Summer can be hard on your bathing suit. Hours spent swimming in the ocean, playing at the pool and relaxing on the beach take their toll, after all. Showing your swimsuit a little TLC will keep it in good shape for longer, though.
If you want your bikini or womens one-piece swimsuit to survive more than a few months, make sure it’s well-made. At Lands’ End, our bathing suits feature Lycra® Xtra Life™ spandex, which stays strong up to 10 times longer than other materials when exposed to things like chlorine and sun. This amazing fiber also holds its shape, so your suit won’t turn baggy.
Protect your swimsuit’s vibrant colors before wearing it. Pour two tablespoons of vinegar in a quart of cool water and blend them together. Add your swimsuit and work the mixture into the material before letting it soak for 20 to 30 minutes, sealing in the color.
Always wash your suit after wearing it, even if you didn’t get wet. Start with a cold water rinse immediately after taking it off. This removes sunblock, sand and other corrosive substances, as well as bacteria, from a regular and plus-size swimsuit.
Later on, hand-wash your suit in cool water with baby shampoo or a mild detergent; you can even purchase special soap just for cleaning swimwear. When you’re done, carefully squeeze excess moisture from the suit. Don’t wring or twist it though, which can damage its fibers.
Afterwards, let your swimsuit air dry away from direct sunlight, which can fade bright colors. Never put it in the washing machine or dryer, unless you’re cleaning a pair of men’s trunks. Since they contain less spandex, they can usually handle the delicate cycle.
There are other things you can do to protect your swimwear, too. Wrap a sarong around your waist or put a towel down before sitting on a rough surface to prevent snags, and shower in your suit before going in the pool to keep it from absorbing excess chlorinated water. Also, don’t wear swim skirts or swimsuits in a hot tub or Jacuzzi, as high heat and harsh chemicals weakens spandex.
Consider buying more than one bathing suit if you use yours frequently. Rotating suits gives the spandex fibers time to recover after being worn. It’s also easier to keep your suits extra clean if you have more than one. Consider swim separates to make your options last longer. Two tops and two bottoms in complementary colors or patterns allows you to create four great swimsuit options.
When it’s time to put your suit away, make sure it’s totally dry and stash it in a garment bag (but avoid plastic, which can encourage mildew growth) and store it in your closet or a dresser drawer. Don’t place your swimsuit on a hanger, which can distort its shape. If there are any creases when you want to wear it again, remove them with a quick soak in the sink.