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How to Wash a Swimsuit for Longevity & Vibrant Colors

We’ve all been there. After a day of frolicking in the sun and surf, we’re left with a sandy, salty swimsuit. It’s tempting to just toss it in the washer, but that could damage its delicate fabric.

Washing a swimsuit properly can extend its lifespan, ensuring it’s ready for many more beach days to come. We’re here to share the best practices for keeping your swimwear in top-notch condition.

Choosing the Right Detergent

The step preceding the actual cleaning process is equally crucial. We’re talking about the selection of the right detergent. Not all cleaners are the same, and using the wrong one can cause deterioration of the fabric, consequently, reducing the lifespan of your swimsuit.

Avoid Harsh Cleaners

To commence, stay clear from detergents containing harsh chemicals. Remember, the material of a majority of swimsuits is comparatively delicate, and harsh products can cause damage. What’s more, harsh detergents are notorious for stripping color from fabrics – a nightmare for anyone sporting bright or patterned swimwear.

Opt for Gentle, Environmentally-Friendly Detergents

We recommend sticking to mild, environmentally friendly detergents. Not only are they gentler on the fabric, but they are also a better choice considering our environment. More often than not, these types of detergents are made without additives like dye and perfume, decreasing the chances of an adverse reaction between the detergent and swimsuit material.

Specific Cleaners for Swimwear

Found in most markets, there are detergents specifically designed for washing swimwear. These cleaners are formulated to deal with the salt, chlorine, and other impurities that might adhere to your swimming attire.

Our top picks for swimsuit-friendly detergents:

  • Sport Suds Detergent. This one leaves no residue and is eco-friendly. It’s a perfect pick for those with sensitive skin.
  • Roux Maison Swimwear Detergent. It’s specially formulated to eliminate salt, chlorine, and other grime, keeping your swimsuit in optimal condition.
  • Nathan Power Wash. Designed with athletic wear in mind, this cleaner is great for your regular or sport swimsuits.

Selecting the right detergent is a vital step in maintaining the vibrancy and durability of your swimsuit. But this leads us to another crucial part of the process – executing the actual cleaning. Let’s take a closer look at the washing techniques that work best for swimwear.

Hand Washing vs. Machine Washing

Swimwear, with its delicate fabric and vibrant colors, requires a tender touch. It’s often a dilemma whether to hand wash or machine wash these sensitive pieces of clothing. The decision truly depends on a few factors such as the design of the swimwear, the durability of its fabric, and most importantly, the instructions provided by the manufacturer.

When considering hand washing, remember that it’s usually the safest option when it comes to cleaning swimwear. Its gentle process is less likely to stretch out the fabric or fade the colors. To hand wash a swimsuit, simply soak it in warm water with a suitable detergent for around 30 minutes. Gently squeeze the fabric to help the detergent penetrate, then rinse it thoroughly. Lay it flat on a towel to dry, as hanging it can cause the fabric to stretch.

On the other hand, machine washing isn’t completely off limits. If in a hurry, or dealing with a more durable swimsuit, using a washing machine might be acceptable. However, setting the machine on a delicate cycle and placing the swimsuit in a mesh laundry bag will be essential. This method reduces the wear and tear on the fabric, protecting both the shape and color of your swimwear.

Below is a summary of the key points for both washing methods to remember:

  • Hand Washing:
    • Safest option for delicate fabric.
    • Soak in warm water with suitable detergent.
    • Avoid harsh twisting or wringing.
    • Lay flat to dry.

  • Machine Washing:
    • Possible for durable swimwear when in a hurry.
    • Always use a delicate cycle.
    • Use a mesh laundry bag for extra protection.
    • Avoid tumble drying.

In all cases, understanding the swimsuit’s needs can make a significant difference in preserving the fit, color, and overall life of the swimwear.

Washing with Cold Water

When it comes to preserving the life of your swimsuit, there’s no denying the value of washing with cold water. Hot water can degrade the elasticity and coloration of your swimwear. Just as we advised against harsh cleaners, it’s crucial to avoid hot water as it breaks down the fibers of your swimsuit and increases the risk of color fading.

Hand washing in cold water remains the preferred method among experts. It prevents the swimsuit from losing its shape and also conserves the vibrant hues. Take it a step further with our top tip: add ice cubes into the water! It might seem surprising but it can provide an extra shield against color fading.

However, if time doesn’t permit for hand washing, machine washing in cold water can also be performed. As mentioned previously, it’s important to:

  • Set the machine on a delicate cycle
  • Use a mesh laundry bag for extra protection
  • Utilize a mild detergent designed for swimwear.

These practices help in maintaining the resilient fibers of your swimsuit and curb any potential discoloration.

Investing time in washing your swimsuit appropriately with cold water and following the right methods of care can really make a sneak peek difference. To sum it up, knowing the correct washing procedures for our swimwear is an integral part of ensuring its durability and aesthetic longevity. Now let’s move to post-washing care and remember no twists, wrings or rough treatments for our swimwear post-wash. Keep reading to uncover our next swimsuit care recommendation.

Gently Removing Stains

We’ve all been there: a drip of ice cream, a splash of suntan lotion, or a brush against something dirty causes a noticeable stain on our favorite swimsuit. It’s a mere sight of disappointment, but don’t worry! Not all hope is lost. Here’s the tricky part, swimsuits are delicate and can easily become damaged by harsh cleaning methods. So, it’s crucial to know how to remove these blemishes without causing harm to your swimsuit.

Spot cleaning is an ideal method for dealing with stains. As soon as you notice a stain, act immediately. Rinse early and oftentimes you’ll have success removing most stains. If you’re dealing with a tougher stain, try a mild soap or a gentle stain remover. We’d recommend using a white vinegar and water solution because it’s known to be gentle but effective against stubborn stains. Mix the solution in a one part to two parts ratio. That equates to one-part vinegar for every two parts of water.

Here’s how to go about it:

  1. Mix the solution and dip a soft cloth into it.
  2. Dab the stained area lightly.
  3. Rinse thoroughly to ensure the vinegar and soap are completely washed out.

You can repeat these steps as needed however whatever method you use, always remember to avoid scrubbing, as this can damage the fabric.

While washing your swimsuit, it’s vital to remember that any heat source could reduce the lifespan of your swimsuit. Hence, under any circumstance don’t try hot water, a dryer, or an iron as a way to speed the process.

You’ve all necessary information to gently attend to stains on your swimsuits. Don’t forget – correct methods and the right approach can indeed extend the life of your swimwear. But, it’s never about just these stains. Taking care of your swimwear involves more, and let’s delve into that for a better understanding.

Drying Techniques

In keeping your swimsuits in optimal condition, it’s essential to get the drying process right. For many, the inclination might be to wring out the swimsuit or throw it in the dryer for a quick dry – tempting shortcuts that could harm your swimwear in the long run.

Our suggestion? Air drying. This technique is not only the safest for preserving the fabric’s integrity but also one of the most environmentally friendly. Simple, effective, and zero-cost, there’s no better method for prolonging your swimwear’s life.

To start the process, after hand washing or machine washing your swimsuit, do take care to gently squeeze out excess water. Remember, avoid wringing your swimwear. You will want to be as gentle as possible.

Once you have eliminated most of the water, lay your swimsuit flat on a clean, dry towel. Roll the towel and swimsuit together to absorb more moisture. Then, unfold the towel and let your swimwear air dry. Preferably, this should be done indoors, away from the sun’s harsh rays to prevent color fading.

Outdoor drying could be an alternative on a shady day. Hence, swimsuits should be dried outside the direct heat and sunlight. Direct sunlight can damage swimsuits, causing colors to fade and stretching the fabric.

However, if you must use a dryer for whatever reason, ensure it’s set on the most delicate, lower-temperature setting. The general rule is that heat is a swimsuit’s enemy. The heat from dryers or irons can break down the elastic fibers and cause your swimsuits to lose its shape.

Regardless of the drying method you choose, remember to give your swimsuit ample time to dry naturally. Retaining any moisture could lead to unpleasant odors or mold growth. Patience in this regard goes a long way in maintaining the lifespan and quality of your swimwear.


So there you have it! We’ve shared our top tips on how to wash a swimsuit. Remember, gentle detergents are your best bet for preserving the color and integrity of your swimwear. Hand washing is the safest method, but if you must use a machine, ensure it’s on a delicate cycle and use a mesh bag. Be gentle when removing stains and avoid heat at all costs. Air drying is key, and if you have to use a dryer, stick to the lowest temperature. By following these guidelines, you’ll extend the life of your swimsuit and keep it looking great for many summers to come. Remember, patience is a virtue, especially when it comes to drying. Let your swimsuit dry naturally to avoid any unpleasant surprises. Happy swimming!

Clotheslyne Washes Swimsuits, too!

Caring for specialized attire, particularly swim suits that need gentle care, requires precise handling. Clotheslyne provides a hassle-free solution with free pick-up and delivery laundry services across select areas including New York, Nevada, New Jersey, North Carolina, Rhode Island, Connecticut, Alaska, and Massachusetts. Our Clotheslyners are experienced in managing delicate items, ensuring your swim suits are thoroughly washed, dried, and returned in pristine condition. Trust Clotheslyne to preserve the vibrant colors and elasticity of your swimwear, giving you more time to enjoy the water and sun. With Clotheslyne, you benefit from a community ally who values the importance of detailed care for your leisure and sportswear.

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.

FREE pickup and delivery laundry services for less than drop-off at your local laundromat!