The smell of chlorine can stir up a lot of memories. It might remind you of childhood swimming lessons, birthday pool parties and winning a regional championship in high school. However, it’s also a swimsuit killer. Though it keeps bacteria and microorganisms from making the water unsafe, chlorine can also ruin your suit’s color and material, so make sure you know how to get rid of it.
When it comes to chlorine, some swim suits are better than others. Lands’ End uses special chlorine-resistant fabric in much of its swimwear, so consider getting one of our suits if you spend a lot of time in the pool. This high-tech material stays bright and retains its fit swim after swim, so you can wear your suit for longer. It also stays strong when exposed to sweat, sunblock and sun, so it’s great for relaxing by an outdoor pool on a hot day.
There are steps you can take to protect your swimsuit before you even jump in the water. To keep your suit nice and bright, pre-treat it before wearing. Just add a couple tablespoons of vinegar to a quart of cool water and soak your suit for half an hour. The mixture will lock in the color, preventing fading.
Every time you go to the pool, put on your swimsuit and take a shower before getting in. Dousing your suit in fresh water prevents it from absorbing as much chlorinated water, minimizing the damage it can do. Just make sure it gets soaked all the way through. Worried about your hair? Get it wet as well, and you’ll enjoy the same kind of protection. You can also wear a latex swim cap if you like.
When life is busy, you might not have time to wash your tankini immediately after swimming. Maybe you have to help your kids get dry, head to an appointment or get ready for dinner at the resort restaurant. Don’t worry – a quick rinse will help protect it. Hold your suit under a running tap and send the chlorine down the drain instead of letting it soak in before you can do a proper wash. It only takes moments and really helps.
You can also bring a large Ziploc bag to the pool, put your wet suit inside of it and fill it with cool water. Leave it to soak while you dry your hair and get dressed, then pour out the water and give it a good rinse before heading home.
Always wash your swimsuit after wearing it in the pool – this is the best way to keep it in good condition. Start by filling a sink with cool water. Add some shampoo, gentle detergent or a special cleanser formulated for swimwear, which can be a good investment if you spend a lot of time in the deep end. You can also buy body wash made for swimmers, which helps prevent skin irritation from repeated exposure to chlorine.
If you like, add a splash of vinegar as well – it can help get rid of the harsh smell. Work the soapy water into your suit by hand, making sure it’s completely saturated. Let it soak for 20 to 30 minutes if you want, but don’t leave it overnight, which can stretch out the fibers. When you’re done, empty the sink and rinse your suit thoroughly to get rid of any remaining cleanser or chemicals.
Finally, lay it flat and let it air dry away from direct light. Though it might seem quick and easy, avoid putting your suit in the washing machine. This can do almost as much damage as chlorine, and it’s really rough on the delicate fibers that make your suit fit well. If you really don’t have a choice, put your suit in a garment bag, toss in some dirty beach towels to act as padding, and put your machine on the gentlest cycle.
Don’t put your swimsuit in the dryer, either. Exposure to direct heat can destroy Lycra and Spandex, ruining your suit’s fit. You should also rinse and wash your suit after swimming in the ocean, as saltwater can also have a corrosive effect as well.