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Friday Q&A: How Do You Protect Your Swimsuit from Chlorine?

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With warm weather here, how to protect a swimsuit from chlorine is one of the most common questions that we all want answered! Without further ado, here’s what you need to know about protecting your swimsuit from chlorine and prolonging its life:

Rinse Your Swimsuit Right After Swimming
To prolong the life of your swimsuit – even if it’s a fabric that claims to be coated or treated to resist the effects of chlorine – rinse it as soon as possible after you get out of the pool. Use cold water when you rinse; hot water, like you’d encounter in a hot tub, can degrade the material and reduce its elasticity. Some people like to rinse their swimsuits in the shower after they swim; that’s fine as long as you’re taking a cold shower! Otherwise, you may not be doing as much good as you hope.

Wash Your Swimsuit Regularly
Some people advocate to wash the swimsuit after every use. Personally, as long as you rinse it thoroughly after each use, I recommend washing it every 2 to 3 uses. Use a mild detergent, and hand wash the swimsuit. Alternately, if you have chlorine removal shampoo and conditioner, you can use a little of that to clean your swimsuit. Keep in mind that the oils in sweat and things like suntan lotion can also damage your swimsuit over time, so if you’re exercising in it (and sweating) or if you get suntan lotion on it, wash it more frequently.

Let it Dry and Let it Rest
Try not to wear a swimsuit over again when it’s still wet. Lie it flat to dry, or hang it on a drying rack. To squeeze excess water out of your swimsuit before drying, lay it out on a towel, and then roll the towel up with the swimsuit inside it – so it’s a layer of swimsuit, towel, swimsuit, towel, etc. Then walk on the towel gently. Your weight will squeeze most of the water out of the swimsuit into the towel without wringing or squeezing it in a way that can damage the fabric.

Ideally, your swimsuit should be completely dry before you use it again, and it should have time to rest and regain its original shape. You should give your swimsuit at least 24 hours between uses – or more. If you swim frequently, you’ll want more than one swimsuit so you can alternate while one is drying and resting.

No-Nos to Avoid if You Want to Prolong the Life of Your Swimsuit!
Want to prolong the life of your swimsuit? Never do these things!

  • Never “wring out” or twist your swimsuit. This can damage the fabric, making the swimsuit misshapen, and can also damage the elasticity.
  • Never wash your swimsuit in a washer! This can also damage the fabric in all the same ways as wringing it out, plus if you use hot water, there’s the added damage from the heat.
  • Never put your swimsuit in the dryer! Heat, twisting – all the things that are bad for a swimsuit in one fell swoop.
  • Never lay your swimsuit in the sun to dry. The sun can make the colors fade faster, and if there’s any chlorine left in the swimsuit, the sun amplifies its effect and can degrade your swimsuit faster.
  • Never use bleach on your swimsuit. That causes almost as much damage as chlorine!

With a little careful attention, you can prolong the life of your favorite swimsuit and keep on enjoying the pool!

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