With sunbathing, swimming and sitting in hot tubs, bathing suits can be one of the most-worn garments each summer. Sweat, body oils, tanning lotions, chemicals and sea salt can damage the fabrics in the suit, fading the colors and affecting the elasticity. With the proper care, your bathing suit can end the season looking and fitting beautifully.
Things You'll Need
- Mild liquid fabric detergent for hand washing
- Towel or mesh drying screen
Rinse your bathing suit at the pool or lake as soon as you get out of the water. Rinsing doesn’t completely remove sweat, oils, salt water or chlorine, but it removes some of it. Do not wrap it in a towel or plastic bag; lay it in a shady spot until you can take it home.
Wash your bathing suit as soon after wearing as possible. Always wash by hand. Never launder it in the washing machine, as it can cause the material to pill. Fill the sink with cold water and add a small amount of mild liquid fabric detergent. Swish the water to mix the detergent. Submerse the bathing suit and allow it to sit for a few minutes. Then gently squeeze to get the soap through all the fabric; do not rub the fabric together to clean. Rinse thoroughly with cold water. Do not wrap in a towel to remove water; gently squeeze to remove excess water
Dry the bathing suit by laying it flat either on a mesh drying screen or a towel; never place it in a dryer. Should the towel get wet, replace with a dry one to prevent mold or mildew. Allow the bathing suit to dry completely before putting it away. It takes at least 24 hours for a bathing suit to regain its shape.
Use oil-free sunscreen and do not allow the sunscreen--or any lotion--to touch the bathing suit; it can damage the fabric. Should you get any lotion or oil on your bathing suit, rinse it off immediately.
Wear an older bathing suit when sitting in a hot tub. The heat and the bromine are very harsh on the fabric. Wash the bathing suit as soon as you get out of the hot tub.
Place a towel under your bathing suit when sitting on the edge of the pool. The pool’s rough surface can damage the bathing suit’s fabric and cause pilling.
Avoid extensive sun exposure; the UV rays fade and damage the material. Also, a wet bathing suit is more susceptible to damage from the sun. If you like to sunbath, lay out before getting wet.