Selecting durable swimwear and avoiding unnecessary wear and tear along with using the proper techniques to rinse, wash, and dry your swimwear, you should be able to make sure your family’s swimwear lasts the season. However, there are a few more details about swimwear care to consider in order to achieve optimum durability, whatever swimwear you select.
Avoiding Stain-Causing Products
The oils found in tanning oils, sunscreen, and most cosmetics can cause damage and discoloration to any fabrics, but especially those made from synthetic material such as swimsuits. When they do cause staining, those stains can actually become larger over time and break down the fibers of the fabric. If you use mineral-based products, the result will likely be yellowing, along with stains that develop gradually. Sunscreens that contain the ingredient avobenzone, in particular, can cause brown, rust-colored stains.
You can avoid the most significant effects by applying any lotion or sunscreen several minutes before you don your swimwear. By waiting until it dries, you will avoid the greatest chance of staining.
Treating Swimwear Stains
If you do notice stains, treat them immediately. First remove any excess lotion with a spoon or by sprinkling cornstarch or sand on the area, and leave it for about 15 minutes before brushing the additive away. Then, as soon as you can, be sure to rinse your suit in fresh, warm water and then clean it with your choice of mild detergent or vinegar followed by a 30-minute cold-water bath.
Another option for treating stains is to apply baking soda to the spot two hours before washing in a mixture of one part white vinegar to three parts water for 30 minutes. That same treatment can be used prior to wear in order to prevent colors from bleeding. Commercial stain-removal products may also be used. Alternatively, you may want to try rubbing pure vegetable glycerin into the stain.
Storing Swimwear Properly
Whether it’s just overnight or during the off-season, you want to be cautious about how you store your swimwear, in order to help it last as long as possible. First, we’re assuming that you’ve followed our recommendations for always air drying your swimwear. After drying, be sure to store your suit in a temperature-controlled room where it won’t be subjected to direct sunlight (which could cause fading) or to added moisture (which could cause added wear).
In addition to the environment, be sure that the container in which it’s stored is an appropriate one. If your swimwear is exposed to any added moisture in the air, it can easily become damaged from mildew. If the suit will be worn again within the week, you can simply lay it flat on a shelf or under a bed or keep it in a plastic storage bin. If you will need to store it for a longer amount of time, a garment bag (especially a vacuum-sealed one) may be a better option.
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