How To Wash Your Swimsuit

How To Wash Your Swimsuit

A picture perfect summer day may include sunny, clear skies with you in a cute floppy hat, sun glasses, and your sexiest swimsuit while listening to your favorite songs in an  expensive drop-top convertible   on your way to the beach.

Everything about this picture seems perfect, but what about after the day of fun in the sun? Not properly washing your swimsuit can result in stretched-out fits, faded colors, and funky smells, turning today’s favorite swimsuit into tomorrow’s trash.

We spend a lot of money on swimwear, and having to buy new ones each year is harmful to our environment. So save money, time, and the environment by using these tips to get the longest life out of your favorite swimsuits.

Word to The Wise: Washing machines are where nice bathing suits go to die.

Even though a washing machine may not be your suit’s best friend, detergent definitely has BFF potential.

When washing your swimsuit, it is best to  hand wash in a tub or sink   and to choose a mild, non-chlorine detergent. Choosing a non-chlorine detergent helps eliminate the harmful chemicals that may be left behind from pools.

Soaking your suit in mild detergents ensures deep cleaning of any residue, lingering sunscreen, or sand without causing the damage left by scrubbing or wringing.

This process may take about 30-45 minutes, and you should give your suit a few swishes while it sits. Monitoring the longer washing process is a small price to pay for extending the life of your favorite swimsuit.

A little secret on how to wash swimsuits.

To prolong the life of the swimsuit, it should be washed at a temperature not exceeding 35 degrees. Ordinary models can simply be put in the washing machine, and underwired swimsuits are washed only in a special laundry bag. By the way, a laundry bag is very useful in principle for washing things. And now back to swimwear. For washing, detergents intended for synthetic fabrics are used.

The question also arises, whether or not to wash a new swimsuit before use after purchase is up to you. We only note that the new swimsuit is also not very clean. Just imagine how many stages have passed from the manufacture of fabric to the tailoring of the product.

The Trick My Nana Taught Me

Whether you’re swimming in a lake, an ocean, a  hotel pool in Las Vegas   with your girls, or in your own backyard, the smells that can come from not properly washing or from wearing your suit for too long can be embarrassing, to say the least.

One thing my grandma taught me that works for getting the funk out of any clothing is letting it soak with baking soda and white vinegar. Adding just a small amount of vinegar or baking soda to your washing solution or dabbing a few drops on the problem areas before washing will cancel out any embarrassing smells.

Because vinegar has a strong smell by itself, my personal favorite kinds of vinegar to use are ones that are scented with lavender or any other neutralizing natural scent. The additional scent gives your suit an added layer of freshness that may help you from feeling too much like your nana even though you’ll be forced to admit that her tips work.

Following this advice will keep your favorite pieces from becoming the ones you’re too embarrassed to wear, but too fond of to throw away.

Know Your Fabric: Hot Tub Stretch Machine

Whenever shopping for swimsuits, or planning a swimwear centered vacation, it’s important to look at fabric so you have cute looks for every occasion, whether you’ll be in the pool, a hot tub, or the ocean.

Most bathing suits are made from spandex, so you should treat your favorite swimsuit similarly to your favorite pair of leggings. Spandex rules apply for most bathing suits meaning the preparation for an extended swimsuit life should begin before the day of fun.

Another consideration of fabric is what you plan on doing for the day. Every fabric has its strength, and knowing its best uses will make your choices of what to wear much easier.

For a day in chlorine-heavy environments like hotel pools, your white swimsuit is not the best choice because chlorine breaks down white fibers making your chic white suit turn into a yellow mess.

The best places to wear your white swimwear is any saltwater pool, the beach, or lake. As for hot tubs, don’t wear the swimsuit that hugs your curves just right because that hot tub stretch machine will stretch out your favorite fit.

No one likes the saggy behind look, and to keep that from happening, look at your swimwear collection and find the one with the highest nylon and lycra blends. These fabrics are more durable when it comes to the elements and are normally much cheaper!

Hot water like hot tubs or hot springs loosen spandex, and wearing them continuously in these environments is like keeping your favorite suit in a constant hot wash cycle.

Even with excellent after wear care your spandex swimsuit will not last half as long, and you’ll find yourself spending more money on another new swimsuit.

After washing, avoid hanging to keep from further stretching out a great swimsuit. No matter what the fabric, take your suits off the hanger, and find a cozy folding place to keep your suit from unnecessary stretching.

What to Do Before and During the Day

Before wearing a new swimsuit, use the vinegar trick! Soaking a suit in vinegar pre-wear locks in the color and will help your suit resist damage from natural elements like sun, salt, and sand.

Try not to get too much sunscreen, perfume, or thick body oils on your swimsuit since it will weigh down the fabric and make it harder to wash.

Be sure to use a light moisturizer when getting ready, and apply sunscreen and deodorant only to the exposed areas of your skin after putting on your swimsuit.

Showering before getting in the pool is more than just a good hygiene practice; it’s a fashion one. Rinsing with cool water before hopping in the pool keeps away heat damage and prevents color fading.

Who knew that those signs were really for fashion safety? While enjoying the day, try to sit on soft surfaces like towels or cushions because harsh surfaces like concrete sand will weaken your suit’s material, causing pilled-looking fabric and eventually holes.

Have No Fear: Swim and Summer

Incorporating these tips into your summer day swim routine will keep your most Instagram-able swimwear around for years to come.

So jump in the lake, dive into your local pool, and  book that cheap flight   to wherever you and your girls wanna go! Enjoy the summer season without the fear of having to find and buy new swimsuits each year.

Bonus Tips about Washing Swimsuits

  • Blow dryers will help remove any excess sand left after washing.
  • Shampoo travel bottles are perfect for keeping vinegar or baking soda.
  • Sesame oil is light-weight, moisturizes your skin, and is easy to wash out of most fabrics.
  • Always let your suit dry in the shade or indoors.
Danielle Beck-Hunter
Danielle Beck-Hunter,

Danielle Beck-Hunter writes and researches for With her mother being an All-American swimmer, Danielle is no stranger to the water. She was on her high school swim team and even taught swimming lessons as her first job.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the best practices for washing a swimsuit to ensure its longevity and maintain its quality?
Best practices include hand washing in cold water with gentle detergent, avoiding wringing, and air drying away from direct sunlight. It’s important not to use bleach or harsh chemicals and to avoid machine washing.

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