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How to wash and care for swimwear - Expert Advice from a swimwear Professional

Updated: Feb 24, 2023

We have all gone through the agony of having to part ways with a favorite swimsuit. You know...the one that made it on every vacation, to every pool party or beach day. With regular wear and frequent exposure to the elements such as sun, salt water, chlorine and sunscreen, even the most well made, high end designer swimwear will eventually fade and lose elasticity over time. It brings up the question of whether that designer swimsuit is really worth its price tag if it is only going to succumb to the elements and wear and tear eventually?

All swimwear, including Designer swimwear, will eventually have to be retired at some point, however there are ways in which you can take care of your favorite swimsuit, which will help lengthen its lifespan. Below are some tips to help you choose a good quality swimsuit and advice on how to care for your swimwear so you can prolong its lifespan and keep it looking and feeling newer longer.



Pay particular attention to the fabric makeup of the swimwear you are planning on purchasing. Always choose swimwear that has a percentage of spandex or elastane in it. Swimwear made with spandex or elastane within its composition, tend to hold their shape for a longer period of time. Try to pick styles that have a slightly higher composition within their makeup (15%-20%) is a good rule of thumb.


a. Pre-rinse

Where ever possible, always rinse your swimsuit ASAP after use, in cold tap water. If time permits, allow the suit to soak in the cold water for 30 minutes. (Do not soak overnight) Soaking will help to loosen any chemicals, salt, sunscreen, perspiration and body oils which can wreak havoc on the fabric. Rinsing alone however will not completely rid your swimwear of chlorine, salt or lotions. Hand washing needs to follow soon after

b. Hand Wash

As tedious and time consuming as it may seem, Always hand wash your swimsuit. Preferably, after rinsing, refill your sink/tub with cold water and add no more then 1 teaspoon or less of gentle, color safe liquid laundry detergent. Do not use powder detergents as they can clump and harden on your swimwear if not properly dissolved. Slowly stir the swimsuit in the solution and very gently knead or massage the fabric in the solution to work out any remaining dirt and chemicals from the garment. (Do not soak overnight)

c. Final Rinse

Drain the soapy water from your sink/tub and thoroughly rinse out the swimsuit under cold running water until the water runs clear. Gently fold the swimsuit into a square and lightly squeeze the excess water out of the swimsuit in small sections at a time. Do not wring out the suit as this will cause irreversible damage to the shape and elasticity of the fabric.


Always air dry your swimwear. Dryers tend to be much quicker, especially in a pinch but the heat from dryer's will cause irreversible damage to your swimwear over time. The high heat will ruin your swimsuits elasticity and can cause the fabric to change shape and even shrink. Avoid air drying your swimwear in the bathroom if possible. Bathrooms tend to have a high humidity level which will prevent your swimwear from drying completely.


As soon as your swimwear is fully dried, it is ready to be stored. Storing away a swimsuit that has even the tiniest bit of moisture will lead to mildew. For this reason, I also discourage against using plastic bags and/or closed storage bins as these storage methods are the number one culprit for growing mold and mildew on swimwear. If you like the idea of individual storage bags to keep pieces together, I suggest investing in mesh bags instead. Having a designated swimwear drawer will be your easiest and safest method of storage. Utilizing drawer dividers will also help keep everything organized. Separate your one piece swimsuits from your bikinis. Also make sure you take out any removable padding from your swimwear during storage. I also like to add unused dryer sheets to my swimwear drawer to keep things smelling fresh for when swimsuit season makes its way back around.

If you are looking for a high quality, designer swimsuit that is worth its price tag yet wont break the bank, be sure to check out an up and coming Canadian owned, Designer Swimwear brand, Mojado Collection.

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