Shopping for a bathing suit rarely ranks as anyone’s favorite thing to do. Getting a suit that fits just right takes time, patience, the right lighting and the kindest mirrors. You might end up paying top dollar too, because let’s face it once you’ve finally found “the one”, you can talk yourself into just about any price.
When you’ve invested time, emotions and money into finding the right swimwear, you want it to last. For, like, ever. Because if it stretches out, fades, the fabric pulls, or the strings tear, then you’ll find yourself back in the anxiety-inducing fitting room opting for clearance rack suits that don’t fit anyone.
So, if that sounds terrible, then remember this:
Don’t wash your bathing suit in a washing machine
Don’t put it in the dryer
Don’t use bleach on it
Don’t dry it in direct sunlight
Instead, here’s how to keep your swimwear lasting as long as possible:
Rinse in cold water after every use (even if you only sat in the sun in your backyard). This helps remove body oils, sunscreen, chlorine, bug spray, tanning oils, etc., which can break down fabrics faster.
Check the care label. Typically, bathing suits should be hand washed in cool to warm water with a gentle detergent. Washing machine agitators, even on the gentle cycle, can twist and tangle and stretch special swimwear fabrics.
Remove excess water with care. Gently twist to wring out water or, better yet, roll in a towel and squeeze out the water.
Lay flat to dry, out of the sun. You’re already wearing it in the sun, so protect it a little longer from fading by drying it in a shaded area. And laying it flat, as opposed to hanging it, helps the bathing suit keep its shape.
BONUS TIP: If you wear your bathing suit often, it’s a good idea to have another suit so that you’re not constantly washing and drying the same one. And this is especially true if you’re an avid hot tubber, because the hot water and chlorine combination breaks down fabrics and elasticity faster over time.