Photography by: Jonathan Thomas
Model: Maleena Pruitt
How to Make Your Bathing Suits Last Longer
As the summer comes to an end, you may be wondering how to make your bathing suits last longer. With Labor Day weekend upon us, we are giving our readers some insight on how to #SaveTheSuit – ensuring your bathing suit will last through many more sun-filled summers to come.
Swimsuit sustainability is not necessarily all about suit quality – even the most expensive designer swimwear does not stand the test of time. No matter the brand or cost of investment, suits may start to pill, droop and fade before the end of their first bikini season.
Factors that can damage bathing suits:
- Body Oils
- Hot Tubs
- Salt Water
The factors listed above, among others, wear down the fabric of your swimsuit. However, we have good news! There are ways to prevent the deterioration of your favorite bathing suit, or at least put it off for a few years. Read more to view more fabulous bathing suits and learn how to properly #savethesuit.
The price to #SavetheSuit? A small time investment and a willingness to take care of your things a bit better.
How Long Your Bathing Suits Should Last:
“A decent-quality swimsuit should last many years, up to 10 even, if taken care of properly.”
While we were visiting The Market Shops in Miramar Beach, we chatted with Darcy Pentel, a 30a local and owner of Sirens at the Beach. Darcy not only sells bathing suits and fine lingerie from around the world, but she knows how to take properly care for her own suits, too. Her oldest suit? 14.
According to Darcy:
“Caring for your suits is easy. Once you get in the routine a suit should last you for quite some time. My rule of thumb is to get in the shower with your suit still on and give it a good rinse and then gently ring it out. Then lay it flat to dry on a towel. Voila, a long lasting relationship with your favorite suit!”
How to Care For Your Suits:
For Those That Keep It Simple
For minimum amount of effort, quickly rinse your suit as soon as you come in from the beach, lake or pool. According to Real Simple, “The less time bacteria has to set in, the better!” A quick rinse with fresh, cold water is always better than nothing and the least you can do to #savethesuit.
Hand-Wash Your Bathing Suits for Longevity
Wash by hand in cold water with an appropriate gentle cleaner. Experts have varying opinions on which cleaner to use when washing your suit. Ideally, you would use a cleanser specifically meant for swimsuits.
Some bikini experts say to use Everything But Water’s Swimwear Cleaner or Speedo’s Swimsuit Cleaner. The retail website SwimsuitsForAll.com recommends washing a suit with a mild hand soap, while Allure suggests a detergent meant for delicates. If all else fails, many agree that baby shampoo should do the trick.
Press Your Suit To Dry
Experts recommend pressing, instead of wringing, out excess water and laying flat – instead of hanging – to dry. This will prevent your favorite one-piece from stretching.
SwimsuitsForAll.com suggests that you should “resist the urge to wring out every last drop of water. Doing so can damage the fibers, leaving your suit sagging in all the wrong places. Hanging a swimsuit (especially by the ties) can stretch it out, too. Instead, lay the suit out on a towel, roll the towel up and squeeze gently, then lay your swimsuit out to dry. Avoid drying it in sunshine, which can fade the color. Always dry the suit out completely before putting it away.”
Store Your Suits Properly
Once your bathing suit has dried (indoors; not in the sun), store your suit in a drawer, out of sunlight. A cool, dry, dark environment will help make your bathing suits last longer.
What Not to Do When It Comes to your Swimwear:
Never Machine Wash any of your Suits. Like, ever.
Washing machines are notorious for significantly decreasing the lifespan of bathing suits. Your washing machine could ruin your bathing suit in just one wash if the suit has any embellishments (hello, my new favorite trend!). Additionally, normal laundry product can damage the fine fibers of your suit. Color fading, stretching, yellowing, pilling, spandex weakening and hot water damage are just a few of the reasons to avoid the machine.
Fun Fact: Men’s swim trunks can go in the washing machine. Since they contain less spandex, they are more durable and can be machine washed. Besides boasting a lower price point, men’s suits are generally less expensive. Typical.
Never Wear Your Nice Suits in the Hot Tub.
The combination of heat and chlorine will not help your bathing suits last longer. Instead it will weaken the elasticity of the spandex causing your new favorite summer suit to stretch.
Never Lay Your Bathing Suits in the Sun to Dry.
This will cause fading. Keep your swimsuit out of the sun when you are not wearing it.
Never Soak Swimsuits Overnight.
Doing so can loosen fibers.
Never Hang a Wet Swimsuit.
Hanging a bathing suit post-wash can significantly alter the form and shape of the garment. For example, if you hang your bikini in the shower to dry, your straps will stretch out due to the weight of the water.
Never Wear the Same Suit Two Days In a Row.
And not just because it is a supposed fashion faux pas. As tempting as it is to throw one suit in your weekender for a few days at the beach, you should never wear the same bathing suit twice in 48 hours. Most material in bathing suits includes spandex. Did you know spandex needs 24 hours to return to its shape? Me either. But wearing the same suit on both Saturday and Sunday can cause it to stretch or become deformed. This gives you a built-in defense when your husband accuses you of packing too many suits. The struggle is real.
If you are willing to take the time to follow the above tips you can prevent, or at least prolong, the deterioration of your favorite – and sometimes pricey! – swimsuits. Applying these steps to your favorite swimwear will help #savethesuit – ensuring your bathing suits will last through next Labor Day. Here’s to hoping that by following these simple steps we will all look just as good as our bathing suits next summer! Or vice-versa.
Have any swimwear care tips or tricks? Please comment below and let us know how you keep your bikini looking right off the rack or what methods you use to treat stained suits. We would love to hear from you and add your suggestions to this post!
True story: I once used an entire tide-to-go stick on my bright white bikini – as seen in our Cake-Pull post – and I was able to remove an old set-in makeup stain! I am not sure if this is advisable, so always consult a professional first.
Happy Labor Day Weekend to all! We really appreciate all of our readers for such amazing support. Stay safe and enjoy the weekend! If you are in the path of any of these terrible storms, our prayers are with you.
xx, The Southern Atelier Team