Disinfecting your scuba diving equipment
As we start to see people return to scuba diving around the world, we're sharing the following information to help you learn more about how to safely clean and store your scuba diving equipment between uses.
This article mentions specific products that are available, these are the products that we have tested and know to be safe to use with our products. All products are listed at the end of this article, however similar products with the same disinfecting properties are available around the world.
WARNING do not use bleach based disinfectants or disinfectants known to be corrosive, as these can prematurely age or corrode the equipment being used.
LOW RISK ENVIRONMENT
If there is a low risk of bacterial and/or viral transmission (infection from mould and fungal growth or saliva bacteria/viral transmission), then after each use wash with warm tap water and general household dish soap for several minutes to remove any visible dirt and staining. A soft sponge can also be used, taking great care around any rubber valves so not to dislodge or damage them. Ensure that all traces of soap are rinsed and flushed away with clean potable cold water.
Once rinsed, the regulator should be purged to remove excess water and then dried and stored in a clean dry area to reduce the risk of bacteria growth.This would normally be sufficiently clean for immediate reuse if required.
MEDIUM RISK ENVIRONMENT
If there is a medium risk of bacterial and/or viral transmission (infection from mould and fungal growth or saliva bacteria/viral transmission) from shared daily use between trainees after each training session, then disinfection can be achieved by using Chemgene HLD4L breathing apparatus surface disinfectant solution.
The unit should first be washed, rinsed and purged as above. The regulator is then placed in a solution of 100 parts water to 1 part HLD4L (100:1) laboratory non-fragranced anti-bacterial solution and slightly agitated initially. Leave to soak for 20 minutes. The disinfectant should be rinsed off the regulator with running potable cold water and then purged while the mouthpiece is facing up and then down to ensure any residual water is purged from inside the regulator. The unit is then ready to be reused - or can be dried and stored.
HIGH RISK ENVIRONMENT
If there is a high risk of bacterial and/or viral transmission (infection from mould and fungal growth or saliva bacteria/viral transmission) from shared daily use between trainees after each training session, then disinfection can be achieved by the use of Chemgene HLD4L breathing apparatus surface disinfectant solution.
The regulator should first be washed, rinsed and purged as above. The regulator is placed in a solution of 50 parts water to 1 part HLD4L (50:1) laboratory non-fragranced anti-bacterial solution and slightly agitated initially. Leave to soak for 20 minutes. The disinfectant should be rinsed off the regulator with running potable cold water and then purged with the mouthpiece facing up and then down to ensure any residual water is purged from inside the demand valve.
Please note, bacterial growth is supported by organic matter on surfaces. General cleanliness is critical, particularly in high risk environments, which can be maintained by the use of soapy water at the start of each process. It must be noted that disinfection will vary depending on the cleanliness of the surfaces. Chemgene is effective against most bacteria on contact or after 1 minute. Chemgene is sufficiently effective with more resistant micro-organisms after 5 minutes on a clean surface.
Drying and storage.
To dry the unit ready for storage, the regulator should be purged with the breathing gas on while the mouthpiece is facing upwards and then downwards. This is to ensure that all residual water has been drained from inside the regulator during the cleaning process.
It is also recommended that the unit be disinfected periodically to further reduce the risk of bacterial growth.
MASKS, FINS AND BCDs
We recommend SeptiOne Matériel to disinfect your fins, mask and BCD.
Its properties are bactericidal, fungicidal, virucidal and an algicide (AFNOR standards). It is biodegradable.
SeptiOne Matériel is prepared by dilution to 2% in fresh water. The equipment can then be disinfected by soaking it for 10 minutes in a volume of water to which an appropriate volume of product has been added beforehand. This soaking must be followed by a careful rinsing.
PRODUCT NAMES AND LINKS
Good2Dive (new product that we haven't tested but that has good results)
A useful resource is the EPA's N-List which names other products that are effective against Coronavirus (remember to avoid the bleach based products)
- Please note that we cannot advise on products not listed here, however the links above should give you an opportunity to locate similar products in your own regions.
- This advice on this page does not replace common sense and adhering to guidelines and restrictions in your region.
- This advice can only reduce, not remove, the chance of viral transmission from dive equipment.