Maintaining good hygiene is an important part of taking care of your swimwear. Whether you’re relaxing in the water, lounging by the pool, or on the drive home, you want to feel confident that your favorite swimsuit is clean and free of bacteria. Here’s a basic primer on how to keep your swimsuit clean and hygienic all summer long:
Picking the right swimsuit sets you up for success when it comes to swimwear hygiene. Textiles that have antimicrobial or antibacterial properties are great for swimwear, allowing you to keep germs at bay from the moment you hit the beach. Natural fibers like hemp can naturally be antimicrobial, while other fabrics may have antibacterial treatments or linings to be as sanitary as possible.
While shopping around for the perfect fabric, keep an eye out for options that extend durability, such as chlorine resistant swimsuits. Swimsuits are regularly exposed to pool chemicals, sunscreen residue, sand, and sweat, which can all break down the material over time. Selecting a durable fabric allows you to get more life out of your suit while also giving it regular deep cleanings.
Keeping your swimsuit clean starts with maintaining a clean environment. It’s always a good idea to shower before getting in your swimsuit to limit the amount of dirt or germs that you bring into the water. If your pool or beach facility has convenient showers available, quickly rinse off before and after your swim. Not only does this keep your own personal sweat and germs at bay for other swimmers, it also helps rinse away dirt and grime that you may have picked up in the water.
Bacteria love damp environments, so it’s best to change promptly and avoid lounging around in a wet swimsuit. If you plan on relaxing by the pool or beach after getting wet, bring an extra outfit that you can change into. Pick a comfortable, breathable ensemble that lets you enjoy the sun. This could be a modest swimsuit coverup, a tank top and athletic shorts, or even a spare, dry two piece swimsuit. Towel off thoroughly once you remove the wet suit to ensure that your new clothes stay warm and dry.
Once you remove your wet swimsuit, you have a few options for limiting bacteria growth. Try bringing along an antifungal, antimicrobial garment bag where you can safely store your swimsuit until you’re able to properly wash it. Before putting your swimsuit into the garment bag, give it a quick rinse in clean water if possible. Next, use your hands or a towel to gently wring out extra water. If you don’t have access to a garment bag, you can lay your swimsuit flat in a safe area to let it air-dry. After it dries, you can throw it in your regular beach bag without having to worry about getting the rest of your belongings wet.
Wash your swimsuit as soon as possible to prevent the development of mildew or musty smells. It’s best to hand wash your swimsuit every time you use it, even if you didn’t get wet, to remove any dirt and your body’s natural oils. When you’re ready to clean your swimsuit, wash it by hand. Swimsuit materials are often somewhat delicate, so hand washing can extend their life and ensure that any sun protective swimwear retains its helpful properties. If you’re pressed for time and need to use a washing machine, place the swimsuit in a garment bag and wash on the delicate setting.
Start by soaking your swimsuit in cold water to remove any build-up of sunscreen, sand, or sweat. Then, replace the water and add a mild detergent. You can also consider adding a natural cleaning agent like vinegar. Use your hands to irrigate the water and gently massage the detergent into your swimsuit, then give it a final rinse with cold water. Although basic hand washing is a common way to care for swimwear, be sure to check your swimsuit’s tag for special washing instructions.
Air-drying your swimsuit is the best option for keeping your swimsuit in excellent shape. Using a dryer can stretch or fade the fabric much faster. If possible, lay your swimsuit flat on a drying rack. Hanging your swimsuit on a clothes hanger can eventually cause your swimsuit to stretch out and become misshapen. Once your swimsuit is fully dry, store it in a clean place until you’re ready for your next swim.
Your swimsuit is at the forefront of all sorts of elements, from sandy oceans to chlorinated pools. Prioritizing your hygiene can keep both you and your swimsuit happy all summer long, regardless of where you take a dip. By taking good care of your swimwear, you can protect your most sensitive areas and ensure that you get maximum use out of your favorite swimsuit.