How to Wash Bathing Suits: 13 Easy Tips & Tricks

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How to Wash Bathing Suits 13 Easy Tips Tricks

Are you living every day in your favorite flattering plus size swimwear yet? Summer is the season when bathing suits become a wardrobe staple. We don’t blame you if all you want to wear is a cute swimsuit you feel confident in. Whether you’re spending the season by the beach or poolside, you want to make sure your swimsuits look great so you feel good. But, understandably so, swimsuits can change colors or lose their structure over time as you wear them to the beach or the pool.So, to ensure your swimsuit looks as fresh and beautiful as the day you bought it, you’ll need to take extra special care of it. 

Why Do I Need to Take Extra Special Care of My Swimsuit? 

Because our swimwear is worn in such harsh environments as chlorine, sand, sun and salt, the colors and textures of our favorite bikinis can suffer. Swimsuits are typically made of synthetic fibers and spandex, which can be broken down over time and change the structure and appearance of your plus size beach outfits

Harsh chemicals like chlorine and natural elements like salt can quickly fade the color of swimwear and cause the material to erode and loosen over time. Your natural body oils and sweat can also cause the color of your swimwear to change. Spending prolonged periods in the sun can fade your bikinis or give them discoloration. And, of course, if you are adventuring in your swimsuits like hiking and zip-lining, your swimsuit could also suffer damage. Wear and tear with any kind of clothing is normal, but we find that swimwear can deteriorate much quicker.

red polka dotted bathing suit

But don’t worry! If you apply these cleaning and care techniques to your summer routine, your swimsuit will stay beautiful and wearable all season long. These techniques are also effective enough that they can keep your swimsuits looking good for years to come! 

It’s critical to keep our swimsuits looking great because they will ultimately dictate how we feel when we are at the beach with friends or hanging out by the pool. Our outfits determine our confidence levels, and we want you to feel and look your best all summer long. So, try these care and cleaning techniques to ensure that your favorite bathing suits look brand new every time you wear them! 

How to Properly Wash Your Swimsuit

If you’re wondering how to wash your swimsuit properly so that you can retain vibrant colors and keep the swimsuit looking fresh and fabulous, here is our step-by-step guide to getting the right wash every time. We will go over some general washing tips and techniques later on … so stay tuned! 

  1. Rinse Swimsuit in Cold Water After Swimming 

If you can, it’s best to rinse and wash your swimsuit in cold water immediately after you’re done wearing it. While we know it’s not realistic to rip off your swimsuit and wash it immediately, if your pool or the beach has a shower nearby, you could always take a quick shower to remove the chemicals or salt from your swimsuit. This quick rinse will help your swimsuit retain its color and its fit. If you will be taking multiple dips in the pool or ocean, you could always briefly rinse off after just to ensure you’re keeping your swimsuit in great condition. 

rinse swimsuit in cold water

  1. Spot Treat Your Swimsuit

Does your suntan lotion have natural tan enhancers like coffee or bronzer in them? If so, you may find the edges of your swimsuit can get discolored or stained. Before you wash your swimsuit, you can spot treat any stains with white vinegar or dish soap. Both of these materials are gentle on your swimsuit but will remove stains and odors. Apply a tiny amount of dish soap on any stain and let it sit for a few minutes. Be aware that sunless training lotions can create permanent stains on your swimsuit. So, if you are applying a self-tan, you may want to wear a dark-colored or old swimsuit.  

  1. Time for a Deep Wash

Once you get home and you’re able to give your swimsuit a good wash, you can either wash it by hand or throw it in the washing machine. Both of these methods are a great way to give your suit a deep clean, but hand washing your swimsuit can bring more benefits. This method is gentler and allows you to wash your swimsuit carefully, whereas the washer method may cause more room for error. 

If you want to make sure your swimsuit is carefully washed in the washer, leave out other clothing. This eliminates the possibility of other clothing bleeding onto your swimsuit or embellishments like buttons and zippers snagging on your swimsuit. As you hand wash your suit, use light amounts of detergent and cold water. You can use any kind of detergent, but if you want to retain or boost your swimsuit’s color, use a color-boosting formula. 

  1. Gently Squeeze Water Out of Swimsuit

Once you are done washing your favorite swimsuit, you will need to gently squeeze it to remove any excess water. This step is important, especially if you plan to wear your swimsuit again very soon. Squeezing out excess water will allow your swimsuit to dry much faster. 

  1. Lay Out Your Swimsuit to Dry 

While it may not be as easy as throwing your swimsuit in the dryer, laying out your swimsuit to dry is the best way to retain your swimsuit’s color and shape. You can lay out your swimsuit on a drying rack or a flat surface for the best results. Avoid hanging out your swimsuit to dry, as it can change the shape of your garment. You will also want to prevent laying out your swimsuit in the sun, as it could become faded over time and lose its natural color. 

lay out your swimsuit to dry

  1. Inspect for Any Damage and Repair It

After your swimsuit is washed and dried, you may want to inspect the suit for any damage. Whether it’s a stain that seems permanent or a tiny hole, you can easily fix the hole by sewing your swimsuit with a thread of the same color. Swimsuits do require upkeep and maintenance to keep them looking incredible. But it’s all worth it in the end — especially if that means you always have a swimsuit that you feel confident and beautiful in.

Tips on Washing Your Swimsuit and Keeping It Looking Nice 

Aside from establishing a regular wash routine to keep your swimsuit looking good, you may also find these washing techniques to be helpful. These techniques will show you quick ways to keep your swimwear vibrant, undamaged, odor-free, well-fitting and more. 

  1. Wash Your Swimsuit Before You Wear It 

We know it’s tempting to rip the tags off your new swimsuit and jump right into the pool, but if you want to ensure your swimsuit’s color or fit doesn’t malfunction while you’re poolside, it’s best to wash the suit first. Not only will this ensure that your swimsuit’s color doesn’t bleed onto your skin or into the pool water when you get in, but washing your bikini beforehand can also help ensure you get a curve-hugging fit that feels right. This first wash will help loosen the material so that it can mold to your curves perfectly. 

wash swimsuit before you wear it

  1. Avoid Unnecessary Sun Exposure 

While you’re en route to the beach or pool or on your way home, you will want to make sure you cover up your favorite swimsuit with plus size maxi dresses for summer. Keeping your swimsuit out of unnecessary sun exposure could keep your swimsuit from fading prematurely. And what a great excuse to stock up on cute dresses for summer!

  1. Use Cold Water When Cleaning Your Swimsuit 

Whether you are hand washing your swimsuit or throwing it into the washer, always make sure to use cold water. Cold water will help your swimsuit retain its color and fit. Washing your swimsuit in hot water — while it may be an appealing option to get rid of any bacteria — will cause your swimsuit to shrink, and it will greatly fade the color. 

  1. Invest in Color-Boosting Detergent 

The kind of detergent you use to clean your swimsuit could greatly enhance or change the appearance of your swimsuit. While using any detergent isn’t going to ruin your swimsuit, a color-boosting or color-safe detergent could help your swimsuit stay looking vibrant and even enhance the appearance of your bathing suit. 

  1. Lay Out Your Swimsuit to Dry 

It can be tempting to throw your swimsuit in the dryer after you wash it, but we suggest laying out your swimsuit to dry, as the dryer can rob the swimsuit of its vibrant colors. Lay out your swimwear on a flat surface away from the sun, as the sun’s rays could also make your swimsuit appear dull. When you dry your swimsuit in the dryer, you can also cause it to shrink. It’s also important to lay your swimsuit flat instead of hanging it up to dry, as this method could change the shape of your swimsuit, which will alter the fit and overall look. 

use dish soap for stains

  1. Use Dish Soap to Remove Stains 

If you have a tanning lotion that has instant bronzer or some of your spray tan has transferred onto your swimsuit, use dish soap on those spots. Bronzer and lotion can stain your swimsuit, so it’s important to inspect your swimwear before you wash it so you can eliminate the stain on the spot. Dish soap is a great stain remover because it’s gentle, but it also lifts greasy spots that are hard to remove with regular detergent.

  1. White Vinegar Can Kill Bacteria and Odors 

If you find that your swimsuit is taking on a strange odor because it isn’t drying properly, you can use white vinegar to kill any bacteria and remove odors. After you soak your swimsuit in vinegar, wash it in cold water with a detergent that you think smells nice. You may want to allow your swimsuit to soak in the cold water and detergent mixture for a while to remove the smell. 

We know that nothing is going to stand in the way of you having a great summer and looking cute in your vibrant and curve-hugging swimsuit — especially if you’re taking care of your swimwear. Use these swimsuit cleaning and washing tips to get the most out of your favorite styles. 

It can be hard to find a swimsuit that you love everything about. So, while implementing a wash and care routine may be more maintenance than you’re used to, it’s definitely worth it. And, hey, if you’re in the market for a flattering plus size bikini or one-piece, check out Creativeclipsbycolleen’s selection of flattering two-piece and one-piece plus size swimsuits


Image Credits

Tanya Syrytsyna/



OH studio image gallery/

Preto Perola/