How To Wash Swimsuits the Right Way

It goes without saying that after you wear your swimsuit, you ought to wash it. After just one wear, your swimsuit will collect lots of grime and sweat, as well as chlorine, salt water, and ocean debris after a day of swimming. But did you know that there is actually a right way to wash your swimwear? 

It might be your instinct to just toss your favorite bikini into the washing machine and run a normal wash cycle, but washing your swimsuit like any other garment can actually damage your suit or shorten its life cycle. 

Though we will guide you through how to safely wash your swimsuit in a machine if you are in a real-time crunch later on, we’ll start by walking you through how to properly wash your swimsuits with the TLC they deserve.

It requires only a little more effort to keep your swimwear in pristine condition and ready to wear for many seasons to come. Keep reading to learn all the ins and outs of properly cleaning your swimsuit!

Always Rinse

The first step for washing your bathing suit is to rinse it with cool water after each wear. Rinsing with cold water is ideal after every time you wear your swimsuit. 

Regardless of whether you throw your suit in the washing machine anyways, gently rinsing out chlorine, pool chemicals, dirt, and grime you collect throughout the day will make for an easier time washing your swimsuit overall. 

Even if you do not plan on giving your swimsuit a proper wash right away because you’re planning to jump back into the pool later, you should still rinse your swimsuit off the moment you take it off. Even just thirty seconds under a cool facet can make all the difference. 

Swimsuits are made of spandex and nylon, which make them more durable and water resistant, so we want to do our part to ensure we keep our swimwear in the best shape possible. Pool chemicals like chlorine can really damage your swimwear — if you don’t take minimal effort to rinse off the chlorinated water after each wear, you might cause unnecessary sagging and extra elasticity loss.

If you plan on immediately washing your swimsuit in a machine, you should rinse it as thoroughly as possible beforehand. If you have some extra time, we recommend letting your swimsuit soak in cool water for about 30 minutes before washing.

Instructions for Gentle Sink Wash

The best thing you can do for your swimsuit is to hand wash it in the sink. This cleaning method is gentle on the fabric and allows you to meticulously get the stains and chemicals out of your garment without damaging the suit — which is more likely to happen if you choose to machine wash it, even with gentle detergent.

Plus, this method allows you to target specific areas gently. Your swimsuit will look as good as new and can last for multiple seasons with the following instructions. 

1. Fill the Sink

Of course, when taking the sink-washing route, the first step is to fill your sink with cool water. Before you start filling the sink (or basin), you should scrub your sink with hand soap and a sponge until you are certain that the surface is clean. It would defeat the purpose of cleaning your swimsuit if you’re dunking it in a dirty sink!

Once your sink is clean, put a plug in it and fill it to the top with cool water. 

After you fill the sink with water, add a teaspoon of mild detergent to the water. You might even want to do half a teaspoon, depending on the size of your sink. Mix the laundry detergent around with your hand until bubbles start to form. 

2. Treat Stains

Before you submerge a women’s swimsuit in warm water, you should treat any spots or sunscreen stains that require a little extra attention. You only need to follow this step if it is necessary; otherwise, proceed to step number three. 

If you have a mild stain stick you prefer to use, feel free to dab it on the stains of your swimsuit and let it sit for a few minutes before continuing to wash your garment. You can also make your own stain treatment concoction out of baking soda or white vinegar and water. 

Baking soda is well known for being a great cleaning agent, thanks to how the substance sucks up odors and stains. It comes especially handy when you have unwanted spots on your swimsuit. Whether you smudged some sunscreen or tanning oil on your suit or maybe spilled some food on it, this baking soda mixture will help remove the stain. 

All you need to do is combine equal parts water and baking soda (and half the amount of vinegar if the stain is really trapped in there) and scrub it into the stain. Let the baking soda mixture sit for a few minutes, then rinse it out with cool water. 

Your stains will be erased, and you will be ready to actually clean your swimsuit!

3. Submerge Your Swimsuit 

Once your sink is filled — and you’ve successfully gone through any necessary stain treatments — the next step is to put your swimsuit in the sink. 

You should flip your swimsuit inside out, then fully submerge the garment under the detergent water. Make sure the swimsuit is completely underwater. Then, you should swirl the bathing suit around in the water. 

Gently swish and push the swimsuit in circular motions for several minutes, ensuring the mild detergent hits every inch of your garment. After doing this, you can let it soak in the mixture for several more minutes for good measure. 

4. Rinsing and Wringing Your Swimsuit

After your swimsuit has been sufficiently washed, the next step is to drain the soapy, detergent water sink and then rinse your swimsuit off with cool water. Run the tap and rinse it over your swimsuit until you are certain all of the soap is out. 

Once all the soap has been removed from your swimsuit, you should gently squeeze and wring out your swimsuit. Be sure to do this softly so that you do not inadvertently stretch out or damage your bathing suit. 

When you have squeezed out all the excess water, you can now prepare to dry your damp suit. 

5. Air-Dry Your Swimsuit

Air-drying your swimsuit is rather self-explanatory; however, be sure to keep the garment out of direct sunlight. Place it on a drying rack where it is exposed to the sun, but not directly. Direct sunlight can fade your clothes, so be cautious of that. 

Just leave the garment out to dry, and after a day or so, your swimsuit will be as good as new!

Tips for Washing Machine Use

We get it — sometimes washing machines are unavoidable. They are convenient and effective, but they’re also risky when it comes to swimwear. 

However, if you are in a time crunch and need your swimsuit washed rather quickly, there are a couple of ways you can help prevent your washing machine from damaging your swimsuit. 

First, your suit should be put in a mesh lingerie bag for washing in a machine. Be sure to wash it at the coldest temperature and on the gentle cycle or delicate cycle setting. The last thing you want is high temperatures to either shrink or stretch out your swimwear, so washing it on cold and gentle settings should prevent that from happening. 

We also recommend using your most mild detergent. It will clean your bathing suit effectively without causing any harm or damage to it. 

Avoid using the dryer. Instead, opt for air-drying your swimsuit. It will take a bit longer, but the results will be much better — and your swimsuit will last much longer. 

Wash Your Suit the Right Way Today!

We all want our swimsuits to last as long as possible, and washing them properly is the key to having a long lifespan for your beloved swimwear. 

If you follow our guide for washing your swimsuit in the sink, you will keep your garments in pristine condition for many swimwear seasons to come! Follow our lead and wash your suit the right way today!


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