What Happens If I Don’t Look After My Swimwear?
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What Happens If I Don’t Look After My Swimwear?

Feel some sympathy for your swimwear, it goes through a lot. From the chemicals used in your local swimming pool, to the high levels of sea salt at the beach - not to mention the blaring sun as you top up your glow. There are several factors which can cause harm to your bikini, tankini or one piece which can easily be avoided. Make them last longer by protecting them from these dangers:

Chlorine damage

Have you ever noticed your swimwear doesn’t look as bright as when you first purchased it? Of course over a substantial amount of time you may expect some wear, but high levels of chlorine can accelerate this process and make you wish you’d not spent quite so long in the pool. Chlorine is also often the guilty culprit of breaking down the Spandex in your costume. This will cause it to lose shape and a once flattering piece might start to become baggy and uncomfortable. There are a couple of steps you can take to avoid this – first and foremost, make sure you clean it properly after use to remove any cling-on chlorine (more on this later), but also consider investing in swimwear which has defence from the chemicals built into the fabric. This is most common in pieces made for competitive swimmers, but can be equally useful to those that just enjoy taking long soaks in the pool. Look out for items that include microfibers and explicitly state that they contain chlorine protection. This won’t limit you to simpler designs, as you can see from this stunning Sunseeker piece.

UV fading

If you love to soak up the sun as much as we do, you may already know that as your skin is gaining colour, your bathing suit could be having the opposite effect. Much like the protection you can get embedded in the cloth for chlorine, it is also possible to opt for a suit which shields UV. Once again, this doesn’t limit your choice - this great Jets panelled design is a prime example. If your chosen product doesn’t have this as a listed feature, there are other steps you can take to safeguard the material. Now this first one might seem tough – but it will also benefit your health. Try and spend less time lazing in the sun by balancing it out with time in the shade or in the water. Not only will you be giving your skin a rest from bronzing (because lotion is not always enough), you will also be prolonging the vibrancy of your swimwear. Try and stick to hourly intervals and avoid wearing the same suit every time you hit the sun loungers. In addition, never leave it out to dry in the sun.

Washing and drying errors

No matter how high-quality it is, if washed and dried incorrectly, the textile will suffer. Whether it’s stretching; fading or loose threads, these problems can easily be avoided by treating your costume with care.


The best time to wash it is straight after you have worn it. This will eliminate any dirt or residue before it can settle and cause damage to the material. Before you clean it for the first time, check the care label. If you want to remove it, keep it somewhere safe as it may come in handy in the future. Always hand wash your swimwear – even a gentle cycle can be rough on it, and is guaranteed to ruin any detailing, such as beading in addition to distorting the shape. Instead, follow these instructions:
  1. Fill up a wash bowl with cold water.
  2. Submerge your item(s) and let it soak. Use a mild soap, but do not scrub the material too hard.
  3. Once clean, take out of the water and gently squeeze the excess liquid out. Never wring or twist as this will ruin the form.


Have you ever hung your costume on the washing line? We wouldn’t recommend it, as it can cause sag and also gives the sun another chance to drain out the colour. Plus, don’t even think of popping it in the dryer for a quick fix, as this is just as damaging as putting it in the washing machine. Instead, lay it out flat to dry in a well-ventilated area.

Easy tips to avoid damage

As well as the factors above, there are other steps you can take to look after the fabric of your costume:
  • Keep sun oils, lotions and moisturiser away. The ingredients in these can aggravate.
  • Bleach will completely discolour your bathing suit, so avoid at all costs.
  • Be aware of rough surfaces – try and avoid sitting or leaning against them.
By following these tips, your swimwear can last much longer. If you have any other tips for looking after bikinis, tankinis or one piece’s then let us know in the comments section below.

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