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What Causes Swimwear to Yellow?

Everyone loves the warmer summer air and getting out into the water whether it's a pool, lake, ocean, water park, or even just a small kiddie pool in your backyard to keep you cool while working on your tan. However, what we all don't love is dealing with our adorable swimsuits that start out perfectly colored, but over time, start to get a yellow tinge to them, especially if they are white or have white in the pattern. It makes it look older, even if the swimsuit is still new and in great condition. So you may wonder, why do swimsuits turn yellow? There could be a few reasons for a suit to become yellow and in no way is relative to the quality of the suit.

Why Swimsuits Turn Yellow

  1. The sun. Unfortunately, even materials that are UV-resistant, like the ones we use in our swimwear, don't prevent all potential sun damage, though it's better than materials that were not made for the sun. However, with the sun shining on you and your suit, you may find that after a few summers, depending how often you go out, that your suit begins to take on a more faded, even yellow look. This is most commonly seen in white swimsuits as the sun fades away the color. Sadly, this is an unavoidable part of owning a swimsuit, as it happens to a variety of things. From our clothes to even our houses, you may find that sun coming through windows can affect the color of things over time. The sun is a powerful source of light and can definitely make a difference in the coloring over time and exposure.
  2. Oil and sweat. That's right, your own body can be the reason your suit is starting to get a yellow tinge to it. When you sweat, and even when you don't, your body is producing oils. These oils, especially when you get sweaty, can run down into your suit and could cause a yellowing. Unfortunately, we sometimes see the same issue with a white t-shirt or tank top in the area near the armpits. Even with wearing deodorant, there's still a chance of sweating that can cause some discoloration, and the same goes for those wearing swimsuits out in hot weather.
  3. Sunscreen. Yes, the thing you need on your skin to protect your beautiful self from the rays can ultimately do your swimsuit damage. Unfortunately, when we go swimming, or just laying out, we either sweat the sunscreen off or it washes off in the water and ultimately can wind up on our swimsuits. Over time, with build-up, it can cause some discoloration of your suit, including the dreaded yellowing.
  4. Pool chemicals. Just like they can mess with your hair, they can mess with a suit if not properly washed off. Over time, the exposure to the different chemicals could cause some discoloration or fading of the suit.

So now, you know why swimsuits turn yellow and you may be wondering if there's a way to prevent this from happening to your suits or ways to keep them clean. Luckily, the answer is yes! We have our care instructions, which are to handwash your suit in cold water with a mild detergent, immediately after use and then line dry. However, there's even more that you can do to help.

First things first, always rinse off your suit after getting out of the water. That's right, just find some cool water, a pool shower works or at the beach if they have one, rinse your suit and yourself off to remove any potential chemicals or sunscreen that ran onto the suit. If you can't get to a shower right away or plan on changing, take your suit off and rinse it in a kitchen or bathroom sink until it can be taken home to be handwashed properly. This is still better than nothing and can help remove some of the chemicals or oils that may be building up on the material.

If you still find that you're dealing with some yellowing, washing it in a gentle dish soap can really make a difference. This is how we recommend you take care of your Lime Ricki suits to begin with, but if you've been slacking or let your suits sit for a while, definitely take the time to mix up some water and dish soap to remove the grease stain. You may need to wash it once or twice to really get the stain, but this should help remove any yellowing.