Can You Wash a Swimsuit in the Washing Machine?

Once you’ve found the perfect swimsuit, the key to preserving the swimsuit fabric is properly caring for, washing, and storing your bikini. You’ve probably wondered, “Can you wash a swimsuit in the washing machine?” Wouldn’t it be so simple to throw your swimsuit in the washing machine with some laundry detergent after a day at the beach? But, is that really the best option for your designer swimwear? If you are curious about how to wash bathing suits in the washing machine or simply the best method for washing swimsuits, look no further.

To give you all the information you need to properly care for your swimsuits, we have compiled a guide that delves into whether or not you can wash a bathing suit in the washing machine, how to properly wash a swimsuit, and the top tips to preserve your swimsuit material and the shape of your  bikini.

Can You Wash A Bathing Suit in a Washing Machine?

How you wash your swimsuit is incredibly important to preserve its color, shape, and lifetime. The way many people wash their swimsuits is in the washing machine, but this can actually be harmful to your swimsuit and can lead to unappealing stretching over time. If you want to avoid sagging bikini bottoms and keep your swimsuits form and color in peak condition, then it is best to skip the washing machine. The washing machine can actually agitate your swimsuit and a standard detergent’s harsh formula can discolor and damage your swimsuit rather than improving its appearance. When your swimsuit is put into a washing machine, the elastic fibers of the bathing suit material are stretched, strained, and broken down, which can leave your swimsuit ill-fitting over time. The washing machine can be too harsh for the delicate materials and vibrant colors that make your swimsuits look and function fabulously. In addition, washing your swimsuit in the washing machine with other clothing items can discolor your swimsuit due to dye bleeding.

If you have to wash your swimsuit in a washing machine, it is best to use a delicate setting with an ultra mild detergent, but the better choice for extending the life of your swimsuit is to hand wash your bathing suit. By hand washing your swimsuit, you can make sure that the environment in which it is being washed is controlled and gentle enough so that it does not inadvertently damage your favorite swimsuit. We have compiled all the information you need to properly wash your swimsuit, without the washing machine, to make sure your favorite swimsuits stay beautiful and fitting properly for years to come. 

How to Properly Wash Your Favorite Swimsuit

Now that you know not to throw your swimsuit in the washing machine, it is important to understand how to properly wash your favorite swimsuit to preserve its color and shape so that you aren’t left buying a new swimsuit every season. To keep your favorite swimsuits fitting properly and looking fabulous, we have put together a full guide to teach you how to properly wash your favorite one piece or triangle swimsuit.

Washing Frequency: How Much is Enough?

 Before washing your swimsuit, it is vital to know how frequently your swimsuit needs to be washed. Each time after going in the water? Once a month? Once a week? Many people don’t know that it is important to wash your swimsuit after every single wear, regardless of whether or not you swim in the water. Washing your swimsuit after each wear is important because of the different chemicals and substances your swimsuit fabric comes into contact with during each wear. For example, if you are wearing your swimsuit and going sunbathing, it’s important to put on sunscreen to protect your skin from harsh ultraviolet rays and to prevent skin damage, but the same sunscreen or suntan lotion that is protecting your skin can also damage the fibers of your swimsuit fabric and cause the material of your swimsuit to break down over time.

Other common products that can cause damage and/or discoloration to your swimsuit fabric are lotion, body or tanning oils, and deodorant. In addition to these products, chlorinated water is another common culprit of swimsuit material damage and discoloration. The chlorine bleach in chlorinated water is much harsher on the fibers of bathing suit fabric than fresh or salt water and can cause brightly colored swimsuits to fade over time.

By washing your swimsuit after every wear, you can gently eliminate the oils and chemicals before they can inflict damage on the gentle fibers of your bathing suit. With this in mind, the next facet to properly washing your swimsuit is choosing the right detergent.

Choosing the Best Detergent

When you are going to wash your swimsuit, it is important not to use the same detergent that you would for the rest of your laundry. Many detergents contain ingredients that are too harsh for the delicate fibers in the fabric of your swimsuit. In fact, some laundry detergent products can cause discoloration or damage, just like the products and chlorinated water you are trying to remove! To avoid damaging your swimsuit, it is important to purchase an ultra mild detergent, preferably one that is specially formulated for high spandex-content fabrics or delicates.

A specially formulated detergent will help to rid your swimsuit fabric of oils and chemicals without damaging the delicate swimsuit fibers. A gentle detergent will also help to protect the fabric colors, which can help to extend the life of your swimsuit. Some detergents are specially designed for washing swimsuits with compounds in their formula that neutralize pool chemicals to make sure your swimsuit stays safe from the damaging effects of chlorine and other common pool chemicals. If you cannot find a specially formulated cleanser designed for delicate fabrics, choose the most gentle detergent you can find.

If you find yourself without gentle detergent handy when you swimsuit needs to be washed, white vinegar can also be beneficial as it has antibacterial and deodorizing properties that can perform functions similar to those of a detergent. If you don’t have any of these, the next best thing is to wash your suit in freshwater, without anything else, to help rid the fabric of oils and chemicals.

Washing and Drying Your Swimsuit: The Steps to Success

  1. Fill a sink, basin, or large bowl with cold, fresh water. Add one capful of mild detergent to the water and mix until completely dissolved. If using white vinegar, substitute white vinegar in the place of mild detergent.

Hot Tip: Invest in swimsuit specific detergent to make sure you are giving your swimsuit the ideal washing solution to keep your bathing suit color vibrant and fabric undamaged.

  1. Gently place your swimsuit in the sink, basin, or large bowl and allow the swimsuit to soak in the cleaning solution for up to thirty minutes.

Hot Tip: If you are looking to save some time, you can wash your swimsuit in the shower. Just remember to bring a capful of detergent and you are ready to wash.

  1. Once thirty minutes has elapsed, gently remove your swimsuit from the sink, basin, or bowl and gently rinse your swimsuit in cool, fresh water until all of the cleaning solution is gone from the swimsuit.
  2. Once your swimsuit is completely rinsed, gently place it on top of a clean, dry towel and press the towel into the bathing suit to remove excess water. You can also gently roll your swimsuit in the clean towel until it is dry. Once you have removed the excess water from your swimsuit, lay your suit flat to air dry.

The Don’ts of Washing and Drying Your Swimsuit

Knowing how to properly wash and dry your bathing suit is important, but it is also vital to understand what not to do when washing and drying your swimsuit. To help you avoid these common mistakes, we have compiled a list of the top tips for washing your swimsuit.

  • Don’t soak your swimsuit overnight. More time spent in the cleaning solution will help get your swimsuit even cleaner, right? Unfortunately, this is not the case. Soaking your swimsuit overnight can actually loosen the fibers of your bathing suit, so keep its soaking time to thirty minutes or less for best results.

Hot Tip: Always be sure you set a timer so you don’t accidentally leave your swimsuit soaking for too long.

  • Don’t hang up your swimsuit to dry. When you hang up a wet swimsuit to dry, all of the water left in the suit will collect in the bottom of the swimsuit, which can lead to stretching. Hanging your swimsuit to dry can change the shape and fit of the swimsuit, so instead always dry your swimsuit by laying it out flat.

Picking the Best Swimsuit Material

Finding a swimsuit that is made with high-quality materials and colors is just as important as washing it properly. Swimsuits can be a made out of a variety of different materials, and in some cases, blends of those materials. When looking for your ideal swimsuit, you want to make sure it is made out high-quality materials that are made to last and that will continue to maintain their shape throughout the years. We recommend looking for swimsuits that are made with a Lycra blend. Lycra blend fabrics will hug your body perfectly so that they flatter all of your curves, while also being extremely comfortable for wearing all day long. Lycra blend fabrics offer a soft stretch and great elasticity, making them an ideal swimsuit material. In addition. Lycra blend swimsuits are quick to dry and are very durable, making them long-lasting so that you don’t have to repurchase a new swimsuit every season. We know this is the ideal swimsuit material for a long-lasting, form-fitting swimsuit, which is why our swimsuits are crafted with a soft and unique XTRA LIFE Lycra blend.

Tips for Preserving the Color and Shape of a Bikini

Now that you know how to properly wash and dry your swimsuit to preserve its fit, fabric, and color, it’s helpful to know other tips and tricks you can implement into your routine to help keep the color and shape of your bikini looking beautiful over the years. Below are a handful of our top tips for preserving the color and shape of a bikini.

  • Rinse your swimsuit before swimming in chlorinated water. By rinsing off in fresh water before swimming in chlorinated water, your swimsuit will absorb less chlorinated water that can damage the delicate bathing suit fibers and fade the color of your swimsuit.
  • Dedicate one swimsuit to the hot tub/jacuzzi. High-temperature water is a recipe for trouble with delicate swimsuit fabric. The high temperatures of water in hot tubs and jacuzzis causes the color of the suit to fade faster and can wear out a suit much quicker than normal use. To keep the color and shape of your favorite bikinis looking perfect, dedicate one suit to the hot tub and/or jacuzzi and know that it will need more frequent replacement than your other swimsuits. Since it will need to be replaced more frequently, your most affordable swimsuit is the best candidate.