How To Wash Your Swimsuit - Extend the Life of Your Swimsuits

It’s one of the last things on your mind when you think about swimwear - how to properly wash your swimsuit to extend the longevity, color vibrancy and elasticity. 

Lounging on the beach, sunbathing by the pool, diving in the ocean waves or taking laps in your backyard oasis. These are usually the first things that pop into your mind when exploring this season's latest swimwear trends. However, if you want your swimsuit collection to stay in pristine condition, then follow our guide for how to wash your swimsuit to keep it vibrant and fitting just right!

P.S. Don’t worry - properly washing your swimsuit is an incredibly easy process. Once you know the right steps to take (and which steps to avoid), you’ll be on your way to building the ultimate swimsuit collection. Below, we’ve compiled a guide with our top most-important tips to incorporate when washing a bathing suit - guaranteed to keep all your suits in anti-aging mode! 

Read on to learn how to preserve the fabric, elasticity, fit and color of your swimsuit - whether it’s a one-piece, tankini, or bikini


Wash Your Swimsuit After Every Wear

Regardless of whether or not you got your swimsuit wet - you must wash it after every use. 

This is an essential step in the journey to preserving the quality of your bathing suits. It can be confusing as to how often swimwear should be laundered, but we are here to tell you the answer: FREQUENTLY. 

Believe it or not, washing your swimsuit on a per-use basis will not fade the colors or loosen the elasticity of a bathing suit's fabric. Quite the opposite, in fact. 

Washing your swimsuit after every wear prevents the suit from becoming damaged and/or discolored. This is due to the different products and chemicals that your bathing suit can (and will) come in contact with during wear. From sunscreen to chlorine, deodorant, salt water, body and tanning oil, and lotion - your suit soaks up a lot more than you may think.

Rather than putting an end to those sunbathing products, take the necessary steps to ensure the fabric of your swimsuit avoids any chance of being ruined. 

After each wear, thoroughly hand wash your swimsuit and hang it up to dry. Make sure that you wash all of the chemicals from tanning oil, lotion and sunscreen products off of your suit. This will prevent stains from setting in, damage from taking its toll, and discoloration to occur. 

TIP: Another way to avoid damage and discoloration from sun tanning products, be sure to apply them 30 minutes prior to putting on your swimsuit. This allows tanning lotion, body oils, sunscreen and/or deodorant to soak into the skin - rather than into the fabric of your swimsuit.


Use Proper Detergent

You’d be surprised at how big of a difference the right laundry detergent can make when it comes to extending the life of your swimsuit. 

Did you know that regular laundry detergent is much too harsh and powerful for most (if not all) swimsuit material?

Instead of your usual detergent, opt in for a mild or natural laundry detergent instead. Better yet - try a detergent that is specifically designed to clean the fabric of delicate or high spandex fabrics. 

You can even find mild detergent that is specially formulated for use on swimsuit fabrics! This type of laundry detergent will safely and effectively get rid of all oils and chemicals like chlorine from the fine fibers bathing suit fabric consists of. 

As if that wasn’t enough to sell you on the importance and value of investing in the right swimsuit detergent, it will please you to know that this type of detergent also contains ingredients that neutralize chemicals often found in pool water - another layer of security for that favorite swimsuit of yours. 

TIP: If you don’t have a mild or swimsuit specific detergent / swimsuit cleaner on hand, you can use white vinegar to wash your swimsuit instead. White vinegar works due to its high antibacterial and deodorizing properties - which work together to clean the fabric of bathing suits very effectively. Just be sure to thoroughly rinse your swimsuit after lightly scrubbing it all over with the white vinegar. 


Remove All Sand Prior To Washing

This may sound obvious, but removing all sand and mineral remnants from your swimsuit before washing it is actually a very important step if you want to protect your swimsuit fabric. 

Just like sand particles seem to make their way into every nook and cranny of our bodies, the same thing happens to our bathing suits. Take an extra minute or two to ensure you’ve removed as much of the sand on your swimsuit as possible prior to washing it. You can do so by vigorously shaking your swimsuit outside before bringing it in for a wash. 

TIP: After shaking out your swimsuit and removing all sand particles, rinse it in cool water for 10 minutes or more. During this time, feel around the inner lining of your swimsuit for any remaining particles. Once you’ve completed a full rinse, apply a small amount of mild detergent or white vinegar and gently wash the surface. Lastly, lay your clean bathing suit out to dry somewhere away from direct sunlight to avoid color fading.


Avoid Washing Machines Like The Plague  

I know it’s tempting - a quick toss in the washing machine may seem like the easiest way to wash your swimsuit after each wear, but you should avoid washing machines like the plague when it comes to your swimwear. 

Ever pull a swimsuit or sports bra out of the wash, only to find that it’s now missing a cup pad? Or the cup pads have become folded over and nearly impossible to straighten out properly? Yeah... I think we’ve all been there a time or two (or several - if you’re anything like me).

This occurs during the washing machine process, as the movements are highly agitating and much too rough for the delicate fibers and spandex of swimsuit fabric. Washing a swimsuit in the washing machine is like sending your suits off to die - it will cause the fabric to stretch, strain the elasticity, and break down the overall fit of your bathing suit. 

TIP: Don’t wash your swimsuit in the washing machine. If you want any chance of preserving the life of your swimsuit - opt in for hand washes ONLY. Oh - and this includes the dryer. Don’t use your drying machine to flash-dry your bathing suit. The best way to ensure even and damage-free drying, is to lay your clean swimsuit out flat on a clean towel to dry.


How To Hand Wash Swimsuits

On the topic of hand washing your swimsuit fabric, we’ve got the best method to share with you. If you follow the process outlined below, your swimsuit will come out sparkling clean and totally undamaged - every time. 

Firstly, you’ll want to fill up a tub or sink with cold water and a cup full of the gentle detergent of your choice. Mix the water and detergent together until you find that the detergent is fully dissolved. And yes, you can substitute the gentle detergent with half a cup of white vinegar if needed.

Once your detergent and water solution has been successfully generated, place your swimsuit in the solution and allow it to soak for up to thirty minutes (depending on the level of dirtiness). When the thirty minutes is up, go ahead and remove your swimsuit from the cleaning solution and rinse the suit thoroughly with cold water - until all of the cleaning solution is gone and the water from your swimsuit runs clear.

Last, but not least, place your freshly washed swimsuit flat on a dry, clean towel to dry. We recommend using the towel (or a separate towel) to gently pat the surface of your suit in order to collect any excess water. And now you wait for your bathing suit to fully dry before wearing it again. 

TIP: Alternate swimsuits if you plan on being at the beach or by the pool for several days in a row (or several separate times throughout the day). Swimsuits require a full 24 hours or more to dry out completely after being washed, and the elasticity within the fabric will over-stretch if it is worn again prior to reaching a completely-dry state. 


Do Not Wring Out Your Swimsuit

For many of us, wringing out a sopping wet swimsuit after washing or rinsing it may have grown into a nasty habit that needs to end NOW. 

Massive amounts of excess water soaked into the fabric of your swimsuit sure poses major temptation to wring out the material, but you must resist. When swimsuit fabric is wrung out, the fibers within the fabric loosen - resulting in a loss of overall elasticity. No one wants a saggy, ill-fitting pair of bikini bottoms! In order to preserve your bathing suit for years to come, pat it dry with a towel rather than tossing it in the dryer or, heaven forbid, wringing it out!



If you take these tips and tricks and put them to good use, you’ll have a whole collection of pristine bathing suits to choose from when traveling on your next beach vacation! Enjoy!

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