So if you took us up on our Swimsuit Buying Tips from our last post, you've found your perfect suit and you're (almost -- weather providing) ready to wear it to the beach. After a few weeks, those great bright colors start to fade out, those little ball-shaped pieces of fluff start to appear and you can feel the lycra-spandex blends slowly slipping away from the places it should cling to.
Wait! What happened?! I just bought this suit!
The likeliest culprit was -- well, you. A little bit of simple bathing suit care can go a long long way. The main offenders here are salt, sun, hot tubs, sun lotion, and chlorine. The material that allows you to achieve that great stretch and comfort in your suit, Lycra, is more fragile than most wearers are aware of. It's easily worn down by chlorine and chemicals and abrasive surfaces like concrete patios can tear the fabric. Hot water is the first step to stretching the elastic and once it hits the perilous environment of your washing machine, consider it destroyed. While you can't avoid most of these elemental wears and tears, a little bit of Swimsuit TLC can help prolong the life of your bathing costume.
1.When you bring it home: (Before First Use Only)
Make a mixture of 1 tablespoon of white Vinegar per quart of water. Soak your new swimwear in the mixture for approximately 30 minutes. This will slow down the fading process and keep those wonderful summer colors bright.
2. Let your body enjoy the heat, not your suit:
Heat is one of the quickest way to destroy a suit. If your suit is wet, even the heat from the sun will fade out your colors and mess with the elasticity. If you're planning on entering a hot tub, consider wearing an older suit -- and NEVER put a bathing suit in the dryer.
3. Always Rinse:
Whether its an ocean, swimming pool, hot tub or kiddie pool of Jello -- After a swim, rinse. All that salt, chlorine, and bromine will eat away at the fabric. If you plan on keeping the suit on, rinsing yourself under some cool water will wash away most of the harmful suit-ruining chemicals. Gentle ring out your suit and hand it to dry in a shady spot. To dry it out while still wearing it, try to place it in a area away from the sun.
4. Just say NO to the Washing Machine:
Washing machines can wreck havoc on a new suit. Instead, when you return from your swimming escapade, gentle rinse it out in cool water. If you must detergent wash a soiled suit, hand wash the fabric with a gentle soap and hang it to air dry in a cool place away from the sun.
5.Don't keep it under wraps:
Try not to wrap your swimsuit in a towel immediately after swimming -- that towel will contain all the chemicals you just tried rinsing off your suit. Even worse, if you shove that towel in a closed bag with a wet suit, the towel will heat up and make the worst chemical combination possible.
When possible, try to bring two swimsuits -- and wait 24hrs for your first one to dry and form back into its original shape. The lycra/spandex is a type of "memory yarn". Letting it dry a full 24hrs before re-use will help stop that weird problem where your suit keeps getting longer and longer.
7. Wait, where you gonna put that?
Be careful where you sit. Even if it feels smooth, decks and the edges of pools can be rough on the fabric. It will pick up the bottom of your suit or catch on the front if you're leaning over the edge. Take that extra moment to grab a towel to sit or lay on. Your swimwear will thank you.
8. Don't wait to worship:
This is for all your sun worshippers out there. Try to make it a point to tan before your swim. Getting your suit wet and then sitting in the sun is a sure-fire way to fade out the colors. If you prefer swimming first, change into that alternate swimsuit we mentioned in tip #6 to sunbathe with.
And while no suit will last forever, a little bit of proper care will keep those colors vibrant and maintain the form fitting shape throughout the entire season -- giving you one more reason to smile at the beach!
The Underfashion Club
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