Splish, splash—it’s summer—time for poolside parties, skiing on the lake and toes in the sand. You’ll want your swimsuits to look great throughout the season. Find out how to wash swimsuits to keep them in top condition for your carefree days in the sun.
Swimsuits require special care because of their exposure to chlorine in pools, products like sunscreen, time in the sun and salt in the ocean. Also, they’re often made with stretchy materials that need to maintain a certain shape for the best fit. A little extra care goes a long way in preserving the material, color and elasticity of your swimsuits.
Before You Wash
Caring for your swimsuit starts before you wash it. Following a few simple tips doesn’t take much time and prepares your bathing suit for the most effective wash.
- Instead of leaving your swimsuit in the sun to dry, keep it in the shade or indoors once you’re finished swimming to help prevent fading.
- A quick rinse in cool water can remove chlorine, which weakens elasticity and fades color. In a hurry? Take it in the shower with you for a quick rinse.
- Prepare to wash your bathing suit as soon as possible to remove chemicals, salt, sand or sunscreen that could damage the fabric.
How to Remove Stains
Sometimes stains happen—whether you spill your drink poolside or get in a rush with sunscreen. Thankfully some simple items you likely have in your kitchen can do the trick to remove stains.
- Food Stains: When snacks and drinks make their way onto your swimsuit, make a paste by mixing 6 tablespoons of baking soda with a third cup warm water. First test it on an inconspicuous area to ensure there’s no color fading. Then apply the paste on the stain and let it dry before washing.
- Sunscreen: To remove sunscreen, dab dish soap on the stain and gently press to remove it with a clean, dry towel. Then rinse in cool water.
How to Hand-wash a Bathing Suit
Hand-washing is a gentle way to maintain your swimsuit’s shape and help it last all summer long. Avoiding harsh treatment helps protect the delicate fabrics, so keeping it simple is key.
- Step 1: Add one teaspoon or less of a gentle liquid laundry detergent or fragrance-free baby soap to a sink of cool water.
- Step 2: Turn the swimsuit inside out and swish it in the solution for a few minutes.
- Step 3: Rinse with cool water.
- Step 4: Gently squeeze (don’t wring) the bathing suit to remove excess water from the fabric.
How to Wash a Bathing Suit in the Washer
It’s usually best to hand-wash swimsuits, but some fabrics can be machine washed. Check the label of your swimsuit for instructions. If it can be machine washed, use these tips for the gentlest cleaning.
- Use a mesh bag to protect the swimsuit from getting snagged by other items in the washer.
- Use a mild detergent.
- Select cold water on a delicate cycle.
How to Dry a Swimsuit
Using a dryer can damage swimsuits, especially ones made with spandex. Instead, it’s best to allow your swimsuit to air dry.
- Lay your swimsuit flat to dry
- Keep it out of the sun
Hot Tub Tips
The chemicals and heat in hot tubs can quickly fade and stretch a swimsuit. Wearing last year’s swimsuit can help preserve your newer swimsuit. Or if you plan to be in the hot tub often, you can choose a swimsuit that is 100 percent polyester and/or chlorine resistant.
Ready, Set, Splash
When you learn how to wash swimsuits, keeping them in top condition is easy. So pack the sunscreen, snorkels and towels for a fun-filled summer at the pool or beach and confidently look your best in the swimsuit that feels like it was made just for you.