Here’s the gospel we are preaching today: You’ve been washing your swimsuits wrong. At this rate, you’ll be going through a new swimsuit every season. You need to take better care of your suits. Plus, they smell bad. There. We said it.
If you’ve been throwing yours in to the regular wash, clearly you have no idea what you’re doing. (Because they are falling apart, right??) And even if you’ve been hand-washing them, you’re probably doing it wrong, too, because the truth is that there is only 1 right way to wash a bathing suit. Did you know that you’re supposed to use BABY DETERGENT, warm water, never EVER putting them in dryer after? Yea, life changer. Here’s what to do to make your suits last forever (and not smell like a-s-s):
1. Rinse immediately after wearing it.
Ideally, you should give your suit a proper wash immediately after you get off the beach or out of the pool, but we understand that you might be on vacation and have limited access to things like baby detergent or a bucket to soak them in (see below). Do what you can and give your suit a thorough rinse as soon as you get home – leaving it to hang (maybe in the hotel shower?) and drip dry. This removes any immediate gunk – chlorine, seaweed, suntan lotion, etc. – and keeps them from stinking up your luggage on the way home.
2. Use warm water and baby detergent.
Once you’re ready to wash it for real (within 24 hours of wearing it, ideally), place your swimsuit in a small bucket or use the stopper to fill your sink with warm water and a tablespoon or less of baby detergent like Dreft or some other type of super soft detergent like Woolite. Do not place the soap directly on to the suit, but rather in to the warm water, or the soap won’t be evenly dispersed on the suit and you’ll risk having residues left on the surface of the suit when done.
3. Gently hand wash your suit in the soapy water.
This step is self explanatory, but if you really feel like giving your suit a good wash–don’t stop until you’ve sung all 4 verses of Row Row Row Your Boat.
4. Use baking soda or vinegar to remove any lingering stains.
Pesky stains like self tanner or sunscreen that don’t come out with soap, or sweat or blood, etc., should be removed with baking soda (sprinkle a little baking soda on the stain, leave to soak for 2-3 hours and then wash with the baby detergent/warm water steps in this story). Another at-home stain remedy is to soak the suit in a mix of 1 part distilled white vinegar and 3 parts water prior to washing.
5. Never, ever, ever wring clothes out.
Drain the soapy water and rinse your suit with clean water directly from the faucet, gently removing all remaining suds. Never, ever wring clothes out–it does a number on them.
6. Never lay them out in the sung.
The sun can actually cause your suit to fade, and causes the delicate lycra fibers to break down. Always dry your suit indoors–not out.