How To Wash Your Swimwear: An Expert Guide


Perfect swimwear is hard to find and even harder to take care of! We might think we know how to do laundry, but swimwear has a whole rulebook of its own. Today, Joanne from Expert Home Tips is here to help you learn all of the Dos and Don’ts when it comes to washing your swimwear.

swimwear wash photo

Image courtesy of louda2455 / Pixabay

1. Do prep your swimwear

That first wear is all-important when it comes to swimwear. To avoid colour bleeding, soak your suit in a mixture of cold water and white vinegar before you take it for a swim.

The mixture should be about one part white vinegar to nine parts water.

2. Do rinse with cold water

Before your swimsuit dries, make sure to rinse it out with cold water. You can do this in the shower or sink.

This step will help you to remove chlorine and stop stains from setting in the fabric.

3. Don’t wring it out

When getting changed out of your swimwear, you might be tempted to give it a wring in an attempt to get as much water out of it as possible. After all, no one wants to carry a soggy swimsuit home in their bag!

This is a big mistake. Wringing out your swimming attire will stretch the fabric and damage the elastic fibres. We would recommend packing a large sandwich bag or an airtight container to store your wet swimwear in until you get home.

4. Don’t use a drying machine

Some swimming pools might have dryers for you to dry out your swimwear. Alternatively, you might be tempted to give your swimwear a blast with the bathroom’s hand dryer. Stay well away!

Swimwear should never be placed in the dryer as the heat can cause the delicate fabric to shrink – and no one wants to wear too-tight trunks!

5. Do pre-treat stains

Pre-treat your swimwear with a gentle stain remover before washing. You can simply rub a little detergent onto the fabric for some concentrated stain-removing action.

If you’re taking your swimwear to the beach or the lido, you’re likely to get a bit of sun cream on the fabric. If not treated correctly, these stains can set. If your swimwear is likely to have sun cream on it, avoid using bleach-based products at all costs. Bleach can turn these sun cream spots bright pink!

6. Don’t machine wash

For spandex swimwear, the best way to properly wash your swimwear is to hand wash it. You can do this by soaking it in a bucket or tub of cold water and detergent for about 30 minutes. Check the label on your detergent to get the correct dilution.

If you put your swimwear in the machine with your other clothes, it can snag on zippers and the colour might fade over time.

7. Do use specialist detergent

For best results, use a detergent that is specially formulated for delicate clothing. This will make the colour last much longer.

8. Don’t leave it to dry in the sun

Sunlight can cause the colour of your swimming costume to fade.

That said, pure white garments might benefit from a little bit of sunlight. The sun can help to naturally bleach the fabric back to its former, bright shade.

9. Do dry with care

The best way to dry your swimwear is to leave it to air dry. This should always be done indoors, well away from bright sunlight.

Another way to dry your swimwear is to carefully press and roll it between two towels. Again, never wring or stretch the fabric to push water out as this can damage the fibres.

10. Do switch it up

Wearing the same swimwear twice in 24 hours can cause it to stretch. Allow your swimwear to dry fully and snap back in shape by wearing alternate swimming attire. Besides, it’s always good to have a backup!

Guest post by Joanne Archer

About Author

Production engineer and certified swim coach. Full-time IT consultant, spare-time swimming aficionado. 2 sons, 2 daughters and a wife. President of the Faroe Islands Swimming Association. Likes to run :-)

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