How to treat your swimsuit when washing

Bathing suit shopping is certainly not our favorite hobby. Despite the huge selection of adorable swimwear available, it’s often hard to find the perfect fit for your body. But whether you’ve been getting beach ready all year or not, summer is a great time to get excited about showing off in an adorable suit. And once you’ve found the perfect one, you’ll want to keep it forever.

Unfortunately, harsh irritants like chlorine, sun and salt can do a real number on our favorite swimwear, which makes them prone to ruin. Thankfully, though, there are a few tried-and-true methods you can use this summer to keep your favorite suit ship-shape for seasons to come…

1. Shower first. When a suit first gets wet, that’s when it’s most likely to soak up unwanted chemicals. So if you take a quick rinse (with chilly water) in a shower while wearing the suit, that initial drench will block the chlorine-treated water in the pool from damaging your suit. It might seem crazy, but your suit will thank you later!

2. Rinse after. Allowing the suit to sit and dry while covered in salt or chlorine causes the suit’s fabric to retain the harsh elements, so be sure to rinse your suit in cold water immediately after removing it. Similar to washing your face right after a sweaty workout, this practice keeps the suit at its best and cleanest.

3. Hand-wash it. As tempting as it may be to throw your suit in with all your other vacation laundry, it’s important to wash your suit by hand and on its own. Use cold water and a gentle soap or detergent, and make sure to massage thoroughly to avoid excess soap residue. (Leftover soap can be just as harmful to the material as salt and chemicals, so this is imperative.) Warm water opens up the fabric’s fibers, so the colder the water is, the better.

4. Hang or lay to dry. The heat from a dryer is nearly as damaging to a suit as the sun is, and its unique fabric is particularly prone to losing its shape. To avoid either of these potential problems, hang your suit to dry or lay it out on a towel. Avoid keeping it in an enclosed space (like a laundry tote or beach bag) after washing, thus ensuring that no mildew grows.

5. Rotate suits, and always have one ready. Even if you think you only like one suit in the whole world, it’s best to buy at least two of them so you can always have one ready. The fabric requires ample time to recover from wear and wash, so rotating often is key. To ensure that a new suit is ready to be worn for the first time, try rinsing it in a water/vinegar solution beforehand (one quart water and one tablespoon white vinegar). It helps to keep the suit’s dye intact, and it can help give you peace of mind when adding another new suit to your wardrobe. After all, there are so many cute ones – you should have a closet-full!

Do you have any tips for keeping your favorite bathing suits in great condition?

Let us know in the comments.

XO Team LC

Photo: LC Lauren Conrad