Skip to content

How to Clean Your Bathing Suit: A Dry Cleaners Guide

Your bathing suit is subjected to some of the harshest conditions. Salt, sand, sweat, oils, sunscreen, and chlorine all work to degrade your prized swim fashions. If you would like to learn how to keep your favorite beach and pool wear looking like new read on.

How Often to Clean?

First, it’s important to clean after each outing. You’re throwing a lot at the material, and it’s best to clean after each wearing to avoid long term spots, stains, and smells. Also, never wring your bathing suit, as this can stretch the material into an unflattering shape. To dry quickly, roll into a dry towel and gently press the water out.

Start by reading the care label. Hand wash in a bucket, or machine wash. I recommend washing ladies suits in a net bag if machine wash is recommended. This allows the machine to do it’s job, while reducing the agitation on delicate designs. Most men’s swim trunks can be machine washed. It all depends on the designs for ladies swim fashions.


Did you swim in a chlorine pool? The effects of chlorine continue even after your bathing suit is dry. Be sure to use an anti-chlor to stop and remove the chlorine altogether. Vitamin C is a natural anti-chlor and I’ll show you how to use it here as well.

Mix 1/2 tsp sodium ascorbate (Vitamin C) for every 4 ounces of distilled water (remember city water has a touch of chlorine in it). Soak for 10 minutes before washing.

Spot Clean

Next, spot clean any noticeable sunscreen or dirty spots. To do this, mix your preferred laundry detergent and water, 50/50 in the detergent cap. Use the BACK of a spoon with the item on a hard surface and work the mix in (you’re not necessarily trying to get the spot out, that’s for the washing step). Make sure the detergent mix is all the way into the fibers. For particularly tough stains, you can use dawn (use 1/4 dawn with 3/4 water) in the same fashion.

Hand Wash

Lightly agitate in a bucket with water and a bit of detergent (you may not need any if you did a lot of pre-spotting). Agitate and let soak, agitate and let soak. Rinse until you don’t smell anything (soap, odors, or chlorine).

Machine Wash

Warm, or room temperature is best. Set to gentle cycle. Optionally, you can use a net bag to reduce agitation. Use the appropriate amount of detergent (note: read the cap as you’ll likely need much less than you are accustomed to).

Air Dry

Regardless of how you clean, you’ll want to lay flat or hang to AIR DRY ONLY after it’s clean. This goes for all bathing suits. The dryer is not your friend here.

That’s it! By cleaning your bathing suit after each wearing, and by following the tips provided, your swimsuit will look great and last a long time.

What is your favorite brand of bathing suit? What other cleaning tips would you like to see in future blogs? Comment below!

Download Care Label Guide

Click here to download your very own copy of our guide to care label symbols. Save on your phone, in your laundry room or in your purse to quickly decode the care labels on your clothes to save money, time and frustration down the road.

Photo Credit: Mim Tasters

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *