How to Care for Swimwear So It Lasts Longer

How to Care for Swimwear So It Lasts Longer

It can be hard to find a swimsuit or bikini that you truly love – so when you’ve found the perfect one, naturally you want it to last for ages! Taking good care of your swimwear will prolong its lifespan, benefitting both your wallet and the environment in the process since you won’t need to replace it so frequently.

So how do you ensure your swimwear stays in fab condition?

Wash and dry your swimwear

How to wash and dry your swimwear

Rinse immediately after use

Chlorine, salt and sun lotions can all wreak havoc on your swimwear fabric, so you want them to be in contact with it for as short a time as possible. To keep it to a minimum, rinse your swimsuit in fresh water as soon as you take it off – or if you’re just stepping out of the pool to head to the sun loungers, take a moment to rinse off under the shower.

Aim to hand wash

Swimwear is more delicate than it looks. The best way to keep it in tip-top shape is to wash it by hand. Simply pop it in a filled basin, swish in some detergent, and leave it to soak for 15-20 minutes before rinsing.

Consider a special swimwear detergent

Ideally, swimwear should be washed with a gentle detergent designed especially for delicates. However, especially if you spend a lot of time in the swimming pool, you may wish to go one step further and use a special chlorine-neutralizing detergent to protect it from chemical damage.

Use cool water

Whether you take the time to hand wash or not, always wash your swimsuits and bikinis in cool water. Swimwear fabrics contain a lot of elastane, which is what gives them their curve-hugging fit, but excessive heat will break down those elastane fibers and cause your swimwear to lose its shape.

Don’t use the tumble dryer

Again, heat and swimwear do not get along! The tumble dryer will destroy your swimwear’s stretch, so always air dry it. A good tip to speed up the process is to first fold your swimsuit between a dry, clean towel after washing, and press on it to squeeze out excess water.

Don’t hang your wet swimwear

Something else that breaks down elastane fibres is being over-stretched. When your swimwear is wet, it’s heavy, and hanging it up from the straps to dry puts a lot of stress on them. So it’s much better to lay it out flat.

Protect your swimwear from stains

How to protect your swimwear from stains

Soak new swimwear in diluted vinegar

Sometimes, the dye in brand new swimwear hasn’t fully ‘set’ and might run the first time it gets wet. This can be especially problematic if your swimsuit or bikini has multiple colors because the dark ones could stain the lighter ones. Add 2 tablespoons of vinegar to two liters of water, and soak your new swimwear for half an hour to prevent this color bleeding.

Apply skin products in advance

Sunscreen, body lotion, tanning oil and even deodorant all contain ingredients that may stain swimwear. To minimise how much transfers onto the fabric, apply them first and allow enough time for them to fully dry before donning your swimsuit.

Rinse before swimming

Chlorine can discolour your swimsuit fabric. We’ve already mentioned the importance of rinsing off after swimming, but it’s a good idea to get wet before hitting the pool too. Swimwear that has already soaked up lots of freshwaters will be less able to absorb the chlorinated stuff.

swimwear stretching out

How to prevent your swimwear from stretching out

Rotate between swimsuits

Elastane degrades and breaks when stretched too much. Wearing the same swimwear every day doesn’t give the fibers much time to relax back into shape between wears, so pack at least two styles and switch between them.

Avoid the hot tub

We’ve already mentioning avoiding hot water when washing – a hot tub is no different! If you really want to go in, wear an old swimsuit you don’t really care about. Or depending on where you are and who you’re with, go swimsuit-free…

Dry in the shade

It’s another heat issue. Direct sunshine turns elastane fibers fragile, and while you may want to spend your time at the beach soaking those rays up regardless of when you’re laying your swimwear out to dry be sure to do it somewhere shaded. Plus, too much sun will fade the colours!

Don’t wring it out

Twisting and wringing your swimwear to get the water out can be very tempting, but it over-stretches the fibres. A much gentler approach is pressing it between a towel as described above.

Store it flat

While a dry swimsuit or bikini may be far less heavy than a wet one if it’s hung up in a wardrobe for months on end between holidays, that will still gradually stretch out its elastic straps. Instead, store it inside a drawer.

Protect swimwear from snags

How to protect your swimwear from snags

Sit on a towel

Sand may feel soft, but it’s actually pretty abrasive. So always pop a towel down to protect your swimwear. Alternatively, wear a sarong but bear in mind that it may end up snagged instead.

Avoid contact with rough surfaces

There’s more than just sand to think about – rocks, surfboards, and even some sun loungers are all things that can tear up the smooth surface of your nice new swimsuit. Use a towel, or in the case of water sports, wear a protective rashguard on top.

Use a mesh wash bag

If you choose to machine wash your swimwear (and remember, by hand is better), put it inside a wash bag. This stops it from catching on to other clothing, such as zips and buttons that might pull the fabric.

Swimwear selection

One final tip

Any swimsuit or bikini will last longer if you follow the above advice. That said, it pays to choose a swimsuit that’s made from high-quality fabric too. Low-quality swimwear may be cheap per item, but you’ll need to replace it more often. A good-quality swim fabric on the other hand will be less prone to stretching out or fading in the first place.

Have a swimwear-care question that we haven’t answered? Ask us in the comments section!

Published: 2021-02-14 17:47:00 | 270 view(s) |
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