Ultimate Guide to Wash Swimsuits (Wash Swim Wear)

Swimwear is a type of clothing intended to be worn while swimming. They are accessible to both men and women of all ages.

No matter how much you love swimming, you will have to dive into the dreaded task of washing your swimming costumes.

The major challenge we all face when cleaning the swimsuit is the elimination of chlorine smell.

Whether you’re hand-washing or machine-washing, it can be difficult to get rid of that chlorine smell.

In this article, you will learn how to wash your swimming costume so that it’s fresh and clean for your next upcoming dives.

What is swimwear made up of?

There are different types of fabrics and designing techniques used to make swimwear.

The manufacturers have come a long way to enhance the looks, feel, and performance of swimwear.

Let us look into the most common types of fabrics used to make swimwear.

The two most common types of fabrics are nylon and polyester.

In most cases, nylon is used to make swimwear or related garments. It is also a synthetic fabric.

When compared to other fabrics, nylon stretches and recovers well.

On the other hand, Polyester is a synthetic fabric that is quick-drying, breathable, and also offers sufficient stretch and recovery properties.

Both Nylon and Polyester are resistant to chlorine and salt water, which makes them ideal for swimsuits.

With that said, there are some brands of swimwear that are also made from natural fibers such as cotton and linen.

These fabric types are generally less durable than synthetic fabrics but offer a more comfortable feel against your skin.

Moreover, there are other popular fabrics such as spandex, and Lycra too in the market that are also used to make swimming costumes.

Why you should wash your swimwear regularly?

A swimming costume can actually be one of the dirtiest items of clothing you may own.

If you actually think about it, it’s constantly exposed to chlorine, sweat, sunscreen, and body oils, and it can be something else that you may not prefer discussing.

Chlorine and salt water can break down the fabric and cause it to lose its shape and color in the long run.

Here’s how chlorine and sea water damages the fabric.

Chlorinated Water

If you’re using a pool or a hot tub with chlorinated water, then make sure to rinse your clothes with clean water after every use. 

swim wear in chloring water

If they’re exposed to the chlorine water for too long the chlorine may potentially wear down the fabric, thereby causing it to become dry and brittle.

This can further lead to holes and tears in your clothes, as well as fade the colors.

Sea Water (Saltwater)

While seawater might not seem as damaging as other types of water, it can actually be quite bad to your garments.

The salt in seawater is a natural abrasive, and over time it can break down the fibers and dye in your clothing.

This may lead to premature wear and tear on your fabrics i.e. they may fade and fray.

The salty water can also cause rust and corrosion on metal parts of your clothing, such as buttons or zippers. 

Clothing OR Swimwear that is regularly exposed to seawater will eventually fall apart. 

Swim wear in sea water

So, to avoid these potential problems, make sure to rinse off your garments immediately after contact with seawater.

And Do not forget to completely dry them before storing them away.

Regular washing not only will help prolong the life of your swimsuit, but it will also help keep it fresh.

How to Wash Swimwear Safely?

If you’ve just come back from the pool or the beach, then you’ll want to make sure you wash your swimming costume as soon as possible.

The very first step that you should do is rinse your swimwear thoroughly with clean water after every use.

Doing this will get rid of excess chlorine and salty water from the clothing.

Instructions to Pre-Treat Swimwear

Step 1: Pre-treat with Sponge and vinegar

If your swimwear contains chlorine or salt water stains or patches then you may have to pre-treat them before wash.

stained swim wear

Simply add a few drops of rubbing alcohol on a sponge or cotton balls and rub the affected surface of the clothing.

Alternatively, you may use a mild soap or white vinegar in place of rubbing alcohol.

Step 2: Wipe the surface

After a couple of minutes pour some water and wipe the surface thoroughly.

Step 3: Rinse in Cold Water

Now you may rinse them off with clean water or simply put them for a wash.

Tips on washing your swimwear by hand or by using a machine

Always check the care label before washing. Some costumes can be delicate and need to be hand washed, while others can go in the washing machine.

It takes very less time to wash swimwear compared to regular laundry.

By washing them, you eliminate the mild chemical properties that are stuck to clothing fibers.

Instructions to Hand wash Swim Wear

Step 1: Separate the Swimwear

Separate the swimwear from your regular laundry loads.

Step 2: Fill the Tub with warm water

Fill the sink or tub with warm or cold water. You may also use a bucket or a tub.

Step 3: Add a small amount of mild detergent

Add mild soap to water and let it mix well. You may also add a cup of white vinegar to the solution.

Step 4: Put the Swimwear in the Tub or Bucket

Add your swimwear to the sink and swirl it around the sink or tub for a minute or so.

Step 5: Let it settle

Leave it to settle for around 10 minutes and make sure they are completely submerged in the solution.

Step 6: Work with Hands

Now gently work on your swimwear with your hands and then rinse it with clean water until soapy residues are clear.

Step 7: Dry the Swimwear

Squeeze out any excess water from your costume and hang them in a shady spot to air dry.

You can make use of a clothesline or a drying rack. 

Once it’s dry, store your swimwear in a cool, dry place for your next use.

How to wash your swimwear in the washing machine?

If you are washing your swimwear after spending some time on the sea shore or your favorite beach then you must have been in contact with salty water and sand particles.

Therefore, it becomes important to rinse your swimwear thoroughly with clean water before washing.

Doing this will help to clean salty residue and clear the tiny sand particles.

Sand particles can easily clog your washing machine and can also cause damage to the other components.

Once they are clear you can simply put them for machine wash.

Instructions to machine wash swimsuits

Step 1: Put your swimwear in the washing machine and set the washer to a delicate/gentle or handwash cycle.

Step 2: Pour a mild detergent into the detergent dispenser tray. You may also add a few drops of vinegar in the wash process.

Step 3: Start the wash cycle

Note: If you are mixing the swimwear with other loads then simply rinse the swimwear with clean water properly before wash.

You may use a laundry mesh bag for added protection, doing this will also protect the swimwear with zippers.

If your costume is white and suitable for bleach, then you may add some bleach to the wash to help keep it looking bright.

Avoid using fabric softener as this can damage the swimsuit’s elasticity.

Step 4: The swimwear usually dries in no time, therefore hang them to air dry, rather than putting them in the tumble dryer.

Ensure that you are drying your swimwear in a shady spot and avoid hanging it in direct sunlight, as this can cause the colors to fade.

Why should you air dry your swimwear?

Swimwears are among the quickest-drying costumes and can easily dry by laying on a flat surface or by hanging them in your laundry room.

air dry swim wear

They are delicate in nature and thus machine drying can easily amplify the wear and tear on your swimwear. 

Final Thoughts

Swimming costumes are a piece of gear for anyone who enjoys spending time in the water and is often made of delicate materials, so it is important to be gentle when washing.

Rinsing your swimwear with clean water, immediately, after every use is always a good practice. By doing so, chlorine or salt water residue from clothing can be reduced.

Washing and drying swimwear requires lesser time and effort, hence hand washing and air drying should be the preferred method.

To prevent your swimwear from losing its shape, you should also avoid wringing or scrubbing them severely.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I machine dry my swimwear made of cotton?

You should always check the care label on the clothing for wash instructions. If you are unsure or have a missing care label, then simply use the delicates cycle with low or no heat settings.

What is the best way to wash swimwear?

Always check the care label to figure out the best way to wash your swimsuit. One way to wash swimwear is to hand wash it in a sink with mild soap. Another way is to machine wash it on a delicate cycle in a mesh bag. Whichever method you choose, make sure to rinse your swimwear thoroughly after washing to remove all soap residue.

Manish Singh is an expert in electrical engineering with a Diploma in the field. With over 12 years of experience, he specializes in repairing music systems, washing machines, dryers, and other laundry-related appliances. His in-depth knowledge in electrical repairs and decent knowledge about garment care makes him a trusted authority in the field of appliance repair and laundry related topics. If you have any questions or need assistance with your appliances, you can reach out to Manish through email: manish.singh (at) portablelaundry.com