Now that you’ve found the cutest swimsuit for yourself or your baby, it’s important to preserve the swimsuit material to make sure it lasts for longer than one run, and in your case, for more than one season, and continues to maintain its color and shape.
Whether you use your swimsuit daily or just once in a while when vacationing, the fabric can take a beating from pool chemicals, sand, high temperatures, and sunscreen. Bathing suits can be expensive (especially for women), so it's worth your time to learn how to keep them looking great all season. Almost every swimsuit contains spandex or lycra, so prompt cleaning is important.
- Apply sunscreen beforehand: To prevent damage to your suit or discoloration, its recommended you apply sunscreen, body or tanning oils, lotion, and/or deodorant at least thirty minutes prior to putting on your swimsuit so they absorb into the skin rather than the swimsuit fabric. While its not always possible, its something to keep in mind.
- Avoid the washing machine if you can: The washing machine may seem like the most logical place to wash your swimsuit after each wear, but you should never use the washing machine to wash a swimsuit. The agitation and movement in the washing machine are too rough for the delicate fibers of swimsuit fabric and can cause them to stretch, strain, and break down. This can ultimately leave your swimsuit damaged and ill-fitting. If you are looking to wash your swimsuit, always skip the washing machine and opt for a hand wash.
- Gently hand wash only in cold water (and soft detergent): To properly hand wash your garment, fill a tub or sink with cold water and mix the cold water with one capful of gentle detergent until it is completely dissolved. If needed, substitute the mild soap or detergent for white vinegar as an emergency measure. Once you have successfully made your cleaning solution, let your swimsuit soak in the soap solution for up to thirty minutes. Once thirty minutes has elapsed, remove your swimsuit from the cleaning solution and rinse it with cold water until all of the cleaning solution is gone. Place your clean swimsuit in a clean, dry towel and gently press the towel into the swimsuit to remove excess water. (don't wring it). You can also roll your swimsuit in the clean towel and press it to remove excess water. Once you have removed all of the excess water, lay your swimsuit out flat to dry.
- Skip the dryer and lay your suit flat to dry: You may feel the urge to throw your damp swimsuit in the dryer to get it dry quickly, but faster isn’t always better. The dryer can actually be harmful to your swimsuit because it can agitate the delicate fibers of the swimsuit material causing it to become damaged and its high heat can compromise the elasticity of the fabric. Instead, lay your swimsuit out flat out to dry.
- Lay your swimsuit, don't hang: Hanging your swimsuit to dry from a hanger or off a doorknob can seem like an appealing option, but this can actually damage your swimsuit and stretch it, which compromises its fit. When a bathing suit is hung to dry, the remaining water in the swimsuit will pool at the bottom of the swimsuit and can stretch the fibers out. In addition, drying it draped over something or hanging can deform the shape of the swimsuit. Always lay your swimsuit flat to dry to preserve its shape.
- Rotate Suits: According to Real Simple, Spandex is a "memory fabric," meaning it needs a full day to snap back to its usual position. If you're on vacation or wearing bathing suits often, it's essential to have more than one, so that each suit has 24 hours to bounce back (not to mention time to wash and dry it completely).
- Avoid rough surfaces Sit On A Towel: Whenever you're sitting on the ground next to the pool, on a wooden bench, or on any other rough surface, try to sit on a towel. Rough surfaces can cause pulling on soft fabrics, especially swimsuit material.