Can You Wash Bathing Suits in the Washing Machine?



Can You Wash Bathing Suits in the Washing Machine

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Yes, you can wash bathing suits in the washing machine. However, it is recommended to use a delicate cycle and cold-to-room-temperature water with a mild detergent. It is also suggested to place the suits in a mesh laundry bag to help maintain their shape and prevent tangling.

Sarah has shared her experience of how to wash bathing suits in the washing machine.

“Sarah, my secret to maintaining swimsuits is a gentle cycle, cold water, and using a mesh bag in the washing machine. It’s so easy and effective that I never worry about our family’s beachwear. Try it, and you’ll enjoy hassle-free, clean bathing suits for every sunny adventure!”

In this article, we’ll explore the dos and don’ts of washing bathing suits in the washing machine, alternative washing methods, and provide answers to some frequently asked questions.

Dos and Don’ts of Wash Bathing Suits in the Washing Machine


  • Use a Delicate Cycle: To protect the delicate fabric of your bathing suit, it is advisable to use the washing machine’s delicate or gentle cycle. This cycle is designed to minimize the agitation and friction that can damage the fabric.
  • Cold-to-Room-Temperature Water: Cold or room-temperature water is the best choice for washing bathing suits. Hot water can cause the colors to fade and the fabric to lose elasticity.
  • Mild Detergent: Choose a mild detergent that is specifically designed for delicates or lingerie. Harsh detergents can be too abrasive for bathing suits and may damage the fabric.
  • Mesh Laundry Bag: Place your bathing suit in a mesh laundry bag before tossing it into the washing machine. This will help maintain the suit’s shape and prevent it from tangling with other items in the machine.
  • No-Heat Option: If your washing machine has a no-heat or cold wash option, use it. Heat can be detrimental to the fabric of bathing suits, so it’s best to avoid it.


  • Skip the Rinse: Before putting your bathing suit in the washing machine, make sure to rinse it thoroughly in cold water. This step removes any chlorine, salt, sand, or sunscreen residue, which can be harmful if left in the fabric.
  • Use Bleach: Bleach can be extremely harsh on the delicate materials used in bathing suits, so it’s a big no-no.
  • Wring Out Excess Water: Avoid wringing or twisting your bathing suit to remove excess water. Gently press it between two clean towels to remove the water.
  • Tumble Dry: Never use a tumble dryer to dry your bathing suit. The heat and vigorous movement can cause the fabric to lose its elasticity and shape.
  • Dry in Direct Sunlight: Direct sunlight can also damage the colors and fabric of your bathing suit. Instead, allow it to air dry in the shade.

Steps To Wash Bathing Suits In The Washing Machine:

Now that you know the dos and don’ts of washing bathing suits in the washing machine, let’s go through the step-by-step process:

Step 1

Rinse: After wearing your bathing suit, rinse it thoroughly in cold water to remove any salt, chlorine, or sunscreen.

Step 2

Mesh Bag: Place your rinsed bathing suit inside a mesh laundry bag to protect it from getting tangled or damaged in the washing machine.

Step 3

Mild Detergent: Add a small amount of mild detergent, specially formulated for delicates, to the washing machine.

Step 4

Delicate Cycle: Select the delicate or gentle cycle on your washing machine.

Step 5

Cold-to-Room-Temperature Water: Set the water temperature to cold or room temperature to avoid any heat damage.

Step 6

Wash Alone or with Similar Items: It’s best to wash your bathing suit alone or with similar items like other delicates. Avoid mixing with heavy fabrics or items with zippers and buttons, which can cause abrasion.

Step 7

Avoid Fabric Softeners: Fabric softeners can leave a residue on the fabric, making it less breathable. It’s best to skip them.

Step 8

Air Dry: Once the cycle is complete, remove the bathing suit from the mesh bag and gently press it between two clean towels to remove excess water. Then, hang it to air dry in the shade. Avoid direct sunlight.

Alternative Washing Methods For Bathing Suits:

While using a washing machine is a convenient way to clean your bathing suits, there are alternative methods you can consider if you prefer a gentler approach:

  • Hand Washing: Hand washing your bathing suits is the gentlest method to clean them. Use a mild detergent and cold water. Gently agitate the water to clean the suit, then rinse thoroughly.
  • Inside-Out Washing: Turn your bathing suit inside out before washing. This can help protect the colors and fabric, especially if you’re using a washing machine.
  • Quick Rinse After Swimming: To minimize the need for deep cleaning, give your bathing suit a quick rinse in cold water before and after swimming to remove chlorine, salt, and sunscreen.
  • Soak in Vinegar Solution: If your bathing suit has been exposed to a lot of chlorine, a vinegar solution can help neutralize it. Mix one part vinegar with three parts cold water and soak the suit for 30 minutes.
  • Avoid Sitting on Rough Surfaces: Prevent unnecessary wear and tear on your bathing suit by avoiding sitting on rough surfaces like concrete or abrasive pool edges.

Some Facts About Washing Bathing Suits


  • If the machine has a no-heat option, it is best to use it as heat can damage the fabric.
  • It is important to rinse the suit before and after swimming to prevent damage to the fabric.


Can I use a regular detergent for washing bathing suits in the machine?

Answer: It’s best to use a mild detergent specifically designed for delicates or lingerie. Regular detergents can be too harsh on the delicate fabric.

How often should I wash my bathing suit?

Answer: After each use, it’s a good practice to rinse your bathing suit in cold water to remove any residue. A full wash should be done every 2-4 wears, depending on how often you use it and the condition it’s in.

What if my bathing suit has special care instructions on the label?

Answer: Follow the care instructions provided on the label of your bathing suit. If it specifies hand-washing only, it’s essential to adhere to those guidelines to maintain the fabric’s integrity.

Can I use a fabric conditioner or softener?

Answer: It’s better to avoid fabric conditioners or softeners as they can leave a residue on the fabric, potentially affecting its breathability.

How can I prevent fading in the colors of my bathing suit?

Answer: To prevent color fading, always use a mild detergent, wash in cold water, and avoid direct sunlight when drying.

Final Words:

Washing your bathing suits in the washing machine is a convenient and efficient way to keep them clean and in good condition. By following the dos and don’ts mentioned above, as well as the steps for machine washing or alternative methods, you can ensure that your swimsuits remain vibrant and comfortable all summer long. Remember to treat your bathing suits with care, and they will continue to serve you well on your beach and poolside adventures.

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