Respecting our gear, respecting our divers.
Columbia Scuba believes that safe diving for our staff and our students begins with properly taking care of our personal gear and our teaching gear. Lately, some in our diving community have asked us how we clean our gear after it is used. Great question considering the focus on illnesses that are being reported.
Columbia Scuba uses cleaners and germicides that have been approved by the EPA and CDC to help prevent the transmission of germs and viruses. We’ve enhanced our housekeeping and sanitation procedures to ensure that we frequently disinfect often-touched surfaces such as door handles, countertops, keyboards and teaching aids. As we move forward, we are asking our entire teaching team (and we urge everyone) to follow the CDC guidelines to prevent the potential spread of any infection.
As we all closely monitor the impact of COVID-19 along with other viruses that are more common, we want to share with you the steps that Columbia Scuba takes to help protect the health and safety of our students and our teaching team.
The first step we use to clean our regulators is to remove them from their bags and inspect to ensure that dust caps are in place and mouthpieces are not damaged. We then soak them in a commercial gear cleaner/disinfectant that is enhanced with Lysol germicide. We then rinse the regulators and hang them to air-dry. While drying, we spray the mouthpieces with a mixture of oral germicide and diluted hydrogen peroxide. We also air-dry regulator bags and then spray them with Lysol disinfectant before we bag the regulators back up and store them for their next use.
BCDs are soaked in our detergent/Lysol mixture and then rinsed. Before hanging them to air dry, we inspect the inflator hose for proper function and we also dump any water that may have made its way into the bladder. As a matter of general maintenance, we rinse BCD bladders with commercial cleaners. While BCDs are air-drying, we spray the oral inflator/exhaust valve of every BCD with oral germicide and diluted hydrogen peroxide.
Remember the old adage that there are two types of scuba divers…? We know that wetsuits are critical to comfort while diving and we understand that they need to be clean and fresh each time they are used. Each time one of our rental wetsuits is returned, we first make sure it is inside-out and then we soak/agitate/soak each one in our commercial gear cleaner that is enhanced with Lysol germicide/disinfectant. We then rinse each suit in a separate container that also includes germicide. Wetsuits are then air-dried completely inside-out and then turned right side out for additional drying.