Washing Swimsuits - How to wash a swimsuit

Washing Swimsuits – How To Wash a Swimsuit To Prolong Its Life

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Washing Swimsuits - How to wash a swimsuit

Everything starts and ends with washing swimsuits. Regardless of the price, functions and features of your bathing suit, unless properly cared for, the material will deteriorate and you will be forced to get a new bathing suit soon.

So learn how to wash a swimsuit to make it last longer and look better.

The Secret of Washing Swimsuits – 3 Important Rules Towards Longer-Lasting Suit

It is all about doing the right things and avoiding the wrong. I guess as with everything in our lives 🙂

Whether you care for a chlorine resistant swimwear or a swimsuit made of nylon/lycra material, the same instruction applies. This is a general guide on washing swimsuits that can be applied to every single bathing suit out there.

Step-By-Step Instruction on How to Wash a Swimsuit

Washing Swimsuits - how to wash a swimsuit

The way you treat your swimsuit can either extend or reduce the lifespan of it.

So it is important to follow the do’s and avoid the dont’s mentioned below.

Step Nr. 1 – Rinse

It is important to rinse your swimsuit right after each use (whether in water or not). Just prepare cool clean (tap) water and rinse the suit as soon as possible. You can also take a cool shower with your swimsuit on as it would be the easiest and fastest way of rinsing it off.

It is due to the fact that the body perspiration, sunscreens, salt, and chlorine contain substances that react with the elastic fibers and are harmful to the swimwear material. Unless rinsed out, they lead to discoloration, stretch, and breakdown of the fine fabric fibers changing its shape and reducing the lifespan of your swimsuit.

If you use lotions based on minerals and oils, improper rinse of the swimwear can result in the suit getting yellowish or stained gradually.

In the ideal world – soaking your swimsuit in cool water for half an hour will do the trick of removing the majority of harmful substances. But if you don’t have this time – rinse the bathing suit well as described above.

But remember that neither proper rinsing nor soaking for half an hour remove all of the harmful substances, therefore, proper and correct handwash is needed.

Step Nr. 2 – Hand Wash

Any swimsuit requires hand wash and it does matter how do you handwash your bathing suit. Prepare cold water with a tablespoon (or even less than that) of mild soap or cleanser (or a capful of white vinegar). Turn your swimwear inside out and soak it for up to half an hour. Afterwards, gently swish it for few minutes followed by rinsing it with cool water.

The detergent you choose is in fact very important, as well. The majority of detergents are too severe for elastic swimsuits leading to color fading. Instead, mild soap or special detergent should be used. There are available cleaners created for delicate or highly-elasticated fabrics. Suchlike detergents are designed to protect the color and remove any harmful substances without destroying the fibers.

Step Nr. 3 – Dry

Take a clean and dry towel and gently roll your swimwear in it. Remember to lightly press it occasionally while rolling to get rid of the excess water. Avoid leaving the swimsuit in the towel as it is a great place for bacteria to breed.

Don’t wring out the bathing suit as it could lead to destroying the fine Lycra fibers.

When you are done, just let the swimsuit dry flat in a shade. Direct sunlight causes discoloration and damages elastic fibers.

If you are in a lack of time for flat drying, you can use your hairdryer on cool air mode.

Washing Swimsuits - how to wash a swimsuit
Dont’s in Caring for a Swimsuit – What to Avoid to Increase the Life of Your Swimwear

There are certain things you should avoid to keep your bathing suit in tiptop shape.

  • never put your swimwear in machine or dryer as they tend to weaken the elastane fibers leading to the loss of shape and fabric breakdown. In addition, the color of the swimsuit is more likely to run thus.
  • never iron, bleach or dry clean your swimsuit.
  • avoid getting in contact with rough surfaces as it could develop pilling and snagging effect in your swimsuit. Most areas around the pool and decks are designed to prevent you from slipping. Even though they don’t seem to be rough, they are, especially for your swimsuit. So whenever you wish to sit, lay down a towel so your swimwear is protected.
  • avoid taking a hot shower with your bathing suit on as it could lead to deteriorated rubber. Rubber is usually used in the arm and leg openings.
  • avoid soaking your bathing suit overnight as the fibers could get looser thus.
  • avoid drying your swimsuit in direct sunlight as it could lead to color fading.
  • avoid hanging your swimwear for drying as it could misshape the garment. Besides that, if there is a metal rod, a rust mark could occur on your swimming suit and it is impossible to get rid of it.
  • avoid using washing powder as it could remain in the bathing suit leaving stain marks.

Tips for a Longer-Lasting Swimsuit

Washing swimsuits - how to wash a swimsuit

You can make your swimsuit last-longer just by keeping in mind a few tips.

Follow the tips stated below and you will be able to enjoy your gorgeous bathing suit longer.

  • Your swimsuit deserves a break. It is a wise idea to have several swimsuits and rotate them. It is due to the fact that elastic fibers need to rest for at least 24 hours to return to its initial shape.
  • Pay attention to the sequence of your activities. The worst combination for your swimsuit is the combination of pool chemicals, body perspiration, and sunscreen ingredients. So if possible – better to sunbathe in the beginning and only then swim.
  • There are things to consider before enjoying the hot tub. The increased heat together with excessive chemicals of the hot tub results in a very fast color fading and loss of shape. So either you should wear an older bathing suit, rinse the suit very quickly after the hot tub or choose chlorine resistant swimsuits. I would even suggest opting for a chlorine proof swimsuit (made of 100% polyester) for this activity to make sure it holds up well against the extreme conditions of the hot tub.
  • Think function-wise. If you are a Sunday-swimmer wearing your swimsuit just a few times during a season or putting it on only for tanning, perhaps a cheaper bathing suit option could be the right one. Otherwise, don’t save on the swimwear. Quality costs money and well-made functional swimsuit will be more expensive. But it will last longer, look nicer and fit better.

I hope you are not afraid of washing swimsuits. I agree it could seem like a time-consuming and difficult task but once done – it will get in your bones 🙂

It is all about knowing the nuances of how to wash a swimsuit to extend its serving time. And there is nothing more than just to follow the do’s and dont’s mentioned above.

It is proven that gentle love and pampering significantly increase the life of your bathing suit.

But how do you wash your swimsuit? Is there any other tip or trick you could share with us?

15 thoughts on “Washing Swimsuits – How To Wash a Swimsuit To Prolong Its Life

  1. Elizabeth

    This is awesome advice that I never would have known otherwise. I usually buy cheapies as I hardly ever went swimming when I lived in Chicago, but am on the hunt for a really nice one now that I moved to Dallas. I will make sure to pin this post for future. Thanks again for the information!

    • Hey Elizabeth

      Thank you for taking your time to leave your comment. Proper swimsuit care is the key factor in making it last longer and look better regardless the price of it. And it is important to follow each stage of instruction on how to wash a swimsuit.

      I am glad this post helped you!
      Cheers, Arta

  2. Brittaney

    Well, I can now safely say that I have been taking terrible care of my swimsuit! Thankfully I don’t wear it very often so I have managed to avoid completely destroying it.

    I will make sure that I’m rinsing my swimsuit after use from now on, and certainly will not be throwing it in my dryer any time soon.

    Thank you for the tips, you have likely saved my swimsuit from certain disaster!

    • Hey Brittaney

      We are happy for each swimsuit we save 🙂 Just make sure to follow the care instructions for future to avoid damaging your bathing suits!

      Cheers, Arta

  3. Chait

    This article not only educated me but opened my eyes to so many things I was doing wrong with our family swimwear.

    Whenever we all came out of the hot tub, I would collect all the family swimwear and put it directly in the washer for a nice “hot” wash – – turns out that I was actually damaging the women’s swimwear – And then I used to wonder why these swimwear don’t last  very long – I now know the culprit and that is me LOL.

    what a bummer!

    Thank you for this article – you may have saved me a lot money as my kids & grandkids love to go and play in the water during our family gatherings.


  4. Tracy

    Wow! This is coming rather as surprise to me because I have been making use of machine to wash my swimsuit since all these days and not one out if them all have lasted at all. They would always just get spoilt or bleach within small period of time. To be honest, this information has come very handy to me and would make sure to keep them to heart. Bless you for saving me from constantly buying swimsuits

  5. Chloe

    I kept laughing at myself as I was reading through this post. So many time I have done all that isn’t expected of us to do when washing ones swim suit. I have no idea these things could spoil it is especially washing with a machine, which is something I have always used in washing it. I’ll inform my daughter about it as well. Thanks for the information.

  6. Henderson

    I actually use a washing machine and a drier for my swim suits. No wonder they don’t last so long. You have given some other tips here. You know, I buy bee swim suits every two months even though I don’t use them too often and this must be because of the mistakes I make. Thanks to you, I have learnt how to wash my swimsuit to prolong its life. Thanks!

  7. Bazise

    Wow I never new there was actual techniques to washing swimsuit.My partner will definitely love this website.She wears bikinis all the tym when we out in the sun.Enjoyed reading through your site it’s very well layer layedo out and very informative. I will surely share this insight with my partner. 

    Thank you

  8. Jones

    This is an article really meant for my girlfriend, she’s very good at spoiling her swimsuit, she always get a new swimsuit foe a new swimming day, and I must say this is consuming cash, so if she’s able to learn how to maintain it , then she won’t have to waste most of her money on swimsuits. Thanks for sharing this helpful article, I have learned a lot from it, who would have thought of such a washing technique. I’ll share this post to some other friends of mine so they can also benefit from it. Its a lovely post

  9. Russ Green

    Thank you for this informative and helpful article, it is something i had never given much thought to, but this post really does go to show that we learn something every day and it’s often when we don’t expect to be learning anything, I stumbled across your post here and I now know how to wash my step daughter and grand daughters swimwear, thank you for sharing.   

  10. Michel

    Thanks for the great advice. I only knew that one shouldn’t wash a swimsuit in the washing machine, however, I was unaware that even though you have rinsed the swimsuit thoroughly after wearing it, you should still wash with soapy water.

    Also, I didn’t know that a hot tub was so bad for the costume, and in future, I will make sure I wear my old and faded one when I use ours, as at home luckily I don’t have to have a fancy one.

  11. Carol

    I really like this wonderful piece of information you have displayed here in your article. I love swimming a lot and have been a victim of short span swimsuits so I know how it feels to always change swimsuits.

    Through your article a lot of people now knows the benefits of taking proper care of their swimsuits. It is not proper thigh to use a machine or dryer on swimsuit even if it is chlorine resistant, you still have to take care of it properly.

    Ideally the first thing to do after using a bathing suit is to rinse it so that the perspiration coming out from the body would be washed away and it will not smell.

  12. Nuttanee

    I  cannot believe that January is almost over and spring is right around the corner and that means Summer will be next! It is time for me to get my swimsuit game on, gosh I miss summer. 

    Oh my gosh, I have been washing swimsuit wrong all these time! I have no idea that all the sunscreens and chlorine have damaged my swim suits. I usually let it dry and take care of it later when I get home. Thank you for sharing the tips. I will rinse them out from now on. 

    I will use the towel to dry them out from now on. I usually let the sun take care of them, so many things I have done wrong.

    Will make sure to follow your tips, thank you for sharing them 🙂


  13. sabrinamou

    Thank you so much for sharing with us such a beautiful article. I’m glad I found this article. After reading your article, I know how to wash a swimsuit to prolong. I love swimming a lot. I have been washing my swimsuits wrong all these times. I have been making use of washing machines to wash my swimsuits. This article opened my eyes to so many things I was doing wrong with my swimsuits. That’s why my swimsuits didn’t last long. After reading your article I understand my mistakes and I will use the tips you give. Thanks for sharing. I will definitely share it with my friends. Good Luck.

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