How to Keep Competition Swimsuits Clean

Aquatic sports such as swimming, water polo, diving and synchronized swimming need unique swimsuits and accessories to help athletes achieve their maximum potential. Swimwear that is worn in countless practices and competitions are made to last longer and promote total body movement while providing optimal comfort. Clothing like these have unique features and therefore need a little more care when it comes to keeping it clean.

Know What Your Swimsuit is Made Of

In contrast to everyday swimwear, those used in competitions and other special water activities are designed to provide numerous underwater benefits. Several types of cloth and materials may be used in creating these uniforms. Some are made of polyester, spandex and Lycra—all of which are specifically woven tightly together to achieve a high thread count that will prevent friction underwater. A simple peep on the tag will give you lots of information on what materials are used on your swimsuits, giving you an idea of how to clean it properly.

Pre-Rinse Method

Swimming pools contain chlorine primarily to keep the water bacteria-free. As much as this is helpful to keep the water clean, it might not do the same for your swimsuits and jammers. Pre-rinsing is an easy but very crucial trick of the trade that most swimmers practice right after they take off their swimsuits. A simple rinse under clean running water will remove any chlorine and dirt traces. Care products such as swimwear wash formulas are also available to defuse any chlorine residue left on the fabric.

Wash It!

Since water alone cannot do all the work in cleaning, a proper wash is still necessary. Treat your swimwear as you would your delicate clothes. After pre-rinsing, wash your suits using a simple water solution and about a spoon of the mildest liquid detergent you can find. Brands with a free and clear tag are your safest choices.

Using a liquid detergent will make sure that there will be no scums afterwards as opposed to using powder soaps. Turn your swimsuits inside out and soak it on the prepared solution. Move it around and swish it a couple of times. Drain and make sure to rinse it properly to remove any remains of the detergent. Finally, give it a gentle squeeze but do not wring it out! Never put your swimwear in a washer as it may be too harsh for the suit’s materials.

How to Remove Stains?

Stains are inevitable to any type of clothing. For swimsuits, it can be from sweat, sunscreen or even from the clothes you wear with it. Oxygen-based bleaches such as OxiClean, Clorox 2, Country Save Oxygen Bleach, or Seventh Generation Bleach are your go-to product for this kind of situation. Follow the instructions as each brand will have a different water to oxygen bleach ratio.

Thoroughly soak the suit and let it marinate well with the mixture for at least eight hours. If the stain is gone, hand wash the suit (see Wash It! instructions). However, if you see that there are still streaks of stain left, soak it again with a fresh batch of the solution for another eight hours. NOTE: Never use chlorine bleach when removing stains in your swimsuits.

Just Say NO to Dryers

Never use a clothes dryer in drying swimwear. The high temperature will not only damage the cloth’s integrity, but it might also cause it to shrink and even the colors to fade. Furthermore, the harsh and extreme heat of the sun can also do the same damage as well. To dry, simply lay it on a flat surface or hang it where there is no direct sunlight.

Do not hang it on metal rods as it can produce rust and stain it. If you need to dry your suit quickly, use a white, thick, and clean towel. Roll the swimsuits in the towel loosely and gently give it a squeeze or two and allow the towel to absorb any moisture. Remember that ironing is never an option. Lastly, make sure that the suits are completely dry before putting it in storage.

How to Make Your Competition Swimsuit Last Longer

  • Have at least two swimsuits. It is better to give at least 24 hours after wearing it again to make the Lycra or spandex get back to its shape. This will also aid in maintaining its stretchy feature.
  • Use a practice suit. Since practices take almost all the beating, it can be helpful to use old suits for those and save the new and best ones for the real competition.
  • Find a shower. Showering with your suit on is the best and easiest way to pre-rinse.
  • Be mindful of where you sit. Remember that even a simple tear on your swimsuit can never be repaired. So be careful about where you sit down, especially on pool sides and decks. You can always lay a towel first to keep your suit safe.