure your neoprene item remains wrinkle-free.

6. Remove Smells With Baking Soda

While washing your neoprene items will remove most smells, there are times when your neoprene items could use a refresh. Sprinkling a small amount of baking soda over your item will remove most smells to keep the neoprene fresh between washes.

Shop Our Selection of Neoprene at Marleylilly

As a durable material with a long life span, neoprene is excellent for various uses like bags, totes, and wristlets. At Marleylilly, we offer a wide selection of neoprene products so you can find the perfect piece for your collection. In addition to fun fabrics and patterns, you can add a monogram to your item to make it truly one of a kind.

Shop our neoprene collection to find items for yourself or your friends today!

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