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How to: Wash & Care for Swimweart

21 March 2024

4 tips for washing and caring for your bathing suit

Swimsuits, swim dresses, bikinis and tankinis are usually the most neglected part of a wardrobe; but they need just as much care and attention as our other favourite garments. In fact, failure to care for your swimwearproperly can result in fading colours, loss of elasticity and, in extreme cases, mould forming. Follow our tips below to keep your swim collection looking as fabulous as possible, for as long as possible!

1. Rinse before and after swimming

Sun cream, chlorine and salt are your swimwear’s biggest enemy. Despite swimwear being built to last, extensive exposure to salts, minerals and chlorine causes stains, and eventually breakdown the fibres. This reduces its elasticity and causes the pattern to fade. A quick rinse with cold water before and after a dip in the pool will help to maintain your costume’s stretch and pattern.

*Leaf Print Cutout Detail Swimsuit with Detachable Straps

2. Always read the label

Each piece of swimwear gives you the best recommendation for the best way to wash them. Some require hand washing, whereas others can be put on a delicate machine cycle. We recommend washing inside out and (if the label advises it) washing on a cool wash inside a garment bag or pillowcase for extra protection. Hand washing is always the safest bet if you’re worried about fading colours. We recommend washing bikinis and tankinis in mild detergent and lukewarm water.

3. How to dry swimwear: Don’t add heat

Although it can seem tempting to pop your swimming costume on the radiator after cleaning, we would advise staying clear of this. The same can be said for leaving your costume in the sun as the heat will break down the polymer chains in the material. To dry your swimwear safely, air drying is your friend, swimwear is crafted from fabric that dries quickly, so give your suit fresh air and let it dry on its own. Avoid wringing or twisting the swimwear, as well as hanging the wet garments up, as this could cause the fabric to stretch. Instead, lie the swimwear flat on a surface or towel to dry on its own.

4. Check your sunscreen

If you’ve noticed brown and yellow stains appearing in your swimming costume, this could be due to your sunscreen! Sunscreen with avobenzone can react with iron in water to create rust which stains your costume. If you have already noticed these it might be time to get a replacement as these stains are very hard to remove!

Swimwear Washing & Care FAQ’s

How can I stop my swimwear from fading?

Chlorine is a big contributor to fading, just remember to rinse your suit or bikini thoroughly at the end of the day (or after your swim) and when drying, keep out of the sun.

How long should my swimwear last?

It really depends on how often you wear it - some people can go years using the same swimsuit whereas more frequent swimmers may have to replace theirs every year. The more you care for your swimwear, the longer it will last. If you follow our top tips, your swimwear will be looking fantastic for longer!

How should I store my swimwear?

Everyone is guilty of it, shoving your swimwear to the back of a drawer until it is inevitably replaced the following year. We recommend folding (yes, folding) your swimwear and storing either in a pillowcase or vac-pac bag and placing it in the bottom of a drawer.

Patchwork Print Ruched Front Swimdress

How can I freshen up an old swimsuit?

Half a cup of baking soda added to a sink of cold water before soaking will both brighten a swimsuit and remove odours.

How often should I wash my swimwear?

Rinse after every wear and give your swimwear a deep cleaning after every three to five uses.

Women’s Swimwear from Bonmarché

At Bonmarché, we have a selection of stunning swimming costumes, swim-dresses, bikinis and tankini sets which, when following our care advice, will last you a long time. Browse our range today!