How To Keep Your Favorite Swimsuits From Fading

Even if it's time to buy a new swimsuit, finding the perfect one for you is no easy feat. First, you need to find a flattering fit in your ideal silhouette. Then there's choosing patterns, colors, and fabrics to match your mood and personality. But is all this effort worth it if your suit is going to fade right away? Every sun worshipper has experienced their favorite swimsuit slowly fading with the summer months. You may even experience misshapen fabric and stretched-out material before you're ready to part ways. In fact, a swimsuit can last a measly three months to well over a year depending on the quality and how you care for the suit, explains Lands' End.

Chlorine, salt, sunscreen, and UV rays can dim the brightness of your swimsuit. But if you treat your swimwear correctly before and after you hit the beach (or the pool), you'll be able to extend its lifespan and keep the color bright. Discover our tips and tricks to best care for your favorite swimsuits.

Know this before you get in the water

The fit and design of a swimsuit are so important that we often forget about the factors that determine longevity. To keep your favorite suit from fading, you should choose a well-made option to begin with. Swimwear brands have created fabrics specifically developed to withstand the elements that cause damage. For example, Lands' End uses Lycra Xtra Life, which resists the effects of chlorine, heat, and UV rays and keeps the suit intact and the color brilliant. If chlorine is your main worry, opt for swimwear in 100% polyester fabric, and your suit should retain its brightness for at least a year, per Swim and Sweat.

If you know you'll be heavily exposing your suit to saltwater and chlorine, you can go the extra mile and pretreat your swimwear. Soak your items in cold, filtered water with 1 to 2 teaspoons of distilled vinegar for 20 to 30 minutes to seal in the color, per Modern Mom. Another easy trick is to take a quick shower before jumping into the ocean or the pool. This way, your suit soaks up the plain water instead of the salt or chlorine.

Do this after you use your swimsuit

How you care for your swimsuit after each use will ultimately determine how long it lasts. After all, you need to wash a swimsuit the right way in order for it to last. Our first piece of advice is to rinse your suit with fresh water in the shower or a sink after you change. This will remove any chlorine and salt, which would otherwise settle and damage the fibers (via Aqua Mobile).

Swimsuits are delicate, so they should be washed gently. You can always refer to the cleaning instructions on the tag, but the experts at Real Simple recommend washing your suit by hand to prevent the fabric from stretching and fading. Simply fill a sink with lukewarm water and a teaspoon of gentle detergent formulated for activewear. Submerge your suit inside out and swish it and squeeze it into the water. Then, use a soft toothbrush to gently scrub the edges of your suit to remove sunscreens and lotions. 

Lastly, make sure to rinse your swimwear with cold water and squeeze out the water, but don't wring it. Skip the dryer and lay your swimsuit flat on a towel away from the sun.