If you’ve taken the plunge this season and invested in a pricey bathing suit—or even if you just want to keep your trusty stand-by in rotation for summers to come without stretching out or fading— read on for a few simple tips on how to keep that suit looking like new.
At the beach or pool: Try to limit sunbathing after swimming—the combo of chlorine, sunscreen, salt, and sun can contribute to fading and deterioration.
Heading home: Bring a change of clothes, and rinse your suit out before you leave the beach or pool to get as many of the chemicals from sunscreen and chlorine out as you can. It may not always be possible, but try to avoid tossing a wet swimsuit into a plastic bag (mildew = yuck).
Washing: Treat your bathing suit like your best delicates. Hand-washing with a mild detergent is best. If you use a washing machine, set it to the gentle cycle and put your suit in a mesh lingerie bag to protect it. Never twist or wring out a wet suit (this contributes to stretching and warping), and try to avoid the dryer. Suits laid flat to dry will retain their shape and color longer.
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