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Bathing Suits

Swimwear Care: How to Wash & Store Bathing Suits

You’ve spent much time changing that perfect bathing suit, so it only fits if you want to keep it in tip-top shape. But do you know the best way to wash it?

Contrary to popular belief, it’s not about tossing it in the washing machine and hoping for the best. Bathing suits require a little more TLC to maintain their shape and color.

Understanding the Fabric

You’ve learned that adequately caring for your bathing suit involves more than simply running it through the washing machine. Now, let’s go one step further and explore why more attention is necessary. Understanding the fabric of your bathing suit is the first step in this process.

Most bathing suits are made from synthetic nylon, spandex, or polyester. These materials are chosen for their elasticity, lightweight nature, and quick-drying characteristics. They are ideal for a soak in the pool or a day at the beach. But there’s a catch: these fabrics are especially susceptible to damage from harsh cleaning processes, heat, and chemicals.

Why is this a concerning factor? For starters, your bathing suit will endure exposure to chlorine, salt, sun, and even body oils. These elements degrade the material over time, leading to fading colors, loss of elasticity, and overall wear and tear.

Knowing this, if you were to toss your suit into the washing machine or dryer, you’d be compromising the garment’s long lifespan. These machines can easily tangle, stretch, or tear synthetic materials. Plus, the underlying heat will accelerate the degradation, leading to premature discoloration and loss of shape.

Considering all these critical reasons, it’s abundantly clear that bathing suit fabric requires a gentler touch and a different method of cleaning. So, the next time you’re thinking of just tossing your suit into the wash, remember the unique nature of its fabric. Let’s now explore those gentle methods for washing and maintaining your bathing suit.

Hand Washing vs. Machine Washing

Hand washing is the platinum standard for caring for your bathing suits, according to Go Ask Alice on Columbia University’s forum. Allowing for a gentler cleaning preserves the fabric’s integrity, lengthening the life of your beloved beachwear. Remember to avoid heavy scrubbing, twisting, or wringing of the material when handwashing. Stick to a simple soak in cool, clean water with a mild detergent. Rinse it thoroughly and then air-dry it by laying it flat on a towel. Synthetic materials like nylon, spandex, and polyester aren’t fans of the sun’s heat when it comes to drying. To prevent fading, keep your suits out of direct sunlight and never iron them.

You might wonder, “Can’t I just throw my bathing suit in the washing machine?” It’s an easy option and certainly less time-consuming. However, the rough tumble of a washing machine and the heat of a dryer can wreak havoc on your suit’s lifespan. If you must machine wash, optimize the settings for a gentle cycle with cold water. Pop your swimsuit in a mesh bag to prevent it from stretching out or snagging on other clothes.

In this battle between hand and machine washing, think about what’s best for you and your bathing suit. Remember, your aim should always be to extend the life and condition of your beachwear, not make your life more difficult. But don’t stress too much: no matter your choice, there’s always a way to maintain the vibrancy and fit of your swimsuits with some extra TLC.

Choosing the Right Detergent

Understanding how to care for your bathing suit isn’t just about the technique; it’s also about the products you use. The choice of detergent is crucial for maintaining the vibrancy and condition of your swimwear.

Just because a product is labeled as a ‘detergent’ doesn’t necessarily mean it’s the best pick for your bathing suits. Strong detergents, particularly those containing bleach or brighteners, may compromise your suit’s color and fabric integrity over time.

Opt for a mild detergent. Mild detergents are designed to gently cleanse without causing undue stress to the fabric. They’re free from harsh chemicals, which makes them perfect for bathing suits’ sensitive materials.

If you can find it, swimwear-specific detergent is also a solid choice. It’s intentionally formulated to clean swimwear materials while preserving their quality and color.

Remember to consider the water temperature when selecting your detergent. Cold-water detergents are specially designed to work in cooler temperatures. The situation is ideal for bathing suits, as washing them in cool water is recommended to reduce shrinking and color bleeding.

It’s helpful to read and compare product reviews before making your decision. They can provide valuable insights, helping illuminate which detergents are gentle yet effective on swimwear. But remember, it’s not one-size-fits-all. Try different detergents to get the best match for your needs and preferences.

Carefully reading the detergent’s usage instructions is an underappreciated yet crucial step. It ensures you’re using the correct quantity for effective cleaning, preventing wastage and the risk of residue left on your suit. A thumbnail-sized dollop of liquid detergent is usually enough for a single suit.

So, by choosing the suitable detergent, you’re not just stepping towards cleaner swimwear but also ensuring excellent swims ahead without compromising color and fabric quality.

Drying Techniques

After successfully washing your bathing suit with the appropriate detergent, drying is the next critical step in extending its lifespan. If not done correctly, the drying phase can potentially harm your swimwear. Here’s a list of drying techniques you should consider for your swimwear.

NEVER use a dryer. Dryers seem like a convenient option, but they’re detrimental to swimwear. They degrade the elastic fibers, causing your suit to lose its shape. Dryers generate more heat than is advisable for swimwear fabric, thus causing it to stretch and lose form. Hence, we recommend air-drying your bathing suit.

Air-drying doesn’t mean you should hang your suit up in direct sunlight, either. Direct exposure to sunlight for extended periods can dull the fabric’s color, and it’s especially harmful to vivid and darker hues. Your bathing suit can fade when laid under the sun for too long. So, remember to air-dry your suit in the shade or indoors.

How you place your swimwear while drying also matters. Do not hang it, as water accumulated at the bottom can stretch your bathing suit. Instead, lay it flat on a towel, rolling the towel to gently remove excess water. Having dried adequately, keep it balanced until it’s scorched. This method prevents deformation and maintains the attire’s integrity.

The above guidance ensures that your swimwear stays vibrant and lasts longer. There is no magic trick in keeping your swimwear impeccable — it’s all about sticking to proven guidelines in drying techniques.

To sum up, no dryers or direct sunlight are essential pointers to remember when drying your swimwear. Always ensure that you air-dry your suit in a shaded area while keeping it in its natural shape. This straightforward practice can lead to a noticeable difference in the durability and quality of your favorite swimwear. To maintain its vibrancy and form, make drying done right a part of your swimwear care regimen.

Proper Storage

The crucial step of proper storage comes after meticulous washing and gentle drying. How you store your swimwear can significantly influence its lifespan and maintain its quality. There must be more than tossing it in a drawer or hanging it in your closet.

When storing bathing suits, consider the fabric. Most are made from elastic materials like spandex or lycra. These materials thrive when given space to breathe. Hence, there are better places for swimwear than overcrowded drawers or hangers.

In addition to providing enough space, unfolded and flat storage is recommended. Folding your bathing suit can create creases, eventually turning into permanent damage points. Keep it balanced to maintain its shape and elasticity.

Another solution could be using storage bags designed for lingerie or swimwear. These bags offer protection from dust and other elements that might harm the material. Plus, they’re simple to use and well organized, saving time when you rush to hit the pool or beach.

Seasonal changes also play a role in how you should store your swimwear. When summer ends, place your swimwear in excellent, dry locations. Avoid areas with extreme temperature fluctuations, as these can compromise the material’s elasticity and durability. Storing in airtight containers is a good idea to shield against dust and unexpected damage.


So, you’ve learned the ins and outs of washing and maintaining your bathing suits. It’s not just about the wash – drying and storing your swimwear is equally crucial. Remember, no dryers or direct sunlight; always air-dry in the shade. When it comes to storage, give your suit some breathing room, keep it flat, and consider using a specialized storage bag. Remember seasonal changes, too. Please keep it in a cool, dry place, ideally in an airtight container. By following these tips, you can extend the life of your bathing suits, keeping them in top shape for many beach seasons.

Clotheslyne: A Professional Laundry Solution

For those who prefer professional laundry care, Clotheslyne provides an ideal solution. Through the app, you can hire Clotheslyners for expert laundry services, including washing, drying, and folding of clothes and bulky items.

Choosing Clotheslyne ensures your laundry is handled with care and expertise. It’s convenient for those who value their time and prefer professional laundry services.

To use Clotheslyne, download the iOS Apple App or Google Play Store Android app to schedule your laundry pick up.

You can also schedule your laundry pick up through our web portal.

Fill up a tall kitchen bag full of clothes. A Clotheslyner in your community will pick it up and deliver it back to you washed, dried, and folded in 48 hours. It’s that simple.

Got a question for us? Head over to our contact us page and make a custom request by email or by phone! We’re here to help.

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