How To Take Care and Wash Swimsuits To Make Them Last Longer
Whether you wear your swimsuit daily or reserve it for occasional vacations, the fabric is susceptible to wear and tear from pool chemicals, saltwater, sand, high temperatures, and sunscreen lotions. Given the potential expense, particularly for women's swimsuits, investing time in preserving their quality throughout the season is prudent. The initial step involves understanding how to wash and take care of swimsuits to make them last longer.
How to Wash Swimsuits
Most swimsuits incorporate spandex, a material prone to stretching and deterioration when exposed to perspiration and body oils. Swiftly eliminating these contaminants is crucial for maintaining a swimsuit's shape. Additionally, the chlorine in pools and hot tubs can compromise a swimsuit's elasticity, leading to color changes. White swimsuits are especially vulnerable, turning yellow as chlorine strips away the white fibers enveloping the inner yellow core of synthetic fibers. Hence, it is essential to thoroughly rinse your swimsuit in clear water after each use.
Though washing a bathing suit is a simple task, it is advisable to do it by hand. In cases where machine-washing is unavoidable, whether alone or with other clothes, place the swimsuit in a mesh bag designed for delicate garments, use an ultra-mild detergent, and choose the delicate cycle. These precautions will contribute to preserving your swimsuit's longevity and appearance.
Rinse your swimsuit as soon as possible after using it.
After every use, promptly rinse your swimsuit in cool tap water. If time permits, consider allowing the suit to soak in cool water for 30 minutes. This method is particularly effective in removing chemicals, salt, sand, and body oil that can potentially harm the fabric.
Drain and refill your sink or basin.
Clear water alone may not eliminate all traces of chlorine or salt. To address this, refill the sink with cool water and introduce 1 teaspoon or less of a mild liquid laundry detergent.
In situations where you're pressed for resources, a small amount of shampoo can be used for washing, but avoid products that combine shampoo and conditioner.
Remove stains accordingly.
Whether you accidentally spilled ketchup during a poolside barbecue or accidentally smeared sunscreen on your swimsuit, adhere to stain removal instructions tailored to the specific stain to effectively eliminate it. Notably, self-tanners can be challenging to remove. Hence, it's advisable to wear an older swimsuit when applying them.
Submerge your swimsuit.
Turn your swimwear inside out. Immerse it in the solution. Swish for a few minutes, and then rinse thoroughly.
Remove excess water.
Take the bathing suit out of the water, and gently press to remove excess water from the fabric. Avoid wringing the suit as it can lead to damage.
Air dry your swimwear.
Lay your swimsuit flat to dry in an area away from direct sunlight. Sunlight's UV rays can cause both fading and breakdown of the fibers in your suit.
How To Take Care of Swimsuits
Take note of these swimsuit care tips to help your swimwear last for several summers and beach getaways.
Always treat stains right away.
The recommended approach for stain removal depends on the specific staining agent. However, regardless of the method chosen, it is more effective to pretreat stains by applying a paste made of 1/3 cup of warm water and 6 teaspoons of baking soda. Allow the paste to fully dry before proceeding to wash the swimsuit.
While most stains can be easily removed, sunscreen lotions can be particularly stubborn. In such cases, consider using an oxygen-based bleach mixed into cool water. Allow the stained suit to soak for a minimum of eight hours, repeating the process if the stain persists. It's essential to note that this method should only be done with an oxygen-based bleach product. Ordinary chlorine bleach should never be used on a swimsuit.
Sew and repair any damage on your swimsuit.
A damaged strap or a small hole shouldn't prompt you to discard an expensive bathing suit. Instead, use a needle and polyester thread for hand-sewing minor snags or rips in the fabric.
For a simple snag fix, thread a needle with the same color thread, pull it through the middle of the snag loop, knotting it securely. Then, insert the needle into the base of the snag, pulling it through to the other side. If a more extensive repair or alteration is needed, it's advisable to consult a professional tailor who is skilled in handling delicate fabrics like spandex or Lycra.
When wearing a swimsuit, exercise caution to avoid contact with abrasive surfaces such as concrete and pool walls. Such interactions can lead to damaging issues like pilling and holes in your swimsuit.
Store your swimwear in a fabric garment bag.
Avoid hanging your bathing suit as it may cause the fibers to stretch. Instead, store the suit flat when it's completely dry to prevent the growth of mildew in any residual moisture. If you're storing it for the season, use a fabric garment bag, avoiding plastic bags that can serve as a breeding ground for mildew and bacteria.
Other Swimsuit Care Tips
These additional care for swimsuits can ensure the longevity of your favorite bikinis and other swimwear bottoms and tops.
Shower with your swimsuit on in your post-swim shower.
Rather than removing the bathing suit for a separate cold-water soak, simply wear it into your post-swim shower.
Avoid powdered detergents when washing.
When hand-washing, avoid powdered detergent because it may not dissolve completely or rinse away effectively. Never use chlorine bleach to whiten or remove stains from swimsuits.
Use distilled white vinegar as a substitute for detergent.
When in a pinch, distilled white vinegar can serve as an emergency substitute for detergent when washing a swimsuit. It not only deodorizes but also helps reduce bacteria on the fabric.
Alternatively, you can enhance the vibrancy of your swimsuit's color and eliminate odors by adding half a cup of baking soda to a sink of cold water before soaking.
Use old swimwear when soaking in a hot tub.
If feasible, use an older swimsuit when using a hot tub, or promptly rinse out your suit. Hot tubs pose a dual risk with excessive chemicals and high heat, which can swiftly fade and stretch a swimsuit.
For regular hot tub use, wear a swimsuit made of 100% polyester or one labeled as chlorine-resistant. Cotton and natural fibers are not suitable for enduring the effects of hot chlorinated water.
Keep Your Best Swimwear Looking New for All Seasons
Swimsuit fabrics endure considerable strain from pool chemicals, sunscreen, salt, sweat, and sand. However, knowing how to care for swimsuits can preserve the appearance of your bathing suit throughout any season.
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