How To Properly Wash Swimsuits


So you finally found the perfect swimsuit that complements your body. That’s awesome! Now, you need to learn how to properly take care of it so that it keeps you looking great throughout the summer season (and all those days in the year that requires you to wear it). One of the important aspects of caring for your swimsuit is knowing how to wash it properly. Not only will this ensure that your swimsuit (and you, of course) looking great on every occasion, but knowing how to wash swimsuits the correct way will help prevent you from needing to buy another one anytime soon.

Knowing how to wash bathing suits or swimsuits properly isn’t really rocket science. You simply need to understand that the fabric it is made of is (more often than not) more delicate than the ones used in other clothes in your closet and as such will require a more subtle approach. That said, here are some tips on how to wash your swimsuit so it doesn’t get ruined and stays in top shape season after season.

Rinse Your Swimsuit Immediately after Use

To make washing your swimsuit easier, you’ll want to make sure that you rinse it immediately after use. And no, heading to the shower after swimming does not count.

As soon as you changed into dry clothes, find a faucet, and rinse your swimsuit with cold water. If possible, soak your swimsuit in cold water for at least thirty minutes. Doing so will help to loosen up and remove the sand, sweat, swimming pool chemicals, or salt from the swimsuit and thus make it easier to wash.

Almost all swimsuits are constructed from fabrics that contain spandex or Lycra (especially active swimsuits) and their elasticity will negatively be affected when sweat and other chemicals are left clinging onto the fibers for an extended period of time. Pool chemicals like chlorine will not only affect the fiber’s elasticity, but it will also cause the fabric color to fade.

After rinsing your swimsuit, you can pack it in a Ziploc bag and pack it away until you’re back home or leave it to air dry until you’re headed for home.

Handwash Your Swimsuit

Regardless of how clean your swimsuit looks after rinsing it, you still need to give it a good wash with soap and water. You should make it a point to handwash your swimsuit by the way instead of throwing it into the washing machine along with your beach towels and other clothes. The swirling motion and the agitation created by a washing machine will be disastrous for your swimsuit’s delicate fabric even if you set it in a gentle cycle. The warm water from the washing machine (in case you forgot to switch to cold water) can also make the colors run and stain the rest of the clothes in the washer.

Also, avoid using powder detergent since some of the particles may not dissolve completely and will not rinse away properly. Instead, pour some liquid detergent on a basin with water (never pour the detergent directly on the swimsuit itself) and swirl the water with your hand until it foams. Such detergent is sufficient in removing sweat, body oils, tanning lotion, and sunscreen oils from the swimsuit. Afterward, soak the swimsuit in the water and gently rub the fabric until you get all the dirt out.

When you’re satisfied that your swimsuit is all cleaned up, rinse it with cold tap water until you get all the soap out. Then gently squeeze (don’t wring) the water out of the fabric and you’re ready to let it dry.

Drying Your Swimsuit


After you squeezed as much water as you can out of your swimsuit, spread a towel on a flat surface like a tabletop or a bench, and then lay your swimsuit flat on it. Just make sure that the table or the bench (or wherever you’re drying your swimsuit) is in a shady spot. You don’t want to leave your swimsuit exposed to the sun at this point since ultraviolet rays from the sun can both cause the colors to fade and at the same time break down the fibers in the fabric.

You can also hang your swimsuit and let it drip dry. Some people say that the pooling water on the bottom part of the swimsuit can cause the fabric to stretch but it doesn’t appear to happen much, or if so the effects aren’t very drastic. Again, choose a shady spot to hang dry your swimsuit.

In any case, never put your swimsuit in the dryer for the same reasons as to why you shouldn’t wash it in the washing machine. If you really to dry your swimsuit quickly, you can use a fan to speed up the process.

Additional Tips

As mentioned earlier, washing your swimsuit properly is only one part of caring for it and ensuring that it remains wearable for a long time. There are plenty of other things you should consider including the following:

  • Take a shower before plunging into the pool or the beach. This helps your swimsuit absorb water and prevent it from absorbing too much pool water (and pool chemicals) or saltwater which can damage the fabric.
  • Be careful where you sit or when getting out of the pool from the side. Rough surfaces can snag at your swimsuit’s fabric and cause irreparable damage to it.
  • Bring extra swimsuits to change into on multi-day trips. Doing so allows your swimsuit to breathe, relax, and retain its elasticity better.
  • Avoid using your new swimsuit in the hot tub. The hot water and hot tub chemicals can damage your swimsuit’s fabric. Wear an old swimsuit if you really want to go for a hot soak.

Globo Surf Overview

Knowing how to wash swimsuits properly is essential if you want your swimwear to look great and remain in good condition. And the best part about learning how to wash bathing suits is that it isn’t really difficult or time-consuming at all. Simply follow the tips above and your favorite swimsuit will last much longer and eventually help you save money on buying a new summer swimming outfit.

More Swim Reviews:


  1. Smart Ways to Extend the Life of Your Swimsuit, Real Simple
Globo Surf
My name is David Hamburg. I am an avid water sports fan who enjoys paddle boarding, surfing, scuba diving, and kite surfing. Anything with a board or chance I can get in the water I love! I am such a big fan I decided to start this website to review all my favorite products and some others. Hope you enjoy!