There are a few things in life that are worth investing in: Tucking yourself into high-quality bedding will give you a better night of sleep. Stocking your kitchen with well-made utensils will make cooking easier.
This sentiment applies to clothing as well. While your entire closet doesn’t need to be stuffed with designer labels or high-quality materials, it’s nice to have a few pieces that are well-made and will stay with you for a long time.
Going to the beach is always a dream come true — the warm sand, the cool water, and the oh-so-enchanting book read.
However, first, we must find the perfect swimsuit, which can sometimes be tricky to find. It has to hug your curves in the right places, flatter your body, and, most importantly, make you feel confident and comfortable. Once we find a few bathing suits that check all of these boxes, we want to make sure that they are well taken care of.
Unfortunately, washing high-quality swimwear is not as simple as throwing them into the washer and dryer. Luckily, it’s not a complicated process and only takes a few extra steps.
We have put together the ultimate guide for washing and taking care of your swimwear below:
What Happens if You Wash a Swimsuit Incorrectly?
We’re guessing you chose a swimsuit based, among other things, on the color and shape. Maybe it perfectly sinches your waist, matches your beloved bikini bottoms, or provides the ideal level of support.
While the colors and shape are essential to a swimsuit's overall appeal, these things can become ruined if you wash your swimsuits improperly. Even a cool water, gentle cycle with gentle detergent can damage your suit.
Swimsuits, unfortunately, lose their shape and vibrance the more they are machine washed, which can dramatically cut down the lifespan of your go-to pieces by causing fading and snags. In addition, harsh chemicals like bleach, which is commonly used for stain removal, are often damaging to a swimsuit. Skip these chemicals in favor of simple solutions like white vinegar or baking soda when a sunscreen stain appears.
Not only does your swimsuit lose some of your favorite qualities, but it can also damage the environment. It has become increasingly popular to find sustainable ways to make swimwear in an attempt to help protect the environment. There are a few different ways to do this, but many swimwear companies have chosen to use recycled materials to make their pieces.
Here at Andie Swim, we use Eco Nylon to create many of our sustainable swimsuits. Using Eco Nylon in the production process emits significantly lower levels of CO2 compared to using raw materials.
The recycled nylon undergoes a four-step process in which it is transformed into a material that is chemically identical to virgin nylon. This means that swimwear made with Eco Nylon will still look and feel like regular swimwear but will have a much less damaging impact on the environment.
Recycled nylon is far more durable than silk, for example, but not as sturdy as others. If you must machine wash it, make sure to use a garment bag and only wash it on cool. Otherwise, hand washing is the gold standard (which we’ll get into later).
Before You Swim: Soak Your Suit
One big step in caring for your pieces that many forget is letting their suit soak before hopping into the ocean or chlorinated water, such as a pool or hot tub. Chlorine and salt can eventually break down the polymers in your suit, which will stretch it out and cause it to lose its shape.
Hop in the shower or hose off so that the freshwater can coat the material. This protects it from prolonged exposure to salt or chlorine, which will give your swimsuit a longer life and protect it from breaking down.
When To Wash Your Swimsuit
Even more critical than a pre-swim rinse is the post-rinse. One of the worst things you can do for your swimsuit is to leave it crumpled up at the bottom of your beach bag for hours or throw it on your bathroom floor and totally forget about it.
As soon as you get out of the saltwater of the ocean or a chlorinated pool, find an outdoor shower to rinse off. The freshwater will rinse off the damaging salt and chemicals, which helps protect your swimsuit.
If you aren’t near a shower, take your swimsuit off and run it under a sink as soon as possible. If your swimsuit does need to sit in your bag for a bit, try putting it in a terry cloth bag or in a towel so that some of the water is absorbed.
Rinsing it with cold fresh water (high temperatures can be too harsh) is enough to keep your swimsuit in proper condition for a while. Unless you accidentally spill your poolside cocktail on your bikini or get a deodorant stain, your swimwear only needs to be washed every handful of wears.
Drying is often more important than washing, as damp swimwear can develop mildew.
How To Hand Wash the Right Way
One of the best ways to ensure your swimsuit will make it through a wash without further damage is to skip the delicate cycle washing machine and hand wash your pieces instead. This way, you can control the water temperature and scrubbing intensity.
Place a plug in your sink or bathtub and pour about a tablespoon of laundry detergent on the bottom. With swimwear, the less detergent, the better, and it’s wise to avoid fabric softeners altogether.
Fill the sink or tub with cold water and submerge your suit. Cold water is much gentler on clothing and won’t fade the colors or stretch the material like hot water can.
Use your hand to swish the swimsuit around in the water and lightly rub any dirty spots.
Once finished, remove the swimsuit and gently squeeze the excess water out. Avoid wringing, as this can cause damage to the shape of the swimsuit.
How To Dry Your Swimwear
Sadly, we can’t throw swimwear into the dryer to be ready in a pinch, even on the delicate wash cycle. If you want to maintain the quality, shape, and color of your swimsuit, be sure to lay it out to air dry on a drying rack. Furthermore, it’s essential that the swimsuit lays flat rather than hung over the backside of a chair or on a hanger.
Lay a towel or large plastic bag on the floor or a table and gently place your suit flat on top of the material. Also, keep it out of direct sunlight while drying to avoid the colors fading.
Find Your Next Favorite Swimsuit
If you are looking for a new swimwear staple that will flatter any body type, match your personal style, and stay with you through many summers, rely on Andie Swim.
Here are some of our favorite picks:
The Amalfi suit is the ultimate example of a timeless piece that will work for almost any beach
vacation, pool day, or (safe) backyard tanning session. This one-piece features a scoop neck and thin straps, giving the flawless modest yet flirty look. The medium bust support and bottom coverage will help you feel secure and covered.
The underbust elastic and adjustable straps will give you the perfect fit, and the variety of colors and styles give you access to choosing a style that matches the rest of your beachy wardrobe.
If you are looking for a swimsuit that will work for a spirited game of beach volleyball, as well as an afternoon of reading and drinking by the pool, add the Malibu to your cart. Featuring a unique snap-front neckline, you can fasten all the buttons for extra support and coverage or undo them for a flirty and relaxed look.
Additionally, the compressive fabric, underbust elastic, and removable soft cups work together to provide the maximum amount of bust support. You won’t have to worry about any accidental slips or flashes in this one piece!
The Bells Top and The Bells Bottom
For a bikini that is equally practical and stylish, check out the Bells set. The Bells Top features a flattering scoop neckline that is outlined in white piping that contrasts the vibrant color of the top. You can fit this trendy top to your body with the adjustable straps and removable cups and rely on the underbust elastic and breathable material to provide light bust support.
The Bells Bottom also has white piping along the waistline and leg openings to match the top. This bold style will make you feel stylish and confident, and the medium bottom coverage will make you feel covered and protected. Additionally, the low-rise waistline will sit comfortably on your hips so that you won’t have to worry about any seams digging into your skin.
The Bells bikini set is made from Eco Nylon, which makes it a great, sustainable choice.
The Shortie Bottom
If you are looking for a unique style of bikini bottoms that are full coverage but still incredibly flattering, check out the Shortie Bottom. This sporty-chic silhouette features full bottom coverage, a high-rise waistline, and a low-leg cut. They hug your curves perfectly and feel silky-smooth on your skin.
This is the top-shelf choice for running around the beach with your kids, going on long walks, or for those days when you feel like being a little bit more covered under the sun.
Maintaining Your Swimwear’s Health
While, unfortunately, your swimwear takes a little tad more work and care than your old T-shirts, putting in the extra time and consideration will pay off in the long run. Hand-washing your pieces using a small amount of mild detergent and cold water, and laying them out flat to dry, will keep their shape and colors intact.
Finding a swimsuit that you love can feel like winning the lottery, so be sure to maintain its health by washing it properly.
Analysis of virgin and recycled nylon 11 in HFIP using the EcoSEC GPC system and semi-micro gel permeation chromat | Tosoh Bioscience
Sustainability: recycling and reuse of materials | Enel X
How to tan safely: 9 tips to minimize the risks | Medical News Today