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How to wash and care for bikinis & swimsuits

April 5, 2023 | By: Victoria Cowan
Read time: 6 minutes

What is the best way to wash swimsuits?

Washing your swimwear can be quite an annoying task, you have just spent the day relaxing in the sun and the last thing you want to be doing is some laundry. However, if you do take just a little bit of time afterwards to wash your swimwear, trust us you’ll enjoy your swimwear for a longer time! One of the best ways to wash your swimwear is by using some cold to room-temperature water and some mild detergent. Fill up a bucket or your sink, add some mild detergent to the water, and let it soak for a little while. A little goes a long way so you only need to add a small amount of detergent. Go back to basics and quickly hand wash your swimwear inside out and you’re all done! By doing this you’ll remove all of the salts, minerals, chemical deposits and sunscreen and your swimwear is ready for another sunny beach day!

Can you put bathing suits or bikinis in the washing machine?

It’s definitely possible to throw your swimwear into the washing machine when you don’t feel like hand washing your swimwear or when you're simply in a time crunch. However, we definitely need to note that hand washing your swimwear is the best way to keep them looking great. When you do choose to go down the washing machine route, then be sure to set your machine to the coldest temperature possible and that you’re using a detergent that doesn’t contain chlorine. So start looking around your house for the mildest soap you can possibly find! If you happen to own some mesh laundry bags throw them into these bags as well! However, we do not recommend using the washing machine because it can damage your swimsuit and a standard detergent's harsh formula can discolour your swimsuit as well. So if you ask us we don’t recommend washing your swimwear in the washing machine but go for a quick hand wash instead.

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How do you wash swimwear for the first time?

You have just bought the perfect swimwear for the upcoming season, and you want to make sure that your pieces will keep on looking good. Chlorine and sunlight are known to cause colours to fade which makes your swimwear look ratty. To prevent this from happening you can go through a few steps when washing your swimwear for the first time. You start this pretreat by mixing two tablespoons of white vinegar with one quarter of cold water. Next, let your swimsuit soak in this solution for about 20 to 30 minutes. The cold water and vinegar will help seal the colours in the fibres. If you’re worried about the vinegar smell you can rinse your swimwear in some cold water afterwards. This easy hack will keep your swimwear looking fab all season!

How do you dry swimwear?

There are multiple ways to dry your swimwear. If you want to keep your bikinis and swimsuits looking fab for the longest amount of time simply lay it down flat on the floor, away from heat and direct sunlight. Let it dry on the floor of your bathroom or simply lay down a towel and put your swimwear on top of it. Let it air dry completely before putting it on again and this way you’ll definitely enjoy your swimwear for the rest of the season.

How often should I wash my swimwear?

You should wash your swimwear after every use. However, you don’t need to use intense detergents all the time. A quick rinse with some water will work wonders and is actually enough to keep your swimwear clean. But do use some mild detergent from time to time to really get all of the dirt off!

Is it okay not to wash swimwear? 

Autonomy, the crazy idea that you get to choose what you want with your life! As human beings we have the luxury of making our own choices. This also goes for whether you choose to wash your swimwear or not. It’s okay if you don’t feel like washing your swimwear, if you feel comfortable with this. However, we recommend washing it regularly so you will keep your swimwear looking good for a longer period of time. It's also a little bit more hygienic to wash your swimwear. Besides who doesn’t love wearing freshly washed swimwear on a beach day without salt, sweat & sunscreen getting left behind. 

11 tips 'n tricks on washing your swimwear

1. Always read the washing instructions on the label inside your bikini or bathing suit, and wash accordingly. 

2. You might’ve seen the signs all around the pool, to shower before entering the pool, well turns out that’s for good reason and one of those reasons is that it protects your swimwear from fading. Chlorine in pool water is what affects the colour & fabric of your bikini, so by showering with clean water your bikini will be wet and therefore protected from some of the chlorine. Win!

3. After a day of lazing about on the beach or by the pool it’s important to rinse your bikini or bathing suit. After all, the sun, chlorine, salt and sand all contribute to your swimwear fading prematurely. So, when you’re hitting that beautiful shower before your big night out - as we all do when on holiday - take your swimwear with you and give it a good rinse with water, avoid any chemical cleaning agents like shampoo or shower gel though, plain water is best in this case!

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4. Try to put your sunscreen on at least 30 mins before getting changed into your swimwear so that it’s fully absorbed, because again, sunscreen can cause fading and discolouration. 

5. Who doesn’t love a day at a water park, it’s literally the day when you can full-on feel like a child again(!) but slides are a big no-no for your bikinis and bathing suits. Obviously, we’re not saying not to go to the water park on your holiday, but when you do wear an older bikini or swimwear so your favourite new swimwear set doesn’t get instantly ruined. 

6. Hand washing your bikinis and swimsuits is generally the best way to go. Use cold water and a laundry detergent for delicate wash to really keep your swimwear lookin’ good! If you’d rather use a washing machine, make sure to use a laundry bag and put your washing machine to the hand wash setting. 

7. Avoid using fabric softener because this can cause discolouration too.

8. Details such as beads and gems can damage your swimwear during the wash, so whenever possible, try to remove them before washing your suits.

9. Don’t wring out your bikinis and swimsuits, sure we’re all guilty of it because it speeds up the drying process, but wringing out your clothes will affect the elasticity of your swimwear and we definitely don’t want that! 

10. Again, in our quest to speed up the drying process of our favourite bikini, so we can wear it time and again, we might think to throw it into the tumble-dryer. Don’t. The tumble-dryer will cause wear and tear and damage your swimwear too much. Instead, simply lay your swimwear on a flat surface and let it air-dry (preferably somewhere in the shade). 

11.This one is easy: always wash your bikinis and swimsuits inside out.

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