woman in blue spaghetti strap top

It may seem tempting to just leave your swimmers wrapped up in towels at the bottom of your bag, but they will last much longer if you give them better care.

Swimming pros will tell you that when the weather gets warmer, your exercise routine can be disrupted by fair weather swimmers. It’s important not to push someone who is about to turn. No board shorts in fast lane. If someone is passing you, it’s not an invitation for you to speed up. Only jerks can butterfly in a public swimming pool.

We are all likely to find ourselves at the pool or on the beach this summer, so it is a good time to remember that good manners can also benefit swimwear. We asked experts in swimwear for their advice on keeping bathers in good shape.

woman in blue spaghetti strap top

After every wear, rinse it

It’s tempting to take your wet swimwear out of the water or ocean and wrap it in a towel, then leave it at home. Araks Yeramyan, the designer of Araks, advises that you rinse your swimsuit with water immediately after it has been in contact with chlorine and salt. This will “save your suit from all kinds of damage” and prevent any sagging.

Carolina Quintero Rodriguez is a fashion lecturer at RMIT University. She explains that tap water, or any water with a neutral to basic pH level, will remove any chemicals or salts from the suit, which can cause a decrease in elastic and material strength over time.

Hang to dry in shade

Richard Jarman, Commas’ creative director, is an avid swimmer. He suggests that you wash your swimwear in freshwater and then let it dry in the shade. “But don’t forget them!”

“I have been on countless vacations where I left my swimwear at any location, from hotel balconies to beach change rooms.”

Yeramyan advises against wringing swimwear and to allow it to dry flat on a flat surface to maintain its shape. She warns that direct sunlight can cause fabric to fade so keep your bathers from sunbaking and swimming.

After a few uses, machine wash

Swimwear can be washed in a cold machine once per week. Jarman says that he swims every day so he likes to wash his swimwear with detergent once a week using a gentle cycle.

Quintero Rodriguez states that most swimsuits made of nylon, polyamides, or polyester are machine washable. Quintero Rodriguez recommends that they be washed on gentle agitations and gentle spin cycle.

Yeramyan believes hand washing is better than swimming suit washing, but it is a good idea to use mild soaps or detergents like Dr. Bronner’s. She recommends that you use a “Guppyfriend” washing bag for machine washing to prevent pollution from the shedding of microfibres made from synthetic materials.

Avoid high heats

Quintero Rodriguez claims that there have been studies showing that polyester and polyamides can be affected by temperature. She says that it is important to wash garments in warm or cold water as heat can cause damage and wrinkles.

Yeramyan is in agreement. She says that direct or high heat can cause damage to the swimsuit’s integrity over time. A swimsuit should never be tumble dried, ironed, or dry cleaned.

Parting tips

  • To prevent mildew or odors, ensure that your swimsuit is dry before you store it.
  • Use sunscreen and tanning products with care. Mineral baths and hot springs can cause skin irritations.
  • Yeramyan suggests that you use a chemical-free dish soap to remove stain marks from your suit. She also recommends that you use a foam makeup wedge to get rid of stains.