We're going to ask you to think about something that may seem slightly off-season, especially considering the last "unofficial" weekend of the summer is a thing of the past: How do care for or wash your swimwear? Because much like linen (another delicate fabric that's a warm-weather favorite) and luxe silk, there are a few important things to keep in mind when laundering a swimsuit to ensure it stays in pristine condition.
A swimsuit gets a lot of wear and tear, especially in the summer—just think about the harsh sun rays, the ingredients in sunscreen, and all the chemicals in the water (especially in pools) that make contact with and, ultimately, damage the delicate swimwear fabrics. So washing your swimsuit, and doing so properly, after every wear is a must (whether you went in the water or not).
But what is considered the "proper" way to wash a suit? To answer this question and more, we tapped Brittany Kozerski, the founder of swimwear brand JADE Swim for all of her best tips on washing, caring for, and increasing the longevity of a suit. Ahead, a need-to-know guide to follow when laundering (and caring for) your swimsuit, according to an expert.
1. Wash the swimsuit in cold water.
Washing their swimwear using hot water is one of the most common mistakes people make, according to Kozerski. The proper temperature? "When washing your swimwear, be sure to always use cold water," she says.
2. For best results, handwash your suit.
If you want to increase the longevity of your suit (and ensure it keeps its proper fit and stretch), wash it by hand—and in cold water, of course.
Throwing it in the washing machine is okay if you're in a rush, but (a very important but here!), make sure it's on the proper setting. Washing a suit on a spin cycle that's way too high for delicates is another major mistake people make, according to Kozerski. Instead, she recommends "washing the suits on the hand wash cycle in the washing machine along with a gentle wash," she says, noting that she loves using The Laundress Delicate Wash ($17).
3. Skip the dryer.
Though it may be tempting, especially when you're in a crunch for time, do not throw your swimsuit in the dryer. Why? Because the heat can weaken the elasticity of the spandex.
Instead, Kozerski says to "lay it flat on a towel," noting that her favorite way to dry a suit is to "hang a one piece on a hanger so it dries quicker and the suit stays wrinkle-free."
Other tips and tricks Kozerski shared with us to extend the lifecycle of a swimsuit? Be careful when packing it in a suitcase.
"Definitely never pack swimsuits in your suitcase where they can rub against jewelry, embellished dresses, shoes, bags, etc. since they can pull, snap or cause damage to your swimwear," she says. "I love using a black zipper travel bag so all my swim is packed together and protected. Then I re-use that bag to store the suits I’ve worn throughout the vacation." Genius!
And finally, invest in good swimwear—look for one (or two pieces) made in high-quality technical fabrics.
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