Between trips to the beach and sitting pretty poolside, your bathing suit can get pretty gross, thanks to a mix of the heat, salt water, chlorine, and other yucky things that find their way into them. But what's the best way to wash your bathing suit? Here's what experts suggest so you never ruin a bikini or one-piece again.
With so many adventures to be had in the summertime, the last thing you want to think about is laundry. But there are so many misconceptions out there about how you should be cleaning your suit, like throwing it in the washing machine or running it under hot water.
While it is annoying to think about it, it's crucial to clean your swimsuits properly or else they'll unravel before summer's end. This is especially true if you're buying an expensive suit — nothing is worse than shelling out your hard-earned cash for an item, only to have it ruined so quickly.
So, stop, collaborate (with your suit), and listen: You're ruining it, one sudsy cycle in the washing machine at a time. But not to worry — with these swimsuit washing tips in hand, you'll (hopefully) never have to toss a beloved, but withered suit out again.
1. Wash It After Every Single Use
Stylist Lindsay Albanese suggests washing your bathing suit after every single wear.
"Post swim or soak I always give my suit a good rinse with fresh water. I'll even jump in the shower with my suit on to rinse it off, anything is better than nothing!" she said.
Tutu founder Nofar agrees — this practice is important, so don't forget to do this every single time.
"Your bathing suit needs love and care, so the most important thing is to rinse it right away after you're back from the beach or pool."
2. Use The Washing Machine, But As Gently As Possible
Founders of Andie Swimwear tells Bustle, "We recommend washing our suits in the washing machine, using cold water and delicate cycle, and laying flat to dry. In sourcing fabric for Andie, we knew we wanted something that was machine-washable, because hand-washing just isn't realistic for us as busy professional women (although you're welcome to, if you have the time)."
But if you want to stay on the absolute safest side, hand washing is best, according to swimsuit designer Bruna Malucelli. "Swimwear is so gentle and you need to treat them so...It must be hand washed with love and affection."
Malucelli suggests using a mild hand soap to wash it, and if it's too dirty, fix a bath with water and soap and leave it in there for a few minutes.
It's important to note, though, that some things can't be avoided. "Sunscreen and chlorine will always cause discoloration and yellowing with time and there's nothing you can do about it. You can try to avoid them at all costs but you would end up missing all the fun!" says Malucelli.
Albanese also suggests using Kai Lingerie Wash, since it's a gentle lingerie soap that'll prevent you from using a harsh soap.
2. Don't Use The Dryer!
According to the Andie Founders, the dryer is a no-no, though. "While convenient, they weaken the Spandex in swim fabric. Besides, our suits are quick drying and will be ready to wear again within a few hours."
Mix together heat and constant tumbling, and you'll get one ruined bathing suit. Albanese claims that the dryer will actually break down your bathing suit's elasticity.
Instead, try to dry your suit inside and under shade, laying them flat, according to Malucelli.
3. Whatever You Do, Don't Wring It Out
Squeezing and wringing out a bathing suit is one of the most satisfying feelings ever, but try your hardest not to do this.
Especially for embroidered bathing suits, Malucelli suggests gently squeezing them to avoid stretching from wringing them out. The temptation is strong, yes, but whatever you do, don't. Wring. Them. Out!
4. Spot Clean Any Stains
If you happen to get a stain on your bathing suit (think: sunscreen, food, alcoholic beverages), your best bet is applying a bit of the lingerie soap on a damp washcloth and dabbing it on the stain, according to Albanese.
Once you've washed and dried your swimsuit, next step of course is to throw it in your bag for your next beach, lake, swim, or outdoor adventure. Enjoy!