women's swim

What kind of swimsuit fabric will last years to come?

There’s no denying it: a good swimsuit can be expensive. Though that gorgeous tankini you’re eyeing might not seem like anything out of the ordinary, high-quality swimwear is made from breakthrough fabrics that help it survive contact with chemicals, salt and other substances while retaining its amazing fit and vibrant colors. With a little love and care, a new swimsuit can last for years, making it a worthwhile investment you’ll cherish.

Sunscreen, chlorine, sweat, UV rays and your swimsuit

Four things are usually the biggest threats to your swimsuit – sunscreen, chlorine, sweat and UV rays – and repeated exposure to them will degrade the material over time. Lands’ End uses material designed to resist damage from these swimwear destroyers though, helping your suit stay in top condition.

Thanks to Lycra Xtra Life spandex, our swimsuit material retains its amazing shape and fit despite regular use, so you’re free to play at the beach, swim laps at the pool and have fun in the sun. Since your suit won’t become loose and saggy, so you’ll feel great wearing it time after time. The fabric also provides UPF 50 sun protection, meaning it stops all but 1/50th of the sun’s rays from reaching your skin, so you’ll look great for longer, too.

Wash swimwear well

Washing your swimsuit properly is vital to making it last for years to come. Your suit should be cleaned every time you wear it, even if you didn’t get wet, as things like deodorant, sweat and makeup can quickly take their toll if not removed.

First, fill your sink with cool water and add a dash of shampoo or gentle detergent. Are odors a problem? Just pour in a splash of vinegar. Next, place your suit in the sink and work the soapy water into the material with your hands, cleaning it thoroughly. You can let it soak for half an hour if you like, but never overnight, which can loosen the fibers.

Rinse the suit well, removing any leftover detergent or shampoo. Gently squeeze it to get rid of excess moisture, but never twist or wring swimwear, which puts stress on the fabric. If you like, lay it on a towel, roll it up and press down to soak up more water.

When you’re ready, let the swimsuit air dry while lying flat. Keep it out of direct sunlight and away from heat sources, like a radiator. Don’t hang your suit to dry either, which can stretch it out and distort its shape.

Most importantly, don’t put your swimsuit in the washing machine or dryer if you want it to last for years. Most cycles are simply too rough for swimwear, and will strain, stretch and breakdown delicate materials. Normal detergents can also wreak havoc, leaving your suit faded and baggy. The dryer can be even worse. Heat is the enemy of fibers like Lycra and Spandex, so don’t give into temptation. If you need your suit dry ASAP, carefully go over it with a hairdryer put on the cool setting.

Tips to keep swimsuits looking good

Protecting the fabric your swimsuit is made from will ensure it stays in top condition, so take a few basic precautions. Be smart about sitting when you have your suit on. The rough surface along the side of a pool or a splintered deck chair can snag it, so put a personalized beach towels down before taking a seat.

Also, you should always shower before entering a swimming pool. Soaking the fabric of your suit with fresh water keeps it from absorbing too much chlorinated water, one of the leading swimwear killers, and it only takes a minute.

Do you spend lots of time in a hot tub or Jacuzzi? Lucky you! However, extended time in spent sitting in chemically-treated hot water can do a number on swimwear. Keep an old suit around for relaxing soaks and save your best one for trips to the beach or pool.

After wearing your swimsuit, always give it a cold-water rinse right away. It’s ok to wait a little while (like a couple of hours) before washing it, but holding it under the sink will flush away corrosive substances before they can do their worst. Don’t leave a wet suit in a bag for very long either, as mold and mildew can set in quickly.

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