If you like the beach, you probably spend as much time in your swimsuit as your street clothes during the summer months.
Like any garment that is worn many times, the swimsuit is subject to wear and tear, but it will last much longer if cared for properly.
Unlike your normal clothes, swimsuit is immersed in water, exposed to chlorine and spends more hours in direct sunlight. Due to these harsh conditions, you must be extra careful when washing and drying.
Most swimsuits are made of spandex, which also requires more attention than a generic cotton shirt.
If you have found the perfect swimsuit that fits your curves perfectly, you don't want it to deteriorate after just one summer. Follow these easy-care tips that will keep your favorite suit going for many summers to come.
Be sure to wash your swimsuit after each use, even if it does not go into the water. "Sunscreens contain ingredients that can damage the fabric and can lead to the eventual breakdown of the material," says Marysia Reeves, designer of Marysia Swim (marysiaswim.com). To top it off, some SPFs are more detrimenntal than others, warns Lindsey J. Boyd, co-founder of The Laundress, the all-natural laundry detergent line. Mineral-based lotions and oil formulations can, over time, cause yellowing or gradual stains if swimsuits are not washed well. Another reason to be meticulous while washing your suit, particularly if you’re taking a dip in the pool? Chlorine is harsher on swimsuits than fresh and salt water and can leave bright colors especially susceptible to discoloration.
However, do not throw your swimsuit in the washing machine or use just any old detergent. For best results, wash your swimsuit by hand and use a detergent specially designed for sensitive or high spandex-content fabrics. Fabric and safely removes oils and chemicals without damaging the fine fibers. In a pinch, Boyd also swears by white vinegar because it has deodorant and antibacterial properties instead of detergents. If you are away from home and don't have detergent or vinegar readily available, Reeves recommends that you at least rinse the swimsuit in fresh water. The men's swimwear is durable enough to be machine washed as it contains less spandex.
Washing your swimsuit by hand also makes a big difference. Start by filling your sink with cold water and adding a cupful of mild detergent or white vinegar. Soak the swimsuit in the solution for up to 30 minutes, then rinse with cool water. To dry, roll your suit lightly in a clean, dry towel. Press lightly to remove excess water. Although it can be tempting, you should never wring out your swimsuit as this could damage the spandex fibers. When done, lay the suit flat to dry.
To keep your swimsuit in perfect condition, also keep in mind to avoid the following don'ts:
- Don't soak a swimsuit overnight. This can loosen the fibers.
- Don't allow a swimsuit to dry directly in the sun. This may cause fading.
- Don't put a swimsuit in the dryer. The heat weakens the elasticity of the spandex. For this same reason, you should not wear your favorite bikini in a hot tub.
- Don't hang a swimsuit on a metal bar to dry. The suspension can change the shape of the garment, while the metal bar can leave traces of rust that can not be removed.
- Don’t sit on rough surfaces while wearing a swimsuit. The concrete next to the pool or wood from the lounge chairs can hook in the swimsuit material. Always lay down a towel before you sit.