When they’re splashing with chlorine, sweat, salt water and sand, it’s tough to remember that your swimsuits are less like activewear than we’d like to admit. They’re delicates, plain and simple, made with fragile fabrics and often ostentatious embellishment that requires a lighter hand–and rinse cycle–than their sports bra or volleyball short counterparts. You’re probably used to hand-washing them, but what’s the real deal on caring for swimwear? Pay attention to the tag, but always err on the side of caution.
Rarely do we have the time to wash our pieces straight out of the water. And who would want to? There’s BBQ to be had and cocktails to be drank. But a quick rinse in the sink after changing out of your suit can help to save them over time–lest chlorine, sand and more remains trapped, then dried in the fibers.
You gals remember Woolite? Call us old-school but the stuff just works. A delicate detergent for your unmentionables and more, this mild cleaner is easygoing on even the most gentle fabrics. From yarn crochets to laces, thin embroidery threads to tassels and more, it’s your safeguard against the hard-working but often harsh chemicals in detergents you’d use on tough towels and sheets.
Mesh Wash Bag
If you’re not going to hand-wash your swim separates, (or if you live in a drought state and are looking to conserve water by combining laundry), the safest alternative is the delicate cycle with a mesh wash bag. Protecting beading, buttons, shells and sequins, as well as your ties from getting tangled, this smart little bag keeps the washing machine from tearing up your trendiest suits. Zipped into one of these laundry essentials, your swimwear can be tossed in with a full load of laundry on a cool temp and on a gentle cycle.
Skip the Dryer
In most cases this is a no-brainer, but skipping the dryer can lengthen the lifespan of your suit. Over time, the heat can mess with elasticity and no one wants a saggy suit. Hang drying even the plainest, decoration-free swimwear (preferably indoors!) helps to keep them in tip-top condition for pool and beach seasons to come.
Forget having to shop for a slew of new suits each season, when you pay attention to the care your swimwear really needs, you’ll notice they last and look great longer. A little care between uses and washes, and you’ll be saving big dollars by the end of season.