How Do I Keep Chlorine From Damaging My Swimsuit?

It’s time to go to the pool, is your swimwear ready? No—really—is your swimwear ready? Chlorinated water damages now only our hair, but also our swimsuits, swimming trunks, and other swimwear. It also changes their color, causes their fabric to shred and break down their elasticity. It can even turn white suits yellow. Other things that bleach your swimsuit are the sun and strong detergents.

One of the ways to avoid damage to your swimsuit is to check its tag. Is it resistant to chlorine and fade? Does it have any satisfaction guarantee? Is it high in spandex? An answer of yes to those questions can assure you that you have a quality swimsuit that will withstand its time in the water. Otherwise, here are a few tips to keep chlorine from damaging your swimsuit:

There are several things you can do to take care of your swimsuit before going into the water. In fact, it can be as simple as taking a shower first and making sure that your swimsuit is soaking ample amounts of water. This lessens the chlorine that it absorbs. If you just bought a new swimsuit, you might want to soak it in a treatment made with water and vinegar to seal in the color. Just get cool water, add some vinegar, and soak the swimsuit for 20 to 30 minutes. The vinegar is absorbed by the swimsuit with the help of water.

Also, you might want to avoid warm water as this is bad for the fabric of your swimsuit. So you might want to keep cool if you’re wearing your favorite suit. Instead, reserve one specifically for warm baths—with designs and colors not susceptible to fading.

After going for a swim in the pool, you should wash the swimsuit in cold water immediately. This is to remove the chlorine, salt spray, and sunblock that eventually causes damage to your swimwear—but it doesn’t remove all chemicals from the pool, so you still have to use soap. Just gently wash it, too. Harsh movement can damage the form and the fabric. It could cause bunches and stretching that can ruin your precious swimsuit.

Gently wash your swimsuits by hand and avoid putting them in the washing machine. Doing so will damage the form, elasticity, and integrity of the swimsuit’s fabric. Air-dry it and do not put it out in the sun or use spinners and dryers.

Also, you might want to wash your swimsuit with a bit of vinegar. This neutralizes the chlorine, removes its smell, and stop discoloration. Or, if you don’t want a DIY hack, you can always buy special detergent solutions. Try to avoid the usual detergents as these are too harsh for the fabric of the swimsuit. Finally, avoid using bleach, or your swimwear’s colors and prints will fade.

You may also want to keep more than one swimsuit with you so that you can rotate them. Spandex is actually a “memory” type of fabric. It needs time to snap back to its original shape, so you might have to hang it for a while. That also means you can’t keep wearing one day after day without risking damage to the form and integrity of the fabric. In fact, it’s recommended that you let your swimsuit rest for at least 24 hours before using it again. This actually gives you a good excuse to shop for swimwear!

Going to the pool is a fun water activity that lets you relax and exercise. You can even catch Instagram-worthy shots, too! But don’t forget to take care of your swimwear so they can last in the water longer.


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