Sat | Oct 21, 2017

Caring for your swimsuit

Published:Monday | July 6, 2015 | 12:00 AM

Your swimsuits take a beating from exposure to chlorine, salt, sand, sun, sunscreen and other lotions you have used while having a great time at the beach. To keep your swimsuit from losing its shape and colour, it needs special care. Swimsuits are made from fabrics that allow them to stretch and fit correctly, while enduring constant soaking and drying. These fabrics can be sensitive to harsh cleaners and high temperatures, so it's best to hand-wash most of your swimwear. However, when in doubt, check the tag. Here are some tips on how to care for your swimsuit.

- Swimsuits should be handwashed. Machine washing or drying can stretch or damage the special and sometimes sensitive material.

- Wash suits separately and in cold water - before wearing them for the first time.

- Rinse swimsuits in cold water as soon as possible after they've been exposed to chlorine or saltwater.

- Do not wrap your swimsuit in your towel. The towel soaks up all the chemicals and will continue to expose the swimsuit material to their harsh effects.

- Never leave suits out to dry in the sun. Overexposure to sunlight can damage the fabric or fade the suit.

- If you use your swimsuit daily, invest in several. Giving your suit an entire day to dry and reform its shape will increase its lifespan.

- Do not use bleach products on swimsuits.

- Do not iron swimsuits.

- Pack it up. Wrap your swimwear in a fabric garment bag instead of a plastic bag because this can prevent moisture build-up. If too much moisture gets trapped in the storage bin or bag, it can eat away at the bathing suit fabric and cause mildew. If you can, consider using a vacuum pack to seal your bag even more securely and keep the air and circulating particles out.

- Store it. Now that it's all bundled up well, you need someplace to put it. Store the bag in a cool, dry location. Avoid stuffy and humid rooms. In many cases, under your bed is better than the storage closet because your bedroom is more likely to have a more regulated temperature. In addition, be careful to place the bathing suit in a location where young children won't tear or destroy it.

cathy.risden@gleanerjm.com