3 min read

Rinse, Don’t wring and shade dry: Tips for keeping  your child’s swimsuits in good condition

how to wash swimwear on holiday 


“just let her keep wearing it into the shower and the shampoo will wash it” the funniest advice I ever got on how to care for a my daughters competition leotard, got me thinking about common mistakes we make when we do the laundry.

In this instance, the rhinestones seemed to disappear down the drain and the foil sections rubbed off, while the velvet looked like the cat had licked it.

I later learnt it was a combination of hot water, stretching the fabric and not rinsing out the shampoo and conditioner, #mybad

“just let her keep wearing it into the shower and the shampoo will wash it”

Here are some simple steps to help you avoid expensive mistakes and keep your swimwear looking as good as new.

How to wash your swimsuit in 5 easy steps

1. Remove child from said swimsuit.

2. Washing a swimsuit by hand is the best.

3. Turn it inside out and run it under cool tap water. Plain water won’t remove the salt or chlorine.

4. Refill the sink, and add a gentle liquid laundry detergent. Swish around and then rinse again under cold running water.

5. Flat dry in shade and for rash vest hang in shade on chunky hanger (not a wire one).

 rinse your bathing suit under cold running water


Always use cold water to wash your bathers. The stretchy materials used like lycra, rubber and spandex elastic are easily damaged by heat.

These stretchable components are knitted into the fabric and will dry out with exposure to heat, they will not bounce back, they loose their shape and might even crack and break.

It’s best to keep your swimwear out of the dryer and flat dry in them in the shade away from direct sunlight.

Use cold water to wash your bathers. 

Rinsing under running cold tap water is a good start, but it won’t remove the salt, chlorine, sand or body sun lotion from the fabric. We recommend soaking for only 30 minutes in cool water, this is even better for the fabric.



For a deeper clean a swimsuit can be placed into the washing machine but only on a cool and gentle cycle. We highly recommend a Guppy Friend wash bag, it is great for preventing micro-plastics from getting into the waterways.

 Use a GUPPYFRIEND Wash Bag to protect our oceans

Chocolate ice-cream, blueberries and sun screen all leave stains and would need to treated depending on the staining source.

Baking soda is a good place to start if you don’t have any oxygen-based bleach such as OxiClean or Vanish, which are safe on colours. Mix 5 teaspoons of baking soda and a little warm water to form a paste, spread the paste over the stain and allow it to dry before washing the swimsuit. Swish for a few minutes and then rinse it well.

Never use an ordinary chlorine bleach as this will ruin the colour and dry out the elastic.


 use a liquid mild detergent

Make sure your swimsuit is bone dry before putting it away. Any moisture may result in mildew, so don’t pack it into a plastic zip lock bag as this might result bacteria and mildew which will destroy the fibres.

Never use chlorine bleach on your bathers 

High quality swimwear can last a long time provided they are correctly cared for and as you can see they really are easy care with the right steps.

remove excess water from the swimsuit 

I’m guessing that the advice I was given was incomplete and if you are unable to rinse your bathers soon after using them then standing under a fresh water shower for a couple of minutes before taking them off is a good alternative.

Just don’t leave them wrapped in the towel, or scrunched up in the bottom of the beach bag or rolled in a ball in a baking hot car.

 air dry on a flat surface out of direct sunlight