Drysuit Zipper Care - YKK Metal and YKK Plastic

YKK Metal Zipper Care

Premium Drysuits
Be sure to rinse your waterproof zipper with fresh water after every dive. Don’t bend or move your zipper more than necessary and always apply wax before moving the slider. The easiest way to lubricate your zipper is to use DUI ZipStick® (635213), running the lubricant up one side of the zipper and down the other. Make cleaning caked-in wax/salt/sand out of your zipper’s teeth part of your post-dive equipment rinse (we recommend using an old, soft-bristled toothbrush).

In the photo below, are some areas to inspect on your zipper on a regular basis. You will need to look for wax buildup and fraying threads on the zipper edge.

Regular cleaning of the closing end of the zipper is recommended to remove any wax buildup as well as other particulates carried there by the zipper pull. This buildup can cause a small gap between the zipper and rubber stop that will leak. 

Many zippers will start fraying on the edges even when properly waxed before and after every dive. To keep the fraying to a minimum, try these tips to extend the life of your zipper:

  1. When donning and doffing your drysuit, try to not have the zipper rubbing on your undergarments by folding the zipper away from the undergarments.  Also take care not to let your zipper scrape against anything or drag on the ground.
  2. Never try to zip a dirty zipper!  Take the time to clean it using water and a soft brush, re-applying wax and then continuing to don or doff your suit.
  3. If fraying does occur, there are several ways to clean it up and prolong the life of your zipper.  Use very sharp scissors or a razor blade to carefully “shave” the fraying threads, being very careful not to cut the tape material.  The second method is to run a flame quickly over the fraying thread.  The third method that we use at DUI is to run a soldering iron very quickly and very carefully along the edge of the tape over the fraying threads. This not only removes and seals the fraying area but also keeps the thread flat, without the tiny “bulbs” that can result from using the flame method.

YKK Plastic Zipper Care

Standard Drysuits
Rinse your zipper with fresh water after every dive and be careful with the plastic teeth. They are plastic and can be damaged by abuse. Do not wax or lubricate the closure of the YKK plastic zipper that comes on the DUI standard drysuits. (The discontinued TiZip required you to always lubricate the closure.)