How to wash your swimwear

Now you’ve chosen the perfect bikini, swimsuit or swim short, it’s important to know how to care for your swimwear. With the right kind of care your swimwear should take you through seasons of fun! So read our tips below to keep your swimwear looking good and performing as it should.

Discover how to wash your swimwear!

How to wash swimwear
How to dry swimwear
Take a pre-shower
Rinse in cool clean water
Wearing older swimwear
Watch out for sunscreen
Watch out with neons

After each use

How to wash your swimwear

If it is necessary to wash your swimwear, always do this by hand. Choose a mild detergent, even better a mild hand soap without moisturisers. Fill your sink with cold water and add some mild soap. Wash gently and rinse well with cold water. Do not soak your swimsuit as this is bad for the fibers and causes them to loose their elasticity.

How to dry your swimwear

Remove excess water by rolling your swimwear in a towel and providing light pressure (do not wring the water out). Now allow your swimwear to drip dry away from direct sunlight or dry it flat if possible. The elastic in your swimwear helps return it to its original shape after wear. This usually takes 24 hours to occur. This is why, if possible, it’s good to rotate swimwear. This allows your swimwear to recover from the action!


1. Take a pre-shower

You’re practicing good hygiene by having a shower before hitting the pool. And there’s another advantage to a pre-shower. Pool water contains chlorine and other chemicals, which are harmful to swimwear fabric. If you have a shower before going in the pool, the fabric of your swimwear absorbs ‘regular’ water and then there’s less room for those nasty substances in the pool water to get in.

Remember also shampoos and other liquids that we use in the shower may also be bad for swimwear so try to keep them away from each other!

RAPTER 21 surf T-shirt | MASK surfable shorts

2. Rinse your swimsuit or bikini in cool clean water

Rinse you swimwear by hand after each use even if you don’t go in the water. Sunscreens can damage the technical fabric of your swimsuit so it’s best to remove it as soon as possible. Sun, salt water and sweat can damage the fabric of your swimsuit and cause colour to fade. If you’re enjoying a longer stay by the water, it’s a good idea to take a swim or a refreshing shower every once in a while to also rinse your swimwear off.

Remember chlorinated water is a lot more damaging to fabric than fresh and salt water. Rinse your swimwear directly after use to avoid any bad odors that may occur if the swimwear stays wet for too long.

3. Think about wearing older swimwear

If you’re planning an active day at the water park or maybe by the rock pools, think about wearing your old swimsuit (so it’s a good idea to keep it). Rough surfaces can damage the fabric, snagging it or creating worn areas. Also avoid wearing swimwear with beading and other delicate decoration on days like these.

DIMER swim shorts | BOLLIN swim shorts | PATTERSON swim shorts

4. Watch out for sunscreen

You should always wear sunscreen. The problem is that sunscreen and swimwear fabric don’t go well together. Sunscreen can leave stains in the fabric that are impossible to remove. So here’s what you do. Apply the sunscreen 20 minutes before you put your swimwear on. When it comes to reapplying sunscreen, try to avoid any contact with the fabric.

5. Watch out with neons

Neon colours are fabulous but they will fade in sunlight. But hey, faded neon will look great too.

MELAN surf bikini


There are quite a few DON’T’s when it comes to swimwear care…here comes the list:

  1. Don’t leave your swimsuit rolled up or store it when it is still wet.
  2. Don’t machine wash. Washing your swimsuit in a washing machine will cause fiber damage.
  3. Don’t tumble dry or iron
  4. Don’t wring your swimsuit. This causes the elastic to weaken and that will directly effect the fit of your swimwear.
  5. Don’t let your swimwear dry in direct sunlight as this causes fading.
  6. Don’t sit on rough surfaces while wearing a swimsuit. This may cause snagging and wear. Put down a towel first. Remember using slides will cause wear.
  7. Don’t hang your swimsuit or bikini out to dry on a metal hanger. This could leave a rust mark which is impossible to get out. Really.


So that was our guide on how to wash and care for your swimwear. In summary, rinse your swimwear by hand after each use, use a mild detergent if necessary, never machine wash, never tumble dry and never bleach. Always have fun. Colours will fade through contact with chlorine and other substances and of course, sunlight. Care for your swimwear and you’ll have season after season of fun together.