After numerous long days at the beach or by the pool, your swimsuit might be ready for a wash. But before you throw it in with the rest of your laundry, you need to learn how to wash a swimsuit the right way. After all, improper washing could wear your suit out before the season ends, and you want to do whatever you can to keep it looking great all summer long.
While you can technically put your bathing suit in the washing machine, you probably don’t want to. Your suit’s care label will explain the best method for getting the chlorine and salt water out, but most sources recommend washing by hand. ProSwimwear, an international professional swimwear retailer, reports that going through your regular wash cycle can damage the fabric of your suit. Instead, you should hand wash your bathing suit to keep the colors from fading and the fabric from getting prematurely worn out. The Spruce offers a step-by-step guide to cleaning your swimsuit, including tips for how to store and repair such garments.
If you absolutely must use the washing machine to get your swimwear clean, consider using a gentle detergent and a mesh bag to protect it as best as you can (per TODAY). No matter how you choose to wash your suit, you are going to want to avoid putting it through the dryer. Instead, hang it on a clothing line or lay flat to dry.
How often should you wash your swimsuit?
Along with the proper technique for washing your swimsuit, you also want to make sure you’re not washing it too often, as that can also damage its integrity. Swimsuits are usually made out of spandex, which can wear out quickly with too many washes. Additionally, perspiration and exposure to body oils and chemicals in pool water can also affect your suit. The secret to extending the number of wears you get out of your bathing suits is, of course, proper care. Well+Good suggests washing your favorite bikini or one-piece as soon as possible once you are finished wearing it, and washing it regularly.
You don’t want to hangout in wet bathing suit bottoms for long, either. Jacqueline Ho, MD, MS, assistant professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology at USC Keck School of Medicine, told the outlet that “things like tight clothing, non-breathable fabric, and moisture can predispose you to having a yeast infection.” But, as long as you change into and out of your swimsuit as needed, there’s little to no risk in re-wearing the garment multiple times. “Most bathing suit designers and manufacturers recommend letting the bathing suit air dry and washing only every three to five wears,” she said.
So, there you have it. Hand wash when possible, hang to dry, and go a few wears between cleaning. With that knowledge in hand, you are free to enjoy that itsy bitsy, teenie weenie, yellow polka dot bikini all summer long.
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