How to Wash Swimsuits & Other Swimwear Care Tips

How to Wash Swimsuits & Other Swimwear Care Tips

The summer is here, and the time has come to pack up your winter wardrobe. But before you put away your cool-weather clothes, be sure to take care of your swimsuits! Then, follow these simple tips for keeping them looking new all year round. 

If you're looking for a way to wash your swimsuits and other types of swimwear, then this blog post is perfect. It provides tips on how to care for your suits so that they last longer. 

Wearing a swimsuit may seem like a simple task, but it's quite tricky. Many people don't know how to wash or care for their swimwear properly and end up ruining them. It is important to take good care of your bathing suit because you will be wearing it in the pool where germs are abundant.

Some people are unsure about the best way to clean their bathing suits or what steps they need to take to maintain them properly. This article will give you some helpful advice on getting rid of bacteria and keeping them away, as well as how often you should be washing them. 

We'll start with the most common question: "how do I wash my swimsuit?" We'll also provide tips on how often one should be doing this task to keep bacteria at bay!

How often do you wear your swimsuit? If it is more than once a week, you should be washing your swimwear after each use. Here are some tips to ensure that your suits stay in good condition for longer! 

How many of you have a swimsuit that's been sitting in the back drawer since last summer? Is it time to get rid of your old, ratty suit or do you need some help washing and storing it for next year? 

Whether you're buying a new one or not, this post will give you all the information you need to keep your suits clean and ready for use. 

When you're out in the water, sand and salt can get stuck on your swimsuit. Not only does this make it smell not nice, but it also affects its ability to absorb water. If you don't want to buy a new suit every season, follow these tips for washing your one-piece or bikini!  

This blog post is geared towards people who wear their suits often. If they are only worn occasionally, then there is no worry about wash day! This article contains helpful tips about how to care for your suits, so they stay in good condition until next season.

The Importance Of Cleaning Your Swimsuit

When you think of swimwear, you may think of lounging on a beach sunbathing, diving beneath the waves in the ocean, or laying by the swimming pool in your backyard. 

What you probably don't think of is washing your swimsuit. But, if you want to have your perfect swimsuit stay looking vibrant and perfectly fitting, then follow our steps!

Washing a swimsuit is not a complicated process once you know the right steps to take (and what to avoid). 

To help you learn the best way to wash a swimsuit, we have compiled a comprehensive guide with our top ten tips for cleaning a bathing suit without aging it and to preserve the colour and fabric, whether it's a one-piece or bikini. 

Please keep reading to learn everything from handwashing a swimsuit to drying it without compromising its fit!

Cleaning your swimsuit properly and after each wear is incredibly important to preserve the bathing suit's colour and fabric. 

Just as with any other piece of clothing, your swimsuit is exposed to many different environments, chemicals, substances, and circumstances with each wear. 

You wouldn't wear clothes out and not wash them afterwards, and your swimsuit should be approached with the same regard for cleaning.

In addition to proper cleaning, you can take other simple steps to make sure your swimsuit lasts for many seasons. Below are a few easy tips you can incorporate to make your swimsuit maintain its vibrancy and fit all year long.

Tips For Preserving Your Swimsuit

  • Avoid sitting on rough surfaces. Rough surfaces like concrete and wood can snag and damage the delicate fibres of your swimsuit. Always put down a towel before sitting or laying down to ensure rough surfaces do not damage your swimsuit.
  • Prep your new swimsuit before your first beach day. Before your first beach day, some experts suggest that you can help preserve your new swimsuit to prevent the dye from bleeding with this trick. 

Combine one tablespoon of white vinegar per quart of cold, fresh water in a sink or basin and soak your swimsuit in the mixture for thirty minutes. 

The vinegar and water mixture will prevent the dye from bleeding. (Note: we haven’t tried this one yet--let us know if you think this helps!)

  • Don't wrap your swimsuit in your beach towel after taking it off. Above, we discussed how many common products, like sunscreen, can damage your swimsuit fabric

If you wrap your swimsuit in your beach towel that was also exposed to those products, you are continuing to expose your swimsuit to potentially damaging elements.

  • Rotate your swimsuits. The high elasticity in the fibres of the swimsuit material needs at least twenty-four hours to tighten up and return to its original form. Therefore, if you are wearing your swimsuit frequently, be sure to rotate swimsuits to allow the fibres time to tighten back up.

Apparently, Some Really Gross Stuff Can Happen If You Don't Wash Your Swimsuit

Summer is definitely time for a laid-back attitude: Responsibilities lighten, schedules open up, and the daylight drags on for hours. 

It's positively delicious to be able to chill out finally, but it can be all too tempting to use summertime as an excuse not to do things that, let's be honest, really need to be done. 

Prime example? Not washing your bathing suit. Look, I get it: You're on vacation, you wore it today, you're going to wear it again tomorrow. So it's easy to believe there's just no point. But what happens if you don't wash your bathing suit? Let's find out.

There are lots of reasons not to leave your swimsuit unwashed after use, even if you didn't put so much as a toe in the water. The ingredients in sunscreens can damage the swimsuit fabric and break down the material, the magazine pointed out, and some can cause it to be yellow or become stained over time.

Swimming in a pool is even more reason to suds up your suit because chlorine is worse for swimwear fabrics than lake or ocean waters and can fade colours particularly quickly. Also, with the price of swimsuits seemingly rising every year, it's painful to have to toss one that should've lasted twice as long.

This rule applies to your kids' suits, too — even the boys'. Dr Daniel Ganjian, a pediatrician, based out of Santa Monica, says that in addition to the potential damage to a bathing suit from chlorine or sunblock, mould can develop as well. Let that sink in. Mould in your or your child's crotch. That's a hard pass, thanks.

But how you wash your suit matters almost as much as whether you wash it. Washing your swimsuit by hand is widely touted to be the best method since automated washing machines have been known to wreak havoc on delicate or spandex fabrics. 

The exception to this is men's and boy's swim trunks, which can be machine-washed since they contain less spandex than women's styles.

It is reported that the best way to hand wash your swimsuit is first to rinse it to get the body oils off, then soak it with a neutral, mainstream detergent like a simple Ivory soap. Next, rub the fabric gently to suds it up, then be careful to rinse out all the soap and lay the suit flat to dry.

If you can't hand wash it, put the suit inside a mesh laundry bag (the kind you use for your bras and fancy lingerie) before tossing it in the washing machine on a gentle cycle. The bag will keep the fabric from stretching out or getting twisted and tangled up, possibly ruining the fit.

So now that it's washed, what about drying? It would be best never to put your swimsuit in the dryer — the heat and spin are much too harsh on the delicate material. 

It's best to lay your suit flat on a towel to dry, but never put it in the sun, or else the bright, fun colours will fade significantly. A shady spot will take a bit longer, yes, but will preserve the integrity of the bathing suit much better.

Even the dog days of summer come with some responsibility, and practising common sense hygiene seems like a good place to start. 

If you find yourself tempted to let the rules slide, stop and think again about that mouldy crotch thing. My guess is it'll have you heading to the sink pretty quickly. (Even if hand washing something makes you feel like Ma Ingalls.)

Keep Swimsuits Looking Spectacular All Summer

How to keep them looking new longer

Ah, summer. It wouldn't be the same without kicking back on a beach with a good book while catching some rays, then maybe jumping in the lake, ocean or pool to cool off a bit. If you're lucky, you'll take advantage of this opportunity more than a few times. But, will your swimwear be able to keep up?

Chlorine and other colour killers

Chlorine, commonly found in pools to keep them free of harmful bacteria, is the sworn enemy of swimsuits. It causes colours to fade and eats away at the fabric, especially synthetics and polyester. And, since most women's bathing suits contain spandex or Lycra®, chlorine can also damage the elasticity.

Other common causes of swimsuit damage include sunscreen, deodorant, sweat, body oils — even the sun and sand. But washed the right way, your suits can keep their shape and hold their colourful hues, so you look your poolside best all summer long.

Steps for keeping bathing suits beautiful

It’s easy to take good care of swimwear, but there are a few tricks to doing it right.

1. Women’s swimwear

For best results, women's bathing suits typically should be washed by hand. The most important step is rinsing swimwear immediately after wearing it, then washing it as soon as you get home.

To beautify your beachwear, follow these steps:

  • First, fill a sink or tub with cool water.
  • Add mild hand soap, not laundry detergent, to prevent fading.
  • Soak the swimwear for 15 minutes, then gently massage it to work out any dirt and chemicals.
  • Drain the soapy water and rinse the swimsuit until the water runs clear.
  • Roll — don’t wring — your bathing suit on a towel to remove extra water.
  • Lay flat to dry. Don’t hang it as the water pooling in the fabric can cause permanent stretching.

If handwashing isn’t convenient and you need to wash your swimsuit in a washing machine, follow these steps:

  • Put the bathing suit in a mesh laundry bag to prevent straps from getting caught.
  • Use a mild, bleach-free detergent
  • Wash in cold water on the gentle or delicate cycle along with a couple of towels or delicates to prevent over-agitation.
  • When the wash has finished, tightly roll all the water out and lay flat to dry.

2. Men’s swim trunks

Men's swimwear does not have the same elastics as women's, so they can typically be washed in the washing machine.

  • Check the label to make sure it’s machine-washable. If it’s not, wash it by hand.
  • Wash in cold water on the gentle cycle using a bleach-free detergent.
  • When the wash cycle is complete, tightly roll the swim trunks to remove any excess water, then lay flat to dry.

Removing sunscreen stains

The best defence against sunscreen stains is to let your skin absorb the sunscreen before putting on your swimsuit. However, if you do get a sunscreen stain, baking soda or vinegar may be able to get it out.

  • Baking soda method: Sprinkle a generous amount of baking soda on the stain, let sit for one or two hours, then wash.
  • Vinegar method: Soak the stain in a solution of one part vinegar and three parts water. You can also apply white vinegar directly to the stain. Wash.

Our Tops 10 Tips For Cleaning A Bathing Suit (Without Aging It)

1. Wash It After Every Wear (Even If You Didn’t Go In Water)

Knowing how often to wash your bathing suit can be confusing without any point of reference. Should it be once a week? Once a month? Every time you go for a swim? The right frequency for washing your swimsuit is actually after each wear, even if you didn't go in the water.

You may be wondering, why do I have to wash my swimsuit so often? Won't that damage it? In fact, washing your swimsuit after every wear will help prevent your swimsuit from becoming discoloured or damaged. 

The reason for this is because of all of the different products and chemicals that your bathing suit can come into contact with each time you wear it. 

Sunscreen, chlorine, deodorant, saltwater, body and tanning oil, and lotion are all common examples of substances your swimsuit is likely to come into contact with and which can cause discolouration and damage.

The solution to this is not to stop wearing sunscreen and expose your skin to damage, but rather to take the necessary steps to minimise the chance of swimsuit fabric damage or discolouration

The best way to do this is to wash your swimsuit after every wear to make sure all of the oils, chemicals, and products are washed out of the fabric before they can damage, stain, or discolour it.

Bonus Tip: to prevent this type of damage or discolouration, apply sunscreen, body or tanning oils, lotion, and deodorant at least thirty minutes before putting on your swimsuit, so they absorb into the skin rather than the swimsuit fabric.

2. Find The Right Detergent

Finding the right detergent to use when washing your swimsuit can make a huge difference. It is important not to use the same detergent you use for the rest of your laundry, as it is likely to be too harsh for swimsuit fabric. Instead, opt for a mild detergent that is designed for delicates or high spandex-content fabrics

A mild detergent that is specially formulated for swimsuits will safely eliminate chemicals and oils like chlorine from the fine fabrics of the bathing suit without damaging them. 

In addition, detergents specially formulated for swimsuits often contain ingredients that neutralise the chemicals found in pool water to ensure they do not damage the swimsuit fabric.

3. Know Your Substitutes

Sometimes life happens, and you may wear your bathing suit but not have a mild detergent on hand to use when washing it. What then? Instead of mild detergent, you can also use white vinegar as a substitute. 

White vinegar has antibacterial and deodorising properties that can get your swimsuit clean and bacteria-free. If you find yourself without gentle detergent or white vinegar, then rinse your swimsuit with clean, freshwater. 

Try to avoid hot water when rinsing your swimsuit, as this can make the colours run together or fade. 

4. Always Get The Sand Out Before Washing

Have you ever been to the beach and come home only to find sand filling every nook and cranny of your favourite bathing suit? Please don't give in to your impulse to call it a lost cause! Instead, a few simple steps can help save your swimsuit from a sand-filled fate in the trash can.

If you find yourself with a sand-filled swimsuit, first, be sure to take it outside and shake it off. You can get off most of the external sand stuck to the fabric by vigorously shaking your swimsuit. Once you've done an initial shake, turn your garment inside out and shake it again.

Now it’s time to wash. Rinse your suit in cool water for ten minutes. Target areas where you can see sand in the fabric to rinse it out. Once you’ve done a full rinse on your swimsuit, lay it out flat to dry (somewhere away from direct sunlight).

If your swimsuit has dried completely, then it is ready for another vigorous shake outside to remove any remaining sand in the fabric. If, for some reason, you have some sand remaining, break out your blow dryer on the cool setting and blow out the last of the sand.

5. Never Use The Washing Machine

The washing machine may seem like the most logical place to wash your swimsuit after each wear, but you should never use the washing machine to wash a swimsuit. 

The agitation and movement in the washing machine are too rough for the delicate fibres of swimsuit fabric and can cause them to stretch, strain, and break down. 

This can ultimately leave your swimsuit damaged and ill-fitting. If you want to wash your swimsuit, always skip the washing machine and opt for a hand wash.

6. Hand Wash Only: Handle With Care

Speaking of handwashing, there is a method to hand washing to make sure your swimsuit comes out clean and undamaged every time.

To properly hand wash your garment, fill a tub or sink with cold water and mix the cold water with one capful of gentle detergent until it is completely dissolved. If needed, substitute the mild soap or detergent for white vinegar.

Once you have successfully made your cleaning solution, let your swimsuit soak in the soap solution for up to thirty minutes. Once thirty minutes have elapsed, remove your swimsuit from the cleaning solution and rinse it with cold water until all of the cleaning solutions is gone.

Place your clean swimsuit in a clean, dry towel and gently press the towel into the swimsuit to remove excess water. You can also roll your swimsuit in the clean towel and press it to remove excess water. Once you have removed all of the excess water, lay your swimsuit out flat to dry.

7. Skip The Dryer

You may feel the urge to throw your damp swimsuit in the dryer to get it dry quickly, but faster isn't always better. In addition, the dryer can actually be harmful to your swimsuit because it can agitate the delicate fibres of the swimsuit material, causing it to become damaged, and its high heat can compromise the elasticity of the fabric. So instead, lay your swimsuit out flat out to dry.

8. Lay Your Swimsuit Flat To Dry

Hanging your swimsuit to dry from a hanger or off a doorknob can seem like an appealing option, but this can actually damage your swimsuit and stretch it, which compromises its fit. 

When a bathing suit is hung to dry, the remaining water in the swimsuit will pool at the bottom of the swimsuit and stretch the fibres out. In addition, drying it draped over something or hanging can deform the shape of the swimsuit. Always lay your swimsuit flat to dry to preserve its shape.

9. Never Wring Out Your Bathing Suit

When your bathing suit is sopping wet after rinsing, it may seem tempting to take it and wring out all of that excess water, but wringing your bathing suit can be damaging

When a bathing suit is wrung out, the fibres in the fabric can loosen, reducing the overall elasticity of the fibres of the swimsuit material.

This reduction in elasticity can mean that you are now left with sagging bikini bottoms over time instead of a perfectly fitting swimsuit! So don't wring out your bathing suit and preserve its shape for years to come. Instead, pat it dry with a towel.

10. Don’t Dry Your Swimsuit In Direct Sunlight

Another common mistake when washing a swimsuit is to wash the swimsuit and then leave it to dry in direct sunlight. While this may speed up the drying time, it also causes the colour of the swimsuit fabric to fade at an accelerated rate. 

When sunlight interacts with damp swimsuit fabric, the wet fabric will fade faster than when dry swimsuit fabric is exposed to sunlight. Therefore, to preserve the colour of your swimsuit, don't dry your swimsuit in direct sunlight after you wash it.

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