How long does a swimsuit last anyway?

Swimsuits worn for sport generally deteriorate at a faster rate than those worn for leisure, but you can take the same precautionary steps to slow that rate and extend the life for both types of swimwear.

Step 1: Spend the extra cash

Step one to ensure longevity for your swimwear is to invest in a garment from a quality brand. Though it may seem like a lot at the time of purchase, the more affordable, but less durable makes will often only last you a season or two depending on your level of activity. So, in the long run, it makes more sense to spend a decent amount upfront for something that you will be able to use for years ahead.

Step 2: Shower before you swim

To prevent your suit from absorbing too much chlorine or salt water when it first gets wet, rinse yourself off with fresh water before you get in the pool or the ocean. This will allow the fabric to retain as much fresh water as possible and avoid soaking up too much of the damaging chlorine.

Step 3: Wash right after use

The most important step in swimsuit care is to immediately wash and rinse your garment in fresh water after you get out of the pool or come back from the beach. This will cleanse the fabric of harsh chlorine or any rough salt particles and will help prevent the steady disintegration of the material over time. This step is especially important if you have just been exposed to chlorine because, if it isn't completely washed out, the toxic chemical can continue to negatively affect the fabric even long after your wear.

You should not use harsh detergent to wash your bathing suit. Hand wash it in cool water with very mild soap. Make sure that you thoroughly rinse your suit so that there is no detergent residue leftover that could potentially damage the garment once it dries. You should never put your suit in the washing machine as the spinning is too abrasive and will stretch out the material.

Also, avoid soaking your swimsuit overnight as this can loosen the fibers and weaken the material.

Step 4: Dry carefully

To dry your suit, first roll it up in a clean towel and carefully squeeze as much water out as you can. Then hang it up to air dry.

You should never put your swimsuit in the dryer because that will heat up the elastic and lead to your garment stretching out and losing its original shape.

Step 5: Always sit on a towel

A great tip to protect the fabric of your suit and ultimately make it last longer is to always sit on a towel if you're going to sit on the ground, a bench, a chair, or another type of rough surface. The towel will act as a barrier and prevent snags or tears.

Step 6: Rotate your suits

Another way to make your swimsuit last longer is to own more than one. If you have at least two suits that you can rotate throughout the season, that will definitely help your cause. To really make a difference, you could designate one suit specifically for higher-level activities and the other for leisure.