Seas the Day: How to Wash Swimsuits to Make Them Last Longer
Even the trendiest swimsuits generally stay in style for more than just one season and it’s important to take care of your favorites so that they last as long as you’d like them to. If you don’t take the time to wash them properly, you might find your swimsuits starting to fade or quickly becoming stretched to the point they’re unwearable.
Here’s how to wash swimsuits to make them last longer.
1. Don’t skip a wash–and don’t wait.
Unlike your hair or your blue jeans, it’s very important to wash your swimsuits after every wear. Chlorine water can certainly damage the material of your cute swimsuits, especially if it’s not at the very least rinsed away soon after wearing. But even if you’re not going to be taking a dip in the pool, you shouldn’t skip a wash.
Odds are it’ll be quite warm and sunny out on a beach day, and so you’ll probably be sweating and slathering on the sunscreen regardless of whether you’ll be in the water or not. The oils from your body, the sunscreen and the salt from your sweat can all break down the colors of your swimsuit.
Try to avoid letting your swimsuit sit unwashed for too long. The longer it sits, the more the fabric will be affected. If you can’t wash it right away, be sure to at least rinse it thoroughly in cold water immediately after wearing it.
2. Read the care instructions thoroughly.
Most swimsuits are much too delicate for machine washing and it’s important to check the label before attempting to clean yours. Typically, any cycle in the washing machine will be too harsh for your swimsuit, causing stretching and fading.
Most care labels will specify the following:
- Cold or warm hand wash only
- Do not bleach
- Do not iron
- Do not tumble dry
- Use gentle liquid detergent
- Do not use fabric conditioners
3. Hand wash gently with mild detergent.
Start the washing process with a brief soak in cold water to help loosen up the sweat and oils the swimsuit has picked up during a long day by the beach. You can simply plug in the sink and fill it with water, or use a large bowl.
Once your swimsuit is thoroughly rinsed, drain the sink and refill with cool or warm water (absolutely not hot) and then add no more than a teaspoon of gentle laundry detergent. You can substitute the detergent for white vinegar. If you can’t access either, shampoo can work, too. Just make sure it doesn’t contain conditioning agents that will stretch the fabric.
Place your swimsuit into the water and gently swish it around so that the detergent reaches everywhere it needs to. If you’re washing cute two-piece swimsuits, you can wash each piece separately or together, depending on what’s easier for you. If you’d like, you can soak the swimsuit in the water for a few minutes, but do not leave it in there for longer than 30 minutes. Some might be tempted to soak their swimsuits overnight, but anything longer than 30 minutes will likely weaken the fabric.
4. Thoroughly rinse and allow to air dry.
Once your swimsuit has been washed, it’s time to rinse! Drain the water from the sink or bowl and allow a fresh flow of cold water to rinse out all of the detergent. Once the water runs without any suds, you’re good to dry.
Turn off the water and gently squeeze out any excess water from the swimsuit. Avoid wringing the fabric or otherwise tugging aggressively, as this could stretch it out. Try rolling your swimsuit up in a towel or other absorbent fabric and pressing down several times until it’s no longer dripping wet.
Lay your swimsuit flat to dry somewhere that’s out of direct sunlight. This will help preserve the colors longer. When you’re traveling and in a pinch, it might be tempting to throw your cute swimsuits over your shower curtain rod or chair back and change into your dinner clothes, but it’s best to avoid hanging dry as it’ll cause the water to pool in your swimsuit, weighing it down and very possibly causing distortion.
Seas the Day
When you find a swimsuit that fits you well and feels great, it’s cause for celebration–and a wardrobe staple you should handle with care. Thankfully, a gentle touch is all you need to help your swimsuits last longer. Since swimsuit materials are designed to dry quickly, it shouldn’t take long before you’re able to put yours back on for another fun day in the sun!