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Dos and Don'ts of Swimwear Care


Bathing suits, swim trunks, and other types of swimwear are a very specific type of clothing. You can’t wear these items just anywhere, so depending on how often you swim, you may or may not get a lot of regular wear out of these items. 

However, swimwear does tend to be some of the more expensive items of clothing that you have to purchase, so you want to make sure that you get as much use out of it as you can for as long as you can. 

That may sound easy for clothing that is usually seasonal and only worn under certain circumstances, but swim conditions can be hard on clothing, even clothing that’s specifically designed for those conditions. Take a look at some dos and don'ts for taking care of your swimwear so that it lasts as long as it can and does what you need it to do. 


Do: Rinse and Hand Wash

You don’t have to wash your swimsuit as soon as you take it off, but you do need to at least rinse it right away. Chlorine and salt in swim water are tough on your bathing suit, and a good rinse can help remove these as soon as possible. Even if you’ve just been sunbathing, sunblock and your own body’s oils can also be tough on the suit, so rinse the suit when you remove it even if you stayed dry while wearing it. 

Swimsuits are delicate garments, and even a gentle washing machine cycle can agitate parts of the suit that don’t need to be agitated. Use a gentle detergent and hand wash the suits instead. 


Don’t: Wring Out Your Suit

Wringing out a damp suit can seem like a quick way to get rid of the water, but it puts pressure on the suit's fibers and can damage the suit. Hanging the suit to dry isn’t the best choice either; it can weaken the straps, leaving them loose and ruining the fit. 

Instead, lay the wet suit out on a dry towel. Roll the towel up with the swimsuit inside of it and give it a gentle squeeze. Then unroll it, and lay the suit out flat to dry. 


Do: Rotate Suits

During the swimming season, make it a point to have more than one swimsuit that you use regularly. Spandex needs a whole day to return to its usual position after use, which means that when you’re swimming daily, each suit needs a day-long break between uses. 


Don’t: Overdo the Heat

Swimwear holds up better in cold water than in hot, so make sure that when you wash your swimwear, you’re using cool water. Going in hot water when you’re wearing the suit can also be hard on it, so keep hot tub time to a minimum. If dips in a hot tub are part of your regular routine, designate one swimsuit – preferably an inexpensive one – to be the hot tub suit, and save the rest of your swimwear for cool water swimming and sunbathing.