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The Dos and Don’ts to Properly Cleaning Swimwear

Swimsuit season is upon us. And the FIRST day of summer is June 21! Bright, floral, polka dot and snazzy bikinis line store walls waiting to be handpicked for the vacation they were made for… But why spend money on beautiful new swimwear each year when they inevitably become worn down, faded and super distressed from the sun, chlorine, sand and sunscreen?

Well, that will soon be a worry of the past as we walk through how to properly clean swimwear and keep them in tip-top shape — because let’s be real, swimwear can be pricey! And if you find the perfect ensemble that fits like a glove, you’ll want to keep it that way for as long as possible. Those are hard to come by... Follow these Dos and Don'ts to preserve swimwear after each wear.  

The NUMBER ONE RULE — always hand wash your swimwear.

Swimsuits are typically made of polyester, and either Lycra or Spandex, and cleaning them in the washer can damage the elastic fibers, altering their shape and structure. Basically, they won’t fit the same after being wrung, tossed and tumbled in the washer. They need a gentle and delicate hand wash so as not to compromise their shape and overall fit.

DO hand wash with a GENTLE detergent

Harsh detergents, filled with chemicals, optical brighteners and fillers can damage the materials in swimsuits. Not only that, but they can drastically fade bright colors, weaken the fabric and clog the fibers even more. Instead, opt for gentle detergents like Rockin’ Green Classic or Hard Rock laundry detergents that are formulated without any harmful and irritating chemicals, fillers or optical brighteners. Used in a hand wash routine, these detergents are even gentler on your swimwear.

If you don’t have time to hand wash, DO IT THIS WAY

If you absolutely don’t have time to hand wash your favorite bikini, toss it in a mesh laundry bag, run it on a gentle cycle and clean with a super gentle detergent, as mentioned earlier. Placing your swimwear in a mesh bag will avoid picks, stretching and pilling.

DO wash your swimwear after each use

Regardless of whether you actually entered the pool, lake or ocean in your bikini, it still gets clogged with sweat, oils from your body, sunscreen or tanning oil. And if you do get into the water, your swimsuits become even messier. Think: chlorine, lake water and sediment, ocean salt and more. All of these things clog the polyester and elastic fibers in swimwear, and if not promptly washed after each wear, can damage them quickly over a short course of time.

DON'T clean swimwear with HOT WATER

Hand washing or not, using hot water is a no no. Hot water can damage and ruin the elastics in swimwear, and can allow colors to bleed easier and faster. Avoiding hot water doesn’t just apply when washing your swimwear, but when you’re wearing it. Avoid wearing your best swimsuits and bikinis in hot tubs! Bleeding, color fading and fabric damage can happen in hot tubs and jacuzzis!

DO dry swimsuits flat, and out of the sun

Never hang your swimwear to dry on hangers or hooks. Lay them flat; otherwise, they will dry and lose their shape and structure. Need a swimsuit dry in a jiffy? Don’t lay it out in direct sunlight. As you probably know, the sun can fade clothing. Instead, gently ring it out in a fluffy, absorbent towel, lay it flat and wait patiently. Never dry swimsuits in the dryer! (That’s a no brainer… at least, now.)

Choose a summery Rockin’ Green laundry detergent scent to clean all your swimsuits. We love Smashing Watermelon and AC/DSea Breeze this time of year. Even when hand washed, laundry washed with Rockin’ Green will rinse clean of any scents you smell. So when you rinse, wring and lay out to dry, your swimsuit will only smell fresh and clean.

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