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10 hints on how to care for your swimwear

Swimwear these days are so versatile! So many different pieces under the same category: Bikini - Swimsuit - Leisurewear – Speedos - Beachwear - Swimming trunks - Bathing suit - Tankini - Swimming costume - Cossie - Swimmers - Trunks - Swimming togs - Bikini - Even Budgie smugglers!

Whatever choice of swimwear you prefer, this article is for you.

Of course, we still swim in them, whether it is in the pool or a dip in the sea.

But these days more and more people wear them as just another item of clothing - something to relax in the garden in or part of an outfit.

However, you chose to wear and use your swimwear, and I’m here to give you some great tips on how to keep your swimwear in tip-top condition, preventing fading and to lose its shape, elasticity and become hard and brittle.

I'll give you tips from handwashing to drying without ever jeopardizing the fit.

1. Wash your costume every time after wearing - (even if you didn’t go for a swim). Understanding how often to wash your swimwear can be confusing.

Should I do it weekly? Monthly? Every time it’s been worn?

Washing after every use is the right way to treat your swimwear; doing this will prevent any damage or discolouration.

Why is this important? Your swimwear could encounter all sorts of products and chemicals, such as sunscreen, deodorant, tanning or body oils, chlorine or other types of lotions. Once your swimwear has come into contact, it is likely it would cause some discolouration and damage.

It is best to wash the item as soon as you’ve taken it off.

TOP TIP: To try and prevent as much discolouration or damage as possible, apply your deodorant, tanning oils, creams or sunscreen AT LEAST 30 mins before wearing the swimwear.

2. Choosing the right detergent is important.

What you use for your normal washing is more than likely to be way too strong and powerful for your swimwear. Choosing a milder detergent for delicates or high spandex is so much better and keeps your items in tip-top shape for longer.

3. So what happens if I can’t find a milder detergent?

Not a problem! You can use white vinegar as a great alternative. White vinegar can deodorize your swimwear, leaving it clean and bacteria-free. If you still have none of the above suggestions, rinse out your swimwear, with fresh cold, clean water. Never use hot water when rinsing, as this can also cause colour fade and brittleness.

4. Sand in your swimwear?

A few simple tips, and you should have your swimwear looking as good as new.

- Take the item outside and give it a very firm shake, then turn it inside out and firmly shake a 2nd time

- Rinse your swimwear in cool water for 10 mins, paying close attention to any areas you can see with sand patches.

- Let the swimwear dry completely. (Lay it flat and out of direct sunlight.)

- If after this process you still have some troublesome patches, give the area a few bursts from a hairdryer on the area of concern.

5. NEVER put swimwear in the washing machine.

Well, I am guilty of this, until today. It always seemed the obvious thing to do, but in fact, it is the worst thing possible for swimwear. The churning movement of the wash cycle is way too rough for swimwear fabrics. It can strain, stretch or even damage the swimwear so badly that you wouldn’t want to wear it again.

6. Handwash only and with love. There is a knack for handwashing.

- Firstly, a sink or a large bowl with COLD water.

- Add a capful of mild detergent, wait for it to completely dissolve. If needed, you can substitute with white vinegar or a very mild soap.

- Now soak your swimwear for up to 30 mins.

- Rinse with COLD water thoroughly.

- Grab a clean towel, press it onto the swimwear. This is to remove as much of the water as possible.

- After using the towel, lay your swimwear flat and out of direct sunlight to dry off completely.

7. NEVER use a tumble dryer.

The tumble dryer can be highly damaging to your swimwear. Its heat can cause irreversible damage, completely ruining the material's elasticity; always remember to lay flat to dry.

8. Do not hang your swimwear.

Doing this can cause the fabric to stretch; this can ruin the fit of your lovely swimwear.

9. Never wring your swimwear.

This can also be very damaging, causing it to lose its shape and elasticity.

10. Never put out in direct sunlight.

Yes, this can speed up the drying process, but it can cause irreversible fading to the materials. You’ll never be able to get the bright colours back once it’s been dyed by the sunlight.

To preserve your swimwear, here are a few more helpful tips to bear in mind:

- No rough surfaces. The rough surfaces can pull and or leave puckering.

- Don’t roll your swimwear into your towel, once finished with it, you can expose your swimwear to oils or creams that may have transferred from you to the towel. (See point 1).

- Rotate your swimwear. Your swimwear needs at least 24hrs for the fibres and elasticity to reform back to their original shape. Otherwise, the fibres can become tight and uncomfortable, as well as any long-term damage.

At Farthings Cambridge and Trumpington, we provide the best professional cleaning service for the cleaning of your beloved clothes, laundry, and household items. We are based at 143 Milton Road Cambridge and 1 Antsey way, Trumpington. Alternatively, you can give us a call. We can be reached over the phone on 01223 755180 or 01223 625310. See you soon!


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