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We don’t need to tell you how hard it is to find a bathing suit that fits you just right. So, we understand how frustrating it is to finally find that swimsuit of your dreams, only to see it stretched out beyond recognition after just a couple of wears.
But before you wonder if you’ll ever invest in another swimsuit again, we’re here to tell you what exactly makes them stretch out—and how you can find a bathing suit that won’t.
The four biggest culprits are sun, chlorine, heat and time. At first thought, it seems as if those factors are inescapable. But with proper care, your one-piece swimsuits, bikinis and tankinis, can emerge unscathed.
The first thing you should do after each wear is submit your swimsuit to a quick rinse of cold water, as quickly as you can. This small step seems minor, but a wash of cold water will remove some of the chlorine, salt and sunblock that could damage your swimsuit.
Once you’ve given it that quick rinse, it’s time for the real washing to begin—which is precisely where much of the damage takes place. For starters, skip the washing machine. Even a gentle cycle can stretch bathing suits.
Instead, opt for a hand wash with cold water and a mild soap. Treat the swimsuit the same way you would a delicate fiber and take care not to damage it with any rough pulls. Instead, massage it lightly to remove sand, dirt, sunblock and chlorine.
Once the wash is complete, do not—under any means—wring out your bathing suit. While it’s not as damaging as a wring, hanging your bathing suit to dry may also stretch out its fibers in addition to extra sun exposure.
Your alternative drying method begins with a gentle squeeze. Next, lay the swimsuit flat in a beach towel and gradually roll up the towel over the bathing suit to absorb its moisture. Once moisture has been absorbed with the initial roll, unroll the towel and allow the bathing suit to dry on it while laying flat.
Following these methods should go a long way toward preserving the fit of your swimsuits for summers to come. But if you’d like to take out an extra insurance policy against stretches, look out for a bathing suit made with Lycra® Xtra Life. Lycra® Xtra Life uses technology that allows its fibers to retain their fit for up to 10 times longer than a typical swimsuit fabric. Or, to put it in more familiar swimsuit terms, that could be 10 times as many summers spent with a perfect fit.