How To Wash Bathing Suits

How To Wash Bathing Suits

A swimsuit is so much more than a piece of clothing you wear in the water. It expresses your personality, protects you from the sun or lets you soak it up, and keeps you comfortable whether you’re lounging poolside or paddling out.

Between saltwater exposure, UV rays, and chlorinated pools, swimwear can really take a beating. If you want to get the longest life out of the swimsuit you love, then proper washing and care is essential.

Here’s a simple guide on swimwear care tips so your favorite pieces can last as long as possible.

Wash By Hand as Often as You Can

Without a doubt, hand washing is the best option for your swimwear. It’s gentle on elastic fibers, prevents overstretching and damage that could occur inside a washing machine, and even reduces color fading that can be caused by harsh detergents and the agitation of washing machines.

how to hand wash bathing suit

How To Hand Wash Swimsuits

If you’re new to hand-washing swimwear, don’t worry. It’s simple and can be done in a sink or bathtub/shower, or even in a bucket, plastic tote, or large bowl.

Supplies Needed

  • Gentle detergent, liquid castile soap, or dish soap
  • Lukewarm or cool water
  • A clean, dry towel
  • A flat surface for drying

Handwashing Steps

  1. Rinse your swimsuit with cool water immediately after use to help remove salt, chlorine, and body oils.
  2. When you’re ready to wash, fill a sink or basin with lukewarm water and add a tablespoon of mild detergent or gentle liquid soap. Natural castile soap is a good option.
  3. Submerge your swimsuit in the soapy water and gently agitate it with your hands. Then, let it soak for about 10–15 minutes.
  4. Drain the soapy water and rinse your swimsuit thoroughly with clean, cold water to remove any detergent or soap residue.
  5. Gently press the swimsuit against the sink and squeeze it gently with your hands. Avoid wringing or twisting the fabric as this will stress the elastic fibers.
  6. Place your swimsuit on a towel and lay it on a flat surface to dry. Roll it up gently to remove excess water, then lay it flat to air dry completely. You can also hang your swimsuit on a hanger in a well-ventilated area. Avoid direct sunlight to prevent color fading.

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How To Wash Swimsuits in the Washing Machine

While hand washing is the best for swimsuit care and longevity, we understand that not everyone has time for that after every swim or surf session.

If you’re using a washing machine, follow these steps to help minimize damage to your swimsuits:

Supplies Needed

  • Mild detergent or gentle laundry soap
  • Mesh laundry bag or garment bag
  • Washing machine with a delicate cycle & cold water setting

Machine-Washing Steps

  • If you can’t get to a washing machine right away, try to rinse your swimsuit with cool water right after use to help remove any salt, chlorine, and body oils from the fabric.
  • When you’re ready to wash, place your swimsuit in a mesh laundry bag or garment bag to protect it during the wash cycle. Laundry bags help protect your swimsuit’s elasticity and stop them catching or snagging on other garments. Avoid washing with regular clothes to prevent damage.
  • Use a small amount of mild detergent or soap, and set the washing machine to the delicate cycle with cold water. Avoid using bleach, scented laundry boosters, and liquid softeners as they can add layers of unnecessary chemicals to swimsuit fabric.
  • After washing, remove the swimsuit from the mesh bag and lay it flat on a clean towel or hang it to air dry. Avoid direct sunlight or using the dryer as heat can damage and fade the fabric.


Washing Swimsuits FAQs

Q: Can you put a bathing suit in the dryer?

It’s best to avoid using the dryer for your swimsuit. Dryer heat can damage elastic fibers and fade colors. Always air-dry your swimsuit by laying it flat on a clean towel or hanging it in a ventilated area away from direct sunlight.

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Q: How to get chlorine out of swimsuits?

Rinse your swimsuit in cold, clean water immediately after swimming to remove chlorine. For extra cleaning, soak it in a solution made from cold water and a small amount of mild detergent or soap, then rinse thoroughly.

Q: Can you wash a swimsuit in vinegar?

Yes, you can soak your swimsuit in 1-part white vinegar and 4-parts cold water for about 30 minutes to remove odors and chlorine. Rinse thoroughly with clean water afterward.

Q: Can you wash bathing suits with regular clothes?

It’s generally not recommended to wash swimsuits with regular clothes. Swimsuits should be washed separately, using a mild detergent and a gentle cycle, to prevent damage from zippers, Velcro, buttons, and rough fabrics that may be part of other clothing items. Washing swimwear with gym clothes is generally okay if it’s made from similar materials.

can you wash swimsuit with regular clothes

Q: Should you wash your bathing suit after every use?

At the very least, you should rinse your swimsuit after every use to remove salt, chlorine, body oils, and sunscreen, which can degrade the fabric over time. Even better if you can do a thorough washing after every use.

Q: Should you wash bathing suits before wearing?

Yes, it’s a good idea to wash new swimsuits before wearing them to remove any residue from manufacturing and to ensure they are clean before they touch your skin.

Proper Care Means Longer Wear

Whether you’re a year-round water warrior or heading out on a sun-filled summer vacation, taking proper care of your swimsuits ensures they last longer and maintain their shape and color.

By following these steps, you can ensure your swimwear stays vibrant and in great condition for many seasons to come.