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Know-how Fashion06

How to look after your swimwear

Did you know that you can get the maintenance of such a small amount of material so wrong? I'll let you in on the secrets of washing your swimwear.

A few years ago, I realised that my bikini was too big, despite daily ice creams. The premature excitement about my apparent weight loss soon disappeared when I noticed that the scales were still showing the same weight. There must have been something else behind it, such as worn material. After a bit of research, I found out that I was looking after my swimwear in totally the wrong way. Read on to find out what I learned.

Wait

When you step out of the water, do you like to lie out in the sun straight away? Combining the wet material with sunlight isn't a good idea, as it puts unnecessary strain on the fabric. You have to either accept that your swimsuit will look worn-out before its time or dry it out in the shade. If you're a sun-worshipper, you could always pack a replacement bikini to put on after a swim.

Rinsing

The shower at the edge of the pool isn't just for decoration. It's worth rinsing yourself and your bikini off after a swim to remove any residual chlorinated water. Then it's best to repeat the process in the sink at home. Cold freshwater removes chlorine, suncream, sweat and salt residue from the delicate bikini fabric and prevents the elastane fibres becoming strained and fragile.

Washing cycle

Ideally, wash your swimsuit by hand to go easy on the fabric. If you can't leave it, wash your swimwear at a maximum of 30 degrees on a hand wash or gentle cycle. Turn your swimsuit inside out and use a mild or wool detergent. Also adjust the settings on your wash cycle to ensure a low spin speed. If beads or gems adorn your swimwear, wash it by hand – the same goes for underwired styles.

Maintenance

If your bikini suddenly slackens, you've probably washed it with a heavy detergent or fabric softener. These substances strain the elastane by softening the fibres and leaving the material more susceptible to tears and stretching. If your bikini suddenly becomes too small, this method can stretch it by up to two sizes.

Drying

Tumble drying is a no-no. The same goes for drying in direct sunlight. Avoid hanging your swimsuit out to dry to stop it stretching – the elastane in the fabric is prone to stretching and wearing out. Instead, lay it out on a towel in the shade. And restrain yourself from wringing it out.

The enemy

UV rays aren't only harmful to skin; they cause the colour of your bikini to fade over time. Sunscreen is also not an ideal addition to bikini fabric, resulting in unattractive patches, especially on black or white styles. You're best off applying sunscreen around 30 minutes before putting your swimwear on so that your skin can absorb the product. If you want to get something off your swimsuit, a de-greasing stain remover helps.

How do you wash your swimwear? Let me know in the comments and follow me for more tips by clicking the button on my profile.

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Vanessa Kim, Zurich

  • Editor
When I’m not exploring the depths of the sea as an open water diver, I enjoy plunging into the world of fashion. On the streets of Paris, Milan and New York is where I keep my eyes peeled for the latest trends. And I’ll show you how to take them from the catwalk to your everyday life.

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