Washing Swimsuits

One of the best parts of summer is being able to finally whip out that bathing suit you’ve been waiting all year to show off! We want to help you preserve the lifespan of that adorable suit for as long as possible.

Chemicals in chlorine, sunscreen, deodorant, and saltwater are all bathing suit enemies! They eat away at fabrics such as spandex, damage elasticity, and fade vibrant hues. We want you to look your best this summer, so follow along to learn how to keep that swimsuit looking fabulous all summer!

Curious on how to keep your other delicate items looking fresh? Check out Hourglass Lingerie's Lingerie Care Guide for all of our hidden secrets!

How to Wash Swimsuits

A big question on everyone’s mind is how often we should be washing our swimwear. According to experts, bathing suits can go 3-5 wears before needing washing. However, this is ONLY if you are rinsing the suit in freshwater after each use. This rinses out chemicals in chlorine and salt water that damage the garment. Even taking a post-swim shower in freshwater is enough to rinse it out.

If you’ve been in a hot tub, try to rinse it as soon as possible because there are even more deteriorating chemicals found that will stretch and fade your suit. Once it’s time to wash your suit, women’s bathing suits should be handwashed as soon as possible after rinsing.

Men’s swimsuits are made of different materials so they can be thrown into the washing machine, but women’s’ should only go into the washer when absolutely necessary. For tips on how to wash regular bras, check out our How to Wash Bras page!

A swimsuit being rinsed out in the sink

How to Hand Wash Swimsuits

  1. Fill a sink or tub with cool water.
  2. Add a mild hand soap or shampoo (not laundry detergent) to the water. This will help prevent fading.
  3. Soak garment for 15 minutes, then gently massage to remove any built-up dirt.
  4. Drain the water and rinse the garment until the water runs clear through it.
  5. Gently lay garment between a towl and roll to soak up excess water. Never wring the suit as this will cause stretching.
  6. Lay garment flat to dry. Do not hang the suit up to dry because the excess water will damage and stretch the germent.

How to Machine Wash Swimsuits

For Women's Swimwear:

  1. Place the garment into a mesh lingerie bag to prevent strap snagging.
  2. Use a mild, bleach-free detergent in cold water on a gentle/delicate cycle. Wash with other towels or lingerie to prevent over-agitation.
  3. Do not put in dryer afterwards. Instead, roll in a towel to collect excess moisture and then lay flat to dry

For Men's Swimwear:

  1. Use a bleach-free detergent in cold water on a gentle/delicate cycle.
  2. Instead of using the dryer, roll tightly in a towel to remove exess moisture then lay flat to dry.

Bathing Suit Stain Removal

Swimsuits come in contact with tons of different stains. From sunscreen to ketchup falling off your hotdog, there is a lot of potential for your hot suit to suddenly seem ruined. Have no fear, there are multiple methods for handling that unsightly stain!

The baking soda method is done by sprinkling a generous amount of baking soda over the stain, letting it sit for a few hours (1-2 should do the trick!), then hand washing.

The vinegar method is done by mixing a solution of one part vinegar to three parts water then soaking the stain in it. Alternatively, you can dab white vinegar on the stain as well. After either vinegar method, hand wash the garment.

You should never use chlorine bleaches to treat stains in bathing suits. Self-tanner stains are the hardest to remove, so try to wear an older bathing suit to your tanning appointment.

Bikini storage under bed

Storing Bathing Suits

Once you’ve finished up your wash, storage is equally important in preserving the life of your bathing suit (especially since it stays in storage for most of the year!)

Suits should be stored completely dry to prevent the growth and smell of mildew. They should also be stored laying flat and not hanging up to keep the fabric from stretching.

When being stored during the off-season, use a fabric garment bag as opposed to a plastic bag, as these can be a hotspot for bacteria and mildew growth. For tips on storing your regular bras, check out our How to Store Bras page!

Freya Sundance AS3970 White Underwire Sweetheart Padded Bikini Swim Top