How to Wash a Swimsuit and Other Swimwear Care Hacks

Swimwear has become such a fashion statement in recent years. Shows such as Love Island take swimwear from just something you throw on for a day at the beach, to an outfit that needs serious thought and consideration. The choice of colours, prints, designs and fits is limitless, but sadly, so are the potential pitfalls!

Saltwater, the sun’s rays, chlorine, suncream and body oils - all these things can have an effect on the colour, feel and fit of your bikinis and swimming costumes. Darker pieces such as sexy black swimwear can begin to fade without the correct care, whilst your fresh and bright white bikini might lose its sparkle really quickly.

But don’t worry, Ann Summers is here to help. Follow our swimwear care tips and tricks to ensure your gorgeous new bikini or swimming costume goes the distance and makes you look amazing from one summer to the next.

What is the Best Way to Wash Swimsuits?

Your swimwear should come with a care label inside it, so check this first for any specific instructions but the most important things to remember are:

  • Wash your swimming costume or bikini as soon as you can after use. Leaving it sitting in a bag or the laundry basket just gives those harsh chemicals such as chlorine and salt water more time to break down the fabrics or leave a less-than-fresh odour. So efficiency is key!
  • Use a gentle detergent or one that is specially formulated for delicates. You want to keep that softness to your swimwear so ensure the detergent doesn’t contain harsh chemicals or perfumes that can break down the materials.

Do You Wash Swimsuits in Hot or Cold Water?

If hand washing your swimwear, use either cold or room temperature water to prevent the material from losing its elasticity. Hand washing is the gentlest way to wash any garments, and you can take particular care by choosing a laundry detergent specially formulated for swimwear.

How to Wash Swimwear in the Washing Machine

As touched on previously, there should be a care label telling you the most suitable way to wash your swimwear. It should be noted that certain fabrics such as foiled, sequinned, or printed swimwear should not be machine washed. However, if your swimwear can be machine washed but specific instructions aren’t given on the care label, we recommend you use a gentle wash cycle suitable for delicate items such as the hand wash, cold wash, or delicates setting. Fortunately, all Ann Summers swimwear and lingerie comes with care instructions, so you’ll never be left guessing.

How Often Should You Wash Swimwear

Well, essentially the bottom half of your swimwear is the same as a pair of knickers, and you would definitely wash these after every use, right? We hope so! So, should swimwear be washed after every use? Absolutely. But aside from the hygiene reasons, if you leave your swimwear to dry with chlorine or salt water on it, these will break down the fabric far quicker than if you wash the swimming costume or bikini after every use, so don’t be lazy now, get that cozzie is in the washie!

What to do With Swimwear After Swimming

Get as much of the chlorine or salt water out of your swimsuit as possible, straight after swimming. Either remove your swimwear or shower with it on under clean, fresh water. The sooner you do this the less the swimwear will absorb those harsh chemicals, so if you can, get rinsing baby!

But that’s not all…you should also do this before you swim. Why? Your swimwear contains polymers that give your bikini or swimming costume its stretch and the ability to bounce back into shape. These polymers begin to break down over time when exposed to chemicals. However, if you rinse in fresh water first, the materials absorb clean water before absorbing chemically treated or salt water. This essentially dilutes the harsh chemicals with fresh water, reducing damage.

Can You Tumble Dry Swimwear?

We would recommend you keep your swimwear as far away from the tumble dryer as possible. Air dry your swimwear flat to help it keep its shape. Don’t dry it in direct sunlight as, over time, this will fade the colours of the fabric. Make sure it’s as dry as a bone before you pop it back in its drawer, there’s nothing less sexy than that musky ‘didn’t quite dry before I put it away’ smell on your clothing or swimwear!

How to Prevent Bobbling and Pilling

Unfortunately, pilling and bobbling over time are common with synthetic fibres. And if you thought your handy bobble remover might help, we’re sorry to say it won’t, not on swimwear. The material will simply get thinner and make pilling all the more visible. When it comes to pilling or bobbling, prevention is better than cure. Here are our tips:

  • Avoid sitting on abrasive surfaces such as the rough poolside edge which are heavily textured for safety to prevent people from slipping and falling. Great for fall prevention, not so much for the bottom of our swimwear! Instead, sit on a chair or sunbed.
  • Protect the bottom area of your swimsuit or bikini by wearing a sarong over the top, thus allowing you to sit wherever the action is!

So, there you go. Whether you were wondering how to wash bikinis or swimming costumes, we hope our guide has helped you get (and stay) beach bodacious this summer…and beyond.


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