Sanitising Your Dive Gear

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Article extracted from Asian Diver Issue 02/2020 (155)

Proper gear hygiene is more vital than ever to ensure safe and worry-free diving

“Products that are commonly used to clean dive gear but are ineffective against coronavirus include antibacterial and chlorhexidine mouthwashes or sprays. Hot, soapy water must be paired with mechanical action such as scrubbing with a soft toothbrush to be effective.”

The coronavirus outbreak has put into sharp focus the need to properly disinfect dive equipment, particularly rental gear. The Divers Alert Network (DAN) has issued some advice on correctly sanitising items such as second-stage regulators, masks, snorkels and BCD oral inflators.

DAN says: “Products that are commonly used to clean dive gear but are ineffective against coronavirus include antibacterial and chlorhexidine mouthwashes or sprays. Hot soapy water must be paired with mechanical action such as scrubbing with a soft toothbrush to be effective.”

Diving equipment can be sanitised by t submerging in a 10% bleach solution or using Steramine tablets or other quaternary ammonium compound. Gear should be rinsed with fresh water afterwards.

If you’re travelling and using rental gear, DAN suggests using a “household disinfecting wipe” to clean your regulator mouthpiece, snorkel, BCD oral inflator and the inside of your mask, and then rinsing with fresh water before use. DAN advises you to ask your operator to sanitise the equipment you’re renting – if you don’t have access to wipes to do it yourself.