There's nothing quite like slipping into your favorite swimsuit and making a splash at the beach or pool. Unfortunately, swimwear often suffers from wear and tear, fading, and stretching, which can leave you feeling less than fabulous. The good news is that with a bit of TLC, you can extend the life of your swimwear and keep it looking fresh all season long. In this article, we'll explore how to care for your swimwear to make it last longer.
Choose Quality Swimwear
The journey to longer-lasting swimwear begins before you even hit the water. Invest in quality swimwear made from durable, high-performance fabrics like polyester or nylon blends, which are resistant to chlorine, saltwater, and sunlight. Brands that use LYCRA® XTRA LIFE™ fiber, for example, provide extra durability and shape retention. While quality swimwear may have a higher price tag, it will save you money in the long run by requiring fewer replacements.
Rinse Before and After
Use Before you dive in, give your swimwear a quick rinse in cold water. This will help saturate the fabric, reducing its absorption of harmful pool chemicals or saltwater. After your swim, rinse your suit again to remove any lingering chlorine, salt, or debris, which can cause damage and fading over time. Ideally, you should hand wash your swimwear using cold water and a gentle detergent, but a quick rinse will suffice in a pinch.
Hand Wash with Care
While machine washing may seem convenient, it can be harsh on your swimwear, leading to wear and tear. Instead, hand wash your suit in cold water using a mild detergent designed for delicate fabrics. Fill a sink or basin with cold water, add a small amount of detergent, and gently swish your swimsuit around. Let it soak for up to 30 minutes, periodically agitating the water. Be sure to avoid using bleach, fabric softeners, or harsh detergents, as these can damage the fibers and reduce the longevity of your swimwear.
Ditch the Dryer
High heat can damage the elasticity and structure of your swimwear, so avoid using a tumble dryer. Instead, gently squeeze out excess water from your suit (avoid wringing, as this can stretch and distort the fabric) and lay it flat on a clean, dry towel. Roll up the towel with the suit inside and gently press down to remove more water. Unroll the towel and lay the swimsuit flat to air dry, preferably in a shaded area to prevent fading from direct sunlight. Never hang your swimsuit to dry, as this can cause stretching and deformation. Alternate Your Swimwear If you're a frequent swimmer, consider investing in multiple swimsuits and rotating between them. This will give each suit ample time to recover and regain its shape after use. By alternating your swimwear, you'll reduce the wear and tear on each piece, ultimately extending the life of your entire swimwear collection.
Be Mindful of Rough Surfaces
Sitting or leaning on rough surfaces like pool edges or rocks can cause snags, pilling, and tears in your swimwear. To protect your suit, use a towel or cushion as a barrier between your swimsuit and abrasive surfaces. If you do notice a snag, resist the urge to pull it; instead, gently push the snagged fabric back into place using a small, blunt object like a crochet hook or tweezers.
Protect Your Swimwear from Sunscreen and Oil
Sunscreen and tanning oils can stain and degrade your swimwear, so be cautious when applying these products. Allow your sunscreen to absorb into your skin
before putting on your swimsuit, and apply tanning oils sparingly. If possible, opt for sunscreens that are water-resistant and designed specifically for use with swimwear, as they are less likely to cause damage. When applying sunscreen, make sure to rub it in thoroughly and wait for it to dry before slipping into your suit.
Store Your Swimwear Properly
Proper storage is essential for maintaining the longevity of your swimwear. Avoid folding or rolling your swimsuits, as this can cause creases and distort the fabric. Instead, store them flat, ideally in a dedicated swimwear drawer or storage box. Make sure your swimwear is completely dry before storing it to prevent mildew and odor. It's also a good idea to keep your swimwear separate from other garments, as some fabrics may bleed dye or transfer colors onto your swimsuit.
Regularly Inspect and Repair Your Swimwear
Take the time to inspect your swimwear regularly for signs of wear, such as fraying seams, loose threads, or thinning fabric. Addressing these issues early can help prevent more significant damage and extend the life of your swimsuit. If you notice any damage, consider seeking professional help from a seamstress or tailor for repairs. Small repairs like re-stitching a seam or replacing a broken strap can significantly extend the life of your swimwear.
Know When It
Even with the best care, all swimwear will eventually show signs of wear and tear. Be prepared to let go of your favorite swimsuit when it becomes too stretched, faded, or damaged to provide the support and coverage you need. Continuing to wear a worn-out swimsuit can lead to discomfort and embarrassment, as well as potential wardrobe malfunctions. Remember that investing in a new, high-quality swimsuit will provide you with a more enjoyable swimming experience and help you feel confident in the water.
Caring for your swimwear is an essential aspect of making it last longer. By choosing quality swimwear, rinsing before and after use, hand washing with care, air drying, alternating your swimwear, being mindful of rough surfaces, protecting your swimwear from sunscreen and oil, storing it properly, regularly inspecting and repairing it, and knowing when it's time to say goodbye, you can significantly extend the life of your swimsuits. With a bit of TLC and attention to detail, you can keep your swimwear looking fabulous all season long, making every splash a stylish one.