Finding a swimsuit you truly love can take a lot of time and effort. It's a piece of clothing that we ladies often critique far more than anything else in our closet. And when you do find a bikini or one piece that you adore, it's natural to want to maximize its life expectancy so that you can wear it for a long time. This fact is even more true when you have purchased a high-quality swimsuit with your hard-earned money.
One of the best ways to extend the life of your bathing suit is by storing it properly when you're not wearing it; this preserves the shape, color, and elasticity of the bathing suit. Proper storage is especially important if you don't plan on wearing your suit for several weeks at a time. But no matter how long it will be unused, your suit will hold up much better by following a few simple practices:
1. Wash Before Storing
It's always a good idea to wash your suit before putting it away, whether you are simply done wearing it for the day or packing it away for the season. Washing your bathing suit removes the salt, sunscreen, and chlorine that may be lingering after your day in the sun. But these chemicals can cause yellowing or staining of the fabric, and chlorine exposure fades colors quickly.
Additionally, without removing these contaminants, your suit can develop an odor that stinks up your whole drawer - washing it after every use removes chemicals and odors, ensuring that your bathing suit lasts longer. The easiest way to do this is to wear it in the shower afterward, but if you cannot do that, you can rinse it in the sink after taking it off. Remove excess water by laying the suit flat; do not wring it out as that can stretch the suit, put stress on the fibers, and damage its shape.
Read our post on how to wash your beloved swimwear
2. Do Not Use the Washing Machine
While it's tempting to throw your suit in the hamper after you've worn it so that it gets washed with your next load of laundry, washing machines can prematurely age your suit, and strings or embellishments can get caught on the agitator, damaging the bathing suit.
Many of the manufacturers' labels specifically indicate that you should not machine wash the bathing suit. The majority of swimwear holds up much better if it's hand-washed. Hand-washing prevents your suit from losing its color and shape to increase its longevity. And it's best to use a specially formulated product for bathing suits, rather than regular laundry detergent to ensure that it gets totally clean even in a hand-wash.
Some suits do allow for machine-washing. If yours does, be sure that you are following the manufacturer's recommendations for temperature and wash setting.
3. Dry the Bathing Suit Completely Before Packing It Away
After washing your suit, air dry it totally by laying it flat on a towel in a well-ventilated area. Many people hang them in the bathroom to dry out, but this is often the worst place possible since bathrooms have high humidity that prevents the suit from drying completely. And hanging the suit is also bad since the weight of the water can stretch out the suit while it dries. Similarly, using a dryer to dry out your suit can cause the heat to damage the suit fibers and elasticity. And sunlight can fade the colors. The best method is to lay the bathing suit flat on a towel and turn it over while drying. This method ensures that the entire suit dries completely before it is stored.
4. Use a Garment Bag
We call them Stasher bags! Garment bags are temperature and humidity-controlled, meaning that they can maintain optimal conditions for your suit as long as it needs to be stored. Some garment bags can also be vacuum-sealed, further ensuring that no humidity will get on the suit. Be cautious not to use a plastic bag since they can promote moisture building up the accumulation of mildew – both of which can prematurely age your suit.
We sell stasher bags at both of our locations.
5. Store Your Bathing Suits in a Cool, Dry Area
You can extend the life of your bathing suit by minimizing its exposure to extreme temperatures and humidity. Even if you don't use a garment bag, it's better to find a temperature-controlled place, such as a closet or drawer in your bedroom. Avoid places like the attic or garage since they usually experience greater temperature fluctuations. Wherever you choose to store your suit, you should also be sure that no pets or children can access the area. They can unintentionally damage the bathing suit, nulling any other efforts you have made to preserve the bathing suit.
6. Keep Your Suits Organized
There is nothing worse than going to put on your favorite bikini for your first beach day of the year and finding half of it missing. And it doesn't pay to put all of this effort into extending the life of your bathing suit if part of it does go missing. While many busy strangers toss their swimwear in the same drawer as other pieces of clothing, this is a sure way to lose parts of your suit during the long off-season.
If you make sure that your bathing suits are organized and stored in their proper location, all pieces of your swimwear are ready to go when those temperatures warm up! You can use an identified drawer or garment bags, but no matter where you decide to store them, keep other pieces of clothing separate so that you don't have to rummage around looking for something else.
Finding suits that makes you feel confident and comfortable can take some time, and when you do find them, you want to be sure to maximize their life by storing swimsuits properly. Following the tips above ensures that your suit will keep its shape and stay radiant for many summers to come!