How to Clean and Care for a Bathing Suit

The best companion of a swimmer is a bathing suit. They increase the fun of swimming in the ocean or pool, but they can also be challenging to keep clean and maintain. But if you follow a few easy, straightforward methods, you can maintain your bathing suit so that it lasts for many more seasons to come!

You're looking for advice on how to maintain your bathing suit because it's summertime. You may have heard that the chlorine in swimming pools may destroy a swimsuit, but there are many other things that might occur.

The tips in this blog post will help your bathing suit survive more than just one season by cleaning and caring for it properly.

One of the most crucial items in your summer outfit is the bathing suit. It may make or break an ensemble, but proper care is required to preserve its quality and lengthen its lifespan.

I'm here to give your bathing suit some TLC. You can learn about cleaning and maintenance techniques for your bathing suit from this tutorial. In the "How To" section below, you may discover more details, but first, let's address some inquiries. What kind of substance do I use?

How frequently should my bathing suit be washed? Do I require particular soap or detergent? Can I wash my bathing suit in the machine? When I'm done wearing it, when should I put it away? Scroll down to learn more about these subjects!

Swimming, relaxing on the beach, and looking beautiful in pictures are all made possible by bathing suits. But if you wear one to the gym every day or spend the whole day in the water, they may get very nasty quickly.

It's possible that you don't know how to clean your bathing suit because it's challenging to obtain online information on the subject. One technique to clean a bathing suit is to put it in a sink full of warm water with some laundry detergent and soak it for ten minutes (or more).

When you're finished, rinse it thoroughly in cold water to remove all of the soap before hanging it up to dry inside or out to allow it to air dry more quickly than usual.

Rinse your suit properly by holding it under running water and brushing off any extra water before re-putting it on before you even enter the water. By doing this, salt is removed, which prevents stains from occuring.

After exiting the pool or ocean, rinse as much as you can with cool, fresh water without wringing it out, and then gently pat yourself dry with a towel to prevent overstretching the material.

Your swimming suit may contain more microorganisms than you realise. The amount of germs that grow on it only rises if you wear it for hours in the water and scorching sun.

Your bathing suit will last the longest if you wash it right after each usage. This will keep your wardrobe looking beautiful while also assisting in your continued wellness!

Let's get going!

How To Wash Your Swimsuits The Right Way

Don't let the thought of doing laundry frighten you away from wearing a swimsuit at a lake, beach, park, or any other summer activity. After spending the day in the sun, there is no need to worry about how to wash your swimsuit.

1. Can You Put A Bathing Suit In The Washing Machine?

The general response is Depends. The majority of swimming suits include labels that recommend hand washing only.

The fabric of the swimsuit may be harmed by the wash cycle, said ProSwimwear, an international retailer of competitive swimwear. Recreational Equipment, Inc., popularly known as REI, a provider of outdoor apparel, also suggests hand washing.

Your bright coral swimsuits will stay coral and bright by being hand washed, which also extends the life of the suit and keeps it in good shape.

detergent business The Laundress advises hand-washing swimsuits in a warm water bath.

However, some businesses purposefully use textiles that are machine-friendly.

Check the label on your specific swimwear to see if it can be machine washed, according to Jake Danehy, CEO and co-founder of sustainable swimwear manufacturer Fair Harbor.

2. Should I Use Baking Soda?

If hand washing is necessary for your swimsuit, baking soda is the ideal thing to use.

"Excellent technique of cleaning various varieties of swimwear," says Tyler Mulholland, clothes sales lead at REI.

Arm & Hammer, a manufacturer of baking soda, suggests adding half a cup to laundry to "brighten," "freshen," "remove odours," and "give new vitality." Just put the baking soda in the sink with the cool water, let your suit soak, then rinse it off and hang it to dry.

Baking soda removes stubborn stains in addition to being excellent for regular cleaning. Additionally, Arm & Hammer advises making a paste out of six teaspoons of baking soda and one-third cup of warm water to use as a pre-treatment for stains like coffee or wine.

Apply the paste to the stain after testing it on an inconspicuous area of the swimsuit to verify there is no colour bleeding or fading. Wash it off when the paste dries, then hang it to dry.

3. So, What Is The Best Way To Wash A Bathing Suit?

The ideal method for cleaning your suit is to use a light detergent, or possibly none at all.

Corey Simpson, Patagonia's PR and communications coordinator, advised us to wash swimsuits in cold water without detergent, while Danehy suggested using mild detergents for swimsuits that could be washed in a washing machine.

The Laundress suggests putting a little soap in a warm bath, stirring the water to mix it in, and soaking the swimsuit for 30 minutes before rinsing it off.

How Often Should You Wash Your Bathing Suit?

You're mistaken if you believe that because chlorine keeps the pool clean, your bathing suit must also be clean. Or you're lying to yourself if you say, "Well, I didn't swim at all, so my bathing suit is still clean." Your swimming suit needs to be washed every time you use it.

When it could be a pain in the tan lines while you're on vacation, the American Cleaning Institute says it's a question of personal hygiene.

You probably perspire when you're wearing a bathing suit. An excellent beach or pool day is made possible by clear sky and comfortable temperatures, but by the end of the day (or within the first 10 minutes of sitting in the scorching heat), you're drenched in perspiration.

Not to mention the amount of sunscreen that gets on your bathing suit during the day. Generally speaking, it would be advisable to reapply sunscreen every 80 minutes while in the sun.

You aren't considering how much is happening in your swimming suit by the time you have finished your third round of sunscreen application. In addition, the amount of sand that has probably started to accumulate in your bathing suit has probably caused it to grow into its own tiny island.

A bathing suit needs to be washed after each use, which may seem easy enough if you just throw it in the washer and hit start. Following each use, wash your swimsuit using the following advice:

  • Avoid wringing out your bathing suit since it can lose its flexibility.
  • Do not fold up your bathing suit and stuff it in your beach/pool bag.
  • After removing your swimsuit, lay it flat to dry if you plan to remain in the sun for a while (but not too long, as the direct sun exposure can ruin the colour)
  • Lay your bathing suit flat and use a towel to dry it if you aren't outside.
  • If you didn't sweat a lot or smear sunscreen all over your swimming suit, you may get away with just lightly hand washing it in water. Detergent will only be necessary per three usage in that situation.
  • Otherwise, wash your bathing suit in the washing machine with a mild detergent (no bleach), such as Tommy Bahama Swim Suit Cleaner, Arm & Hammer Liquid Detergent for Sensitive Skin, or The Laundress Swim Do Spot Detergent.

    If having to wash your swimsuit after each usage is a problem (because you barely have any swimwear).

    Your beach and pool towels should be washed after each usage if they become sweaty and sand-covered, just like your bathing suit should be. You can definitely get away with reusing your towel if it only becomes slightly damp.

    Is It Gross To Wear a Swimsuit Again Before Washing It?

    It's customary to change out of your wet bathing suit after exiting the water and hang it up to dry until you're ready to go swimming again.

    Swim all summer long without having to own a gazillion suits or constantly do laundry by rewearing swimwear before washing them. Additionally, since swimsuits are worn in the water, they are theoretically clean when removed.

    Sort so, according to board-certified OB-GYN and fertility doctor Lucky Sekhon, MD, of New York City. It can be disgusting to reuse a swimsuit before washing it, however it depends on the situation.

    Dr. Sekhon asserts that bathing suits do not need to be washed after each use. "It is wise to wash your bathing suit after each swim in chlorinated or salt water. I would advise washing the bathing suit before reusing it if you plan to use it outside of the water for a lengthy amount of time."

    So make sure to wash your swimsuit after each usage if you're swimming in chlorinated or salt water, or if you want to wear it outside of the water for an extended period of time.

    Dr. Sekhon claims that wearing a bathing suit outside of the water for an extended period of time is similar to wearing underwear.

    "Before re-wearing the bathing suit, any perspiration buildup or vaginal discharge from extensive wear outside of the water should be cleansed. If not, it may cause discomfort and skin irritability."

    Additionally, if you are prone to yeast infections, spending too much time in damp bottoms may result in one. Things like tight clothing, non-breathable fabric, and wetness, according to Jacqueline Ho, MD, MS, assistant professor of obstetrics and gynaecology at USC Keck School of Medicine, "may predispose you to have a yeast infection."

    Change into dry clothes as quickly as possible. Keep in mind that if you have diabetes, have recently taken antibiotics, are pregnant, have a compromised immune system, or any of these conditions, you are more likely to get a yeast infection.

    You're good to wear it if you're swimming in freshwater or unchlorinated water and changing right before and after your swim. In the long term, this is also better for your swimming suits.

    According to her, frequent washing can actually shorten the suit's lifespan by causing the fabric to deteriorate. The majority of bathing suit designers and producers advise letting the suit air dry and washing it only every three to five years.

    Dr. Sekhon advises hand washing your swimwear with your regular detergent to extend the lifespan of the garment (and maintain the health and happiness of your bits).

    According to designer Yasmine Eslami, there is a proper technique to hand wash your delicates. First, fill your sink with cool, not hot, water. After that, add some soap to make the water frothy.

    After that, let each pair of swimsuits float back to the top of the sink without rubbing them to get them clean. Instead, gently and repeatedly push them down to the bottom of the sink. Rinse them with cold water after an hour of soaking, then hang them to dry.

    Smart Ways to Extend the Life of Your Swimsuit

    1. Make sure to wash your swimsuit after every wear—even if you don't go in the water. 

    According to Marysia Reeves, creator of Marysia Swim, sunscreens have chemicals that can harm fabrics and eventually cause them to break down (

    Lindsey J. Boyd, co-founder of the all-natural detergent business The Laundress, adds that some SPFs are worse than others. For instance, improper swimsuit washing might result in gradual stains or yellowing from mineral-based lotion and oil formulations.

    Another justification to wash your suit thoroughly, especially if you plan to swim in the pool? Compared to freshwater and saltwater, chlorine is harder on swimwear fabrics, making vibrant colours particularly susceptible to fading.

    2. Read the fine print—really. 

    When looking for a new swimsuit, think about the fabric composition of the design you like. A fabrication with some spandex in it, according to Andrea Jagaric, senior vice president of design at Aerie, "will last more than one season."

    The longest-lasting textiles that maintain their shape are spandex and materials that resemble it, so you won't have to worry about drooping. (Xtra Life Lycra is suggested by Summersalt's CEO and co-founder, Lori Coulter.) Make sure your suit is constructed of materials resistant to chlorine if you plan on spending a lot of time in the pool.

    More and more swimwear patterns are now being produced in crochet, terry, and even velvet as a result of a recent trend towards alternative fabrics.

    However, exercise additional caution when donning these suits: The creators of Flagpole, Megan Balch and Jaime Barker, claim that these textiles are less elastic than standard swimwear materials and therefore more prone to tearing.

    The same is true of embellishments. According to Paula Fernandez, founder and designer of Valimare, "certain decorations and hardware, if not correctly designed, can represent potential friction spots," she notes how delicate metal loops can stress cloth or even shatter after extensive use.

    3. But don’t throw your swimsuit in the washing machine or use just any old detergent.

    The Laundress Sport Detergent ($14, is a detergent made specifically for delicates or fabrics with a high spandex content that protects the fabric's colours and safely removes oils and chemicals without harming the fine fibres. Hand washing your swimsuit will yield the best results.

    In a pinch, Boyd swears by white vinegar's deodorising and antibacterial qualities in place of detergent.

    According to Ookioh founder Vivek Agarwal, it's crucial to quickly clean your suit after spending the afternoon by the pool, especially if it's been exposed to chlorine or saltwater.

    Gwen Whiting, co-founder of upscale laundry service The Laundress, suggests the following cleaning procedure for swimwear: "Scrub the waistband, straps, and underwire—areas prone to sweat build-up or sunscreen that could cause yellowing—with the targeted precision of a hard bar of laundry soap (try the Laundress Wash & Stain bar, $6, The Laundress); then soak for 30 minutes in cool or warm water with a bleach-free detergent."

    Alternatively, she says that "shower gel can work in a pinch," as, say, if you're travelling.

    And be sure to use cold water in the washing machine if you absolutely must.

    Reeves advises washing the swimsuit in fresh water at the very least if you're away from home and don't have access to detergent or vinegar. Men's swim trunks are machine washable since they have less spandex than women's swim trunks do.

    4. How you hand wash your swimsuit makes a big difference, too. 

    Fill your sink halfway with cold water, then add one capful of either white vinegar or mild detergent. Rinse the swimsuit with cool water after letting it soak in the solution for up to 30 minutes.

    Roll your suit in a clean, dry towel and lightly press to wring out any excess moisture to dry. Despite how tempting it can seem, you shouldn't wring out your swimsuit because doing so could harm the spandex fibres. Lay the suit flat to dry once you're done.

    5. And always, always, always air-dry. 

    Yes, dryers do the job swiftly. However, Whiting notes that the heat from the dryer destroys the fabric's elasticity and causes it to shrink, in addition to the fact that rubbing up against other things in a load produces pilling.

    While putting your new swimsuit in the washing and dryer won't necessarily harm it, doing so will significantly reduce its lifespan, says Agarwal.

    Swimsuits should be laid flat to dry, according to every designer, which is a simple method. However, Fernandez advises against wringing out the suit because doing so would strain the fibres and increase the likelihood that your suit will start to lose its shape. Additionally, it would be preferable if you kept it out of direct sunlight to avoid the possibility of colour fading.

    According to Whiting, sewn-in padding can be safely washed by hand and dried flat; removable inserts, however, must be washed separately from the suit and then reinserted when dry.

    6. Attend to sunscreen and deodorant marks on the spot. 

    A small amount of sunscreen or deodorant may not seem like a huge concern, but if it isn't removed right away, it could become a permanent stain. As soon as you see it, Jagaric advises, "use a stain remover stick and rinse as quickly as possible." Tide-to-Go not nearby?

    Here are several MacGyver tricks you can apply at home to remove difficult stains: Fernandez suggests vinegar and baking soda. She advises leaving the soda on the stain for at least 30 minutes before rinsing with cold water.

    "A sunscreen stain can be removed by soaking in a solution of three parts water to one part white vinegar. White vinegar can also be used directly on tiny stains, but be sure to use it sparingly." Balch and Barker claim that a small amount of water mixed with laundry detergent also works.

    7. Fix loose stitches immediately

    The suit can still be saved if you detect a few threads becoming loose here and there. According to Balch and Barker, "If a stitch accidently gets loosened, you can gently stretch the seam to work the thread back in evenly." Just make sure to act upon your realisation.

    8. Unpack as soon as you get back from vacation. 

    Throwing a wet swimsuit into a plastic bag while you're returning from a trip, the pool, or the beach may seem like the simple packing answer, as long as it's the first thing you take out of your suitcase when you arrive home.

    The impulse to stuff your suit inside your luggage should be resisted since, according to Fernandez, doing so not only creates mildew and destroys the suit's fibres, but also causes the garment to lose its shape.

    9. Store your suits correctly during the off-season. 

    According to Balch and Barker, "it's tempting to vacuum-pack suits away for the winter, but you should avoid keeping anything with high elasticity in sealed plastic." Please keep them in your closet or a drawer.

    10. To keep your swimsuit in tip-top shape, also be mindful to avoid these don’ts:

    • Don't leave a swimsuit in water all night. This might release the fibres.
    • Avoid allowing a swimsuit to dry in the sun. It could lead to fading.
    • Swimwear shouldn't be dried in the dryer. The spandex's elasticity is reduced by the heat. This is the same rationale behind why you shouldn't use a Jacuzzi while wearing your favourite bikini.
    • Never dry a swimsuit by hanging it from a metal rod. The shape of the garment can change when it is hung, and the metal rod may leave a permanent rust mark.
    • Don't sit in your swimwear on uneven ground. For instance, the wood from the lounge chairs or the pavement next to the pool could grab the swimsuit material. Always spread out a cloth before sitting.

      Dos and Don'ts of Swimwear Care

      Clothing items like bathing suits, trunks, and other swimwear fall under a fairly specialised category. You can't wear these goods simply anywhere, so how often you swim will determine whether or not you use them frequently.

      However, swimwear is sometimes among the more costly clothing items that you must buy, so you want to make sure that you utilise it as much as you can for as long as you can.

      That could seem simple for apparel that is typically seasonal and only worn in specific situations. Even clothing that is made expressly for swim situations might be damaged by those conditions.

      Please review some dos and don'ts for caring for swimwear so that it serves your needs and lasts as long as possible.

      1. Do: Rinse and Hand Wash

      Even while you don't have to wash your swimsuit right away after taking it off, you should at the very least rinse it. A thorough rinse can help remove the chlorine and salt in swimming pool water, which are hard on your bathing suit.

      Rinse the suit after you take it off, even if you stayed dry while wearing it, as sunscreen and your own body oils can still be hard on the material.

      Swimsuits are sensitive clothing, and even a light washing cycle might cause the suit's unnecessary agitation. Instead, hand wash the suits with a mild detergent.

      2. Don’t: Wring Out Your Suit

      Although wringing out a wet suit may seem like an efficient approach to remove the water, doing so puts pressure on the fibres of the suit and could cause harm. But hanging the suit to dry is also not the ideal option because it might weaken the straps, leaving them loose and compromising the fit.

      Place the wet suit on a dry towel instead. Give the towel a light squeeze as you roll it up with the swimsuit inside. The suit should then be unrolled and laid flat to dry.

      3. Do: Rotate Suits

      During the swimming season, make it a point to have more than one swimsuit that you frequently wear. For instance, spandex takes an entire day to return to its original position after use, so if you swim every day, each suit requires a day off in between uses.

      4. Don’t: Overdo the Heat

      Make sure to wash your swimwear in cool water because it holds up better in that temperature than in hot water. Reduce your time in the hot tub as much as possible because wearing the suit while in hot water can be damaging to it.

      If you regularly take hot tub dips, save the rest of your swimwear for cold water swimming and sunbathing and reserve one swimsuit, preferably a cheap one, as your hot tub suit.

      Leave a comment

      All comments are moderated before being published

      Shop now