Guide to Washing Your Bathing Suit

Guide to Washing Your Bathing Suit

It's summer, and you're probably doing a lot of swimming, but what should you do after? We've got the answer for you! The first thing to remember is that those chlorine-filled pools can dry out your bathing suit. You don't want it looking like an old rag by the end of the day.

How often do you wash your bathing suit? If it's not often, then this guide is for you! Read on to find out how to keep your bathing suit clean and dry. 

Bathing suits are typically worn for a couple of hours at most during the summer months. 

However, if they're not washed after each use, bacteria can accumulate and grow. In addition, bathing suits that aren't properly cleaned may become uncomfortable or unpleasant smelling. 

This blog post will introduce some tips on avoiding these issues by washing your bathing suit correctly! Also, don't forget to read below for more information about hygiene concerning swimming!

Washing your bathing suit is pretty straightforward, but it's important to do so to maintain the quality of your swimwear. This guide will tell you everything you need to know about keeping your bathing suit clean from start to finish!

This article will provide tips and tricks for getting stains out of your bathing suit with safe methods.  

Many people do not know about washing their bathing suits is that you should never use bleach or fabric softener when doing so because they can cause the colour to fade significantly. For more information, read below!

Most people would think that you can toss your bathing suit in the laundry, and it will come out clean. However, there are a few things you need to know before doing so. 

You have to remember that even if you don't wear your swimsuit often, bacteria can still grow on it from sweating or other bodily fluids. This means that when you do wash a bathing suit, it needs a little extra care!

Washing your bathing suit is an essential part of summer. There are a few things you should know before washing it, though, to ensure that it stays in good condition and lasts as long as possible. 

This post will tell you what you need to do, how often to wash your bathing suit, and the best way to clean it for maximum efficiency. 

As summer is quickly approaching, it's time to start planning your bathing suit wardrobe. Bathing suits are the perfect way to stay cool and stylish on hot days at the beach or pool. 

If you're looking for some tips on how to keep your bathing suit clean all season long, then this post has everything you need!

Read on for more information about caring for your bathing suits!

How to Wash Your Bathing Suit

Bathing suits are somewhat on the expensive side of clothing, and learning how to take care of them will help keep you looking great all season long. 

Whether you wear a swimsuit daily or just on occasion, the fabric can take a real hard beating from pool chemicals, the sun, sand, temperatures and lotions. So what is the right way to clean your swimsuit? How do you wash a bathing suit?

Bathing suits can be expensive.  And swimsuits are similar to lingerie in that you want to take extra-good care of them so they’ll last a long time.

But how do you take good care of a bathing suit? How do you effectively wash it, so it stays looking new all summer?

It’s not as time-consuming as you think. 

Follow either of these methods, and you're well on your way to having a bathing suit that will last all summer long.

1. Wash It Right Away Or Your Suit May Stink

The most important thing you can do when cleaning a swimsuit is to rinse it off right after wearing it, then wash it well when you get home. 

This will minimize the amount of time the fabric is exposed to harsh agents like sunscreen, sweat, salt, and chlorine. Not to mention how intimately close your bathing suit has been to your body. 

The quicker you wash it, the less likely your swimwear will smell like chlorine, the beach or just plain stink. The easiest way to do this is to wear your suit into the shower.

2. Hand-Wash Your Bathing Suit

Please don't recoil when you see the words 'hand wash' up there.  This is going to be quick and simple.

The agitation of a washing machine can damage the fabrics even if set on the gentle cycle. The dyes in the fabrics are also more likely to run and potentially ruin your other summer clothes. 

In fact, washing your swimsuit in the washing machine is probably the worst thing you could do to a piece of women's swimwear. Bathing suits need gentle love and care.

The goal of washing your swimsuit is to remove as much chlorine and sunscreen as possible. In addition, if you've been swimming in a lake or ocean, you want to remove the salt and any other ickies that might be in the fabric.

Pour 1-2 Tablespoons of detergent into a small plastic pan. You can pour the detergent right into the sink if your stopper works well and the water doesn't slowly leak out. But, first, fill the pan mostly full with lukewarm water.

Swish the water around with your hands to dissolve the detergent and make it bubbly.

Soak your bathing suit in the water for 30 minutes to an hour. Then, agitate the water every 10 or 15 minutes and swish the swimsuit around with your hands.

After the suit has soaked awhile, use both hands to gently scrub the spots on the swimsuit where sunscreen might be: the neckline, shoulder straps, etc.

Now dump out the water in your pan or sink.  Using lukewarm water, rinse the swimsuit thoroughly under running water.

You want to use a lot of water here to 1) remove the detergent and 2) remove any dirt, sunscreen, chlorine, or salt with it.

It would be best if you rinsed the bathing suit under running water until the water was clear and no obvious suds were left in the swimsuit. Then, rinsing for 1-2 minutes under running water should be sufficient.

Now squeeze the extra water from the bathing suit. Do not wring it like you would a dishcloth.  That causes undue wear and tear. Instead, let the suit drip dry while hanging in the shower or the laundry room.

3. Wash Your Bathing Suit In The Washing Machine

While I don’t recommend washing your bathing suit in the washing machine, it’s not always convenient to hand-wash your suit

It's okay to wash your swimsuit on the gentle cycle on occasion, but you should not routinely put it in the washer.

Here are step-by-step washing machine directions:

Step 1: Put the suit in a mesh laundry bag.

It's okay to wash your bathing suit with other items; however, don't wash anything that would pick the fabric (items with zippers or velcro or anything rough on the fabric). 

Even a mesh bag won't prevent every problem, so be picky about what goes in your laundry load with your bathing suit.

Step 2: Set your machine to the gentle cycle, using cool water.

Step 3: After completing the wash cycle, hang the swimsuit to dry on a hanger.

4. A Few Notes About Washing Bathing Suits

For best bathing suit success, make sure you read through these quick notes.

  • Never ever dry your bathing suit in the dryer.  It is a sure-fire way to make it look old before its time.  It will ruin the elastic and can often make it lose its shape.  In just a couple of runs through the dryer, it will not fit the same.
  • Don't use bleach, Oxi Clean (or similar) or other stain-removal products.  They can cause discolouration.
  • If you wash your suit in the machine, do not use hot water.  Again, it will ruin the elastic and the general look of the bathing suit.  Every 4-5 washes, you can use warm water but do so infrequently.
  • When drip-drying your suit after hand washing, place a towel on the floor underneath the suit.  Depending on how well you squeeze out the excess water, it will drip a lot of water on the floor.  You can roll the suit up in a towel and squeeze out the water for the quickest drying results.
  • Alternate your swimsuits. You should avoid using the same swimsuit more than once in 24 hours. Because Spandex is a memory yarn, your swimwear will need 24 hours to dry and go back to its original shape. This will stop your costume from bagging and stretching.
  • Avoid hot tubs. Hot tubs are extremely hard on your swimming costume; the bromine and extreme temperatures will fade and stretch your suit faster than anything else. 
  • Avoid oil contact. Oil-based products such as sun creams and lotions can cause the elasticity in your swimsuit to break down, causing your suit to lose its shape.

5. DO'S

  • Rinse again by hand in cold water after removing your swimwear. You can wash it with a mild soap and tap water as water alone will not remove chlorine or saltwater
  • Rinse your swimwear after swimming – wear in the shower when you get out (but don’t use any shower gels!)
  • Be cautious in spas or heated pools as these have extra chemicals in and so can shorten the life of your swimwear


  • Please do not wash your swimwear in a washing machine or dry it in a tumble dryer. Washing machines and detergents can be very harsh and will damage your swimwear even if done just once.
  • Do not use iron as the high temperatures can cause your swimsuit to disintegrate – if you want to get rid of any wrinkles, rinse in the water again, and the creases should fall out.
  • Never use chlorine bleach even if your costume is chlorine resistant, as chlorine-resistant does not mean it is totally chlorine proof

Follow This Guide For Cleaning Your Swimwear And Your Swimsuits Will Look Like New Longer

1. Don't Use Laundry Detergent, You'll Regret It Later

Many guides out there say to use a little bit of detergent to clean your bathing suits. But laundry detergents are far too harsh for most spandex swimwear and will often cause the colour to fade especially brighter colours. 

Even just a little bit of detergent can lead to colour fading. And even on white bathing suits, never use bleach! Instead, use mild hand soap that doesn't have added moisturizers. This will help that new bathing suit last much longer.

2. Despite Every Instinct To Do So Don't Wring Out Your Swimsuit

It is very tempting to do this, but you need to resist. Wringing your suit is the fastest way to wear it out, so the spandex loses its shape and elasticity. So instead, lay it flat on a towel and roll the towel up and squeeze gently. Then, please remove it from the towel and lay it flat to dry.

3. It Should Go Without Saying, Don't Use A Dryer on your Bathing Suit

The constant tumbling of a dryer combined with the excessive heat is a quick way to ruin your favourite swim piece.

4. How Else Shouldn't You Dry It?

This may surprise you, but it's best not to hang your swimwear to dry as water pooling at the bottom will stretch out the fibres. 

Dry the suit indoors or in the shade. Direct sun will fade the colours. Don't dry it over an air conditioner, as you'll likely make the whole room smell like a wet bathing suit. Mmmmmm lovely.

5. What If You Don't Have Enough Time To Dry It?

If you must dry your bathing suit quickly, you can use your hairdryer. Just make sure that it's set to blow cool air. 

If it doesn't have time to dry, stuff your wet suit in a plastic bag before you pack it up, it's a good idea to poke a few holes in the bag for ventilation and then wrap a T-shirt or towel around it to catch any drips. You'd be amazed how quickly mould starts to grow without ventilation.

6. Let It Rest

You probably know that women's swimwear is typically made from spandex fabric. But did you know spandex is actually a memory fabric? 

This means when it gets stretched out, it goes back to its original shape. Make sure you give your bathing suit a break. It usually takes about a day for a swim piece to get back to its normal condition. So don't wear the same swimsuit on consecutive days. 

Alternating between suits will allow them to breathe and return to their original shape. Besides, you probably have a bunch of beautiful designer women's swimwear in your wardrobe just waiting to be worn!

Washing and drying your beachwear can be an uphill task, but it will help make your favourite swimsuit last much longer and help you save money on your summer wardrobe. 

Remember, it's a really good idea to have more than one suit when you go somewhere because you should never ever wear a damp swimsuit. 

Damp one-pieces and bikinis are a prime place for bacteria and mould, and it's is a good way to get a nasty skin rash or even an infection. So if you're buying a new bathing suit to be on the safe side, you might as well buy two or three.

How to Wash Bathing Suits to Keep Them Looking Their Best

This summer has been a hot one, which means you’ve probably taken a dip in the pool, jumped in the lake, swam in the ocean, or have at least let the sprinklers spritz you a time or two at this point in the season. 

And whether you've purchased a new swimsuit or are wearing an oldie-but-goodie for basking in the sun, the material of swimwear never seems to hold up for that long, which can be frustrating when you love a vibrant pair of board shorts or a perfectly fitting bikini. 

Your swimsuit might make the trip from pool to lake to the spa to the ocean a couple of dozen times in a busy summer, and while the clean scent of chlorine might not bother you at first, there will probably come a day that you wish that your suit was a little fresher. 

But the sleek fabric that makes up your favourite swimwear is quite a bit different than your beach towels or cover-up. So is it safe to toss the bathing suit in the washing machine with the rest after a long day swimming? Here's how to make sure your suit is looking its best all summer long.

Often the colours fade, the material gets eaten away, and the elasticity loses its stretchiness so that you are forced to throw out your favourite swimming getup.  

1. Prevent Sun Damage 

Your bathing suit deals with an excessive amount of sun exposure, chlorine or salt, and sunscreen lotions when in use; when you take your swimsuit off and leave it out in the sun to dry, all of those things are absorbed into the fabrics of your swimwear. 

The chlorine and sunscreen chemicals eat away at the fibres of your outfit while the sun lightens the colours, so the first thing you want to do to keep your bathing suit looking new is to remove it from the sun as soon as you're done swimming and get it ready to be washed right away. 

2. Check Your Swimsuit’s Washing Instructions

Most women's bathing suits will tell you right on the label how they should be washed for best results. But, unfortunately, most of them will tell you to hand wash, as washing machines tend to stretch out the material and cause some discolouration. 

If you're caught in a tight patch, however, it can be done. The first thing to remember, though, is that your suit doesn't need to be washed every time you take it for a swim. 

Your bathing suit is made of gentle fibres that keep it flexible and prevent irritation, and washing too often with harsh chemicals can cause damage. 

If you're sticking to the local pool, you can probably wait for three or four trips between washes, fewer if you're spending most of your time in the lake. On the other hand, if you think you can get away with a rinse, try that.

3. Bag it Up 

Just because your bathing suit can take a beating from the ocean waves and regular roughhousing in any body of water, that doesn’t mean it should get the same treatment in the washing machine. 

The trick to protect your trunks or bikini is by putting all the swimwear in a mesh bag, which will keep it safe from its surroundings. 

For example, if your washer has an agitator – the long spindle-like mechanism in the centre – containing your swimwear in a mesh bag keeps them safe from getting thrashed throughout the wash cycle.  

Just a few more laundry tips and tricks, and you'll soon know how to wash bathing suits like a pro! 

4. Keep Things Gentle

Though hand-washing is best, you can throw your swimsuit into the machine washer in an emergency or time crunch. 

When you do, make sure that you set your machine to the coldest temperature it has and that you’re using a non-chlorine detergent if possible and the mildest soap you have available if not. 

If your washer has a delicate setting, use that to keep stretch and damage to a minimum. You can also try slipping the suit into a mesh laundry bag to keep the straps from getting caught on the rest of the load.

5. Washing Time 

When tossing your swimwear-filled mesh bag into the washer, be sure to keep the load light. A few towels from your earlier adventures are fine to throw in, but the less you have tumbling around, the better.  

Also, because heat can damage the fabric and colour of your bathing suit, set the washer to a delicate cycle and wash in cold water for the best results.  

6. Hand Wash Your Bathing Suit When You Can

The best way to keep your swimming suit in tip-top shape is to wash it by hand whenever it needs cleaning. 

First, fill your sink, tub, or a large bowl with cold water and add mild hand soap. This will be much gentler on your suit's bright colours than regular laundry detergent. 

Next, let your swimwear soak for about fifteen minutes, gently massaging the soap into the fabric to get out any dirt or chemicals that might be lingering post-swim. Once your bathing suit is clean, drain the water and rinse out the cloth as best you can. 

Then, roll – don't wring! – put your swimsuit on a bath towel to remove any extra water and lay the pieces out to dry. Hanging it up may seem like a good way to get any remaining drips out, but pooling water might cause permanent stretching. Please don't risk it!

7. Hit Sunscreen Stains with Extra Strength

The best defence against stains is to let your skin soak up the sunblock before you don your suit, but it's hard to plan ahead when you're wrangling kids and friends. 

Don't panic if you end the day with a couple of sunscreen spots on your swimwear! You probably have the solution in your kitchen right now. 

Search your cupboards; if you find baking soda, sprinkle a generous amount onto the stains and let it soak for a couple of hours before washing. 

If you find vinegar, soak the stained cloth in a solution of one part vinegar and three parts water before washing. You can also apply white vinegar directly to the stains for a spot clean.

8. Dry the Right Way 

There are two ways you could go about drying your swimsuit attire. The safest way is by gently squeezing the water out and lying flat to let the air dry. 

Of course, you can always dry your bathing suit in the dryer, but this calls for extra caution since, as we mentioned earlier, swimwear doesn't always respond to direct heat well. But, if you do go the dryer route, choose a delicate or air dry option to only expose your swimwear to cool/room temperature air.

We hope these laundry tips and tricks have been useful, and if you're looking for a new washer to help you with more than just your bathing suit cleanings, we can assist you with that too!

9. Don’t Sweat it When it Comes to Men’s Swimsuits

Most men's swimsuits aren't made out of the same stretchy, flexible material that ladies are and can handle the force of a regular machine wash. 

Don't be afraid to throw your men's suits and boy's trunks in with the rest of your beach day clothes. Be sure to watch the colours, though; you want your gear to shine just as bright at the next pool party!

Read more

The Ultimate Guide to Ethical and Sustainable Swimwear

The Ultimate Guide to Ethical and Sustainable Swimwear

Is Fast Fashion Ethical?

Is Fast Fashion Ethical?

Sustainable Swimwear Brands Are the Definition of Hot Girl Summer

Sustainable Swimwear Brands Are the Definition of Hot Girl Summer