What Are the Best Detergents for Swimsuits?

best detergents for swimsuits

Swimsuits help you look your best on the beach or at the pool. They are essentially just nice clothes that you can wear into the water. However, like your other nice clothes, they are delicate and improperly washing them can cause them to wrinkle, deform, and lose their beautiful look.

Since most swimsuits are made with delicate materials like Lycra, spandex fabric, or some blend of these two, you must be very careful not to damage these materials. Without them, your swimsuit will not be as stretchy or comfortable to wear, and may even start to disintegrate.

Unfortunately, whether you’re at the beach or a pool, your swimsuit is going to get dirty really quickly. Pool chemicals, saltwater, sand, sweat, sunscreen, and UV rays can all damage and stain the swimsuit fabric. That’s why it’s essential to not only wash your swimsuit after every use, but to know how to properly wash your swimsuit.

If you don’t know how to wash your swimsuit, you can potentially damage it at every step of the process. One step that people commonly mess up on is they use the wrong detergent. Typically, they just use whatever laundry detergent they have, but most detergents are too strong, which causes fading and wears down the fabric faster.

The best detergents for swimwear are mild detergents that are specifically designed for washing swimwear. These detergents are effective at washing off all the swimsuit-damaging chlorine, salt, and other chemicals. Otherwise, you could use hand soap which is also quite mild, or vinegar, which is also effective at getting rid of persistent odors.

In this article, we will go over what are the best detergents for swimsuits, what makes them effective, and what to look for in a swimsuit detergent. We also discuss some alternative options like vinegar, and provide tips on how you can thoroughly wash your swimsuit so that it will last a long time.

Our recommendations:

These are the best detergents for swimsuits

Fashion Care Splash Chlorine Removal Detergent

Fashion Care Splash Swimsuit wash Chlorine Removal 280 ml
  • Specially formulated swimsuit cleaner perfect for keeping your expensive swimwear looking like new
  • Neutralizes and removes chlorine, salt, and suntan lotion and oils from your swimsuit
  • Chlorine and sun lotion break down elastic quickly, so it is important to wash your swimsuit with Splash soon after wearing

To keep your swimsuit looking its best, the Fashion Care Splash Chlorine Removal detergent will gently and effectively clean your spandex/Lycra swimwear.

It is specially formulated to permeate through the fabric to neutralize the harmful effects of not just chlorine, but salt, lotions, and other pool chemicals. It will even get rid of any lingering odor from the pool or ocean.

Unlike laundry detergent, the Fashion Care Splash detergent can do all of this without causing the colors in the fabric to fade. Thus, your swimsuit will retain its true, vibrant colors even after repeated washing, and you can use it for a lot longer.

To achieve this, this detergent was made with natural ingredients because chemicals are often bad and are what we are trying to wash off. Furthermore, due to its natural ingredients, this detergent is very Eco-friendly and will not contribute to the pollution of the ocean.

Laundress Sport Detergent

The Laundress - Sport Detergent, Sport Scent, Activewear & Swimwear, Sweat Stain & Odor Remover, 16...
  • GENTLY CLEANS ACTIVEWEAR: Ideal for all performance fabrics, including nylon, spandex, cotton, and synthetics
  • NO STRETCHING: Special formula preserves activewear’s shape
  • REMOVES ODOR & STAINS: From perspiration and more; HIGHLY CONCENTRATED FORMULA: Up to 32 washes

The next swimsuit detergent on our list is the Laundress Sport detergent. This detergent ensures your swimsuit stays in tip top form by removing chlorine, sweat, body oils and such, leaving it looking and smelling clean and fresh.

Furthermore, this detergent is nontoxic, biodegradable, and allergen-free. Feel free to soak your swimsuit in water with this detergent and feel good knowing that it will not harm you, the swimsuit, nor the environment.

If you swim laps frequently and are afraid of a sweat and chlorine smell lingering on your swimsuit, put your mind at ease with a bottle of Laundress Sport detergent.

Molly’s Suds Swimwear Detergent

We have yet another Eco-friendly detergent specifically designed for use with swimsuits. The Molly’s Suds Swimwear Cleaner is gentle, yet potent enough to penetrate deep into your swimsuit fibers to remove any harmful chemicals.

This detergent specializes in cleaning spandex swimsuits. It features a special formula that eliminates chlorine and other pool chemicals while keeping the fabric intact.

What we love about this detergent is how gentle it is on sensitive skin because it is made with all-natural plant-based ingredients. There are no harsh chemicals or artificial scents in it. Unlike laundry detergent, Molly’s Suds won’t damage your swimwear or cause its colors to fade. You can rest assured that your bathing suit will look great for many summers to come.

Why can’t you use laundry detergent on swimsuits?

You should not use laundry detergent because most of them contain harsh chemicals which we are trying to get rid of from our swimsuit. Do you see the problem here? Replacing one harsh chemical with another leaves you in the same situation.

That is especially why you should not use bleach, which is a notoriously strong chemical that will almost certainly cause your swimsuit color to fade. Even just a small amount of any of these detergents can cause damage.

A specially formulated detergent is necessary to safely wash your swimsuit with. They will achieve the same effect you want the laundry detergents to achieve without damaging its delicate fibers.

Swimsuit detergents have components in their formula that make them effective at neutralizing harsh chemicals like chlorine, and can get rid of salt, oils, and sweat as well. While you can try to accomplish this with only just water, chances are high that traces of chemicals are still left behind.

If you prefer not to use swimsuit detergent, at least use hand soap or vinegar. Water alone is often not enough, and your swimsuit will definitely begin to smell without some kind of cleaning agent.

How to properly wash your bathing suit

So now that you know which detergents to use, how exactly do you wash your swimsuit? We will go over the correct steps, as well as how to avoid the pitfalls, so that you can maintain your swimsuit for as long as possible.

Tips to keep in mind

First things first, wash your swimsuit after every use. Do it as quickly as possible. You can give your bathing suit a quick rinse while you’re out, but once you’re back home or in your hotel room, give it a thorough cleaning.

Two, never use machines, always use your hands. Machines are simply too rough and will wear down your swimsuit. Besides, it’s kind of a waste of electricity and it’s not that difficult to hand wash your swimsuit.

Three, always use cold water, and keep your swimsuit away from heat. Heat will cause the spandex/Lycra in your swimsuit to shrink, permanently losing its shape and elasticity. You will not get as good of a fit or stretch after exposing it to heat; you might not even be able to wear it anymore.

Four, dry your swimsuit in a ventilated area. Open nearby windows and/or doors. Make sure there is good airflow. If it takes too long to dry, bacteria can grow and potentially lead to fungal growth and a mildew smell. Also avoid direct sunlight, which can discolor your swimsuit and wear it down.

The steps

Here are the steps for how to properly wash a swimsuit. First, fill a sink or basin with cold water.

Add a mild detergent, preferably one of the ones we recommended above, into the water and mix. You can add a tablespoon or two of white vinegar to act as a booster for the detergent, and this is insurance that any stubborn odor and yellow stains will be eliminated.

Now, let your swimsuit soak in this cleaning solution for 30 minutes. This gives the detergent enough time to penetrate deep into the fibers and neutralize all of the chemicals.

After enough time has elapsed, drain the water and give the swimsuit a rinse. Give it a good scrub while you’re at it to make sure all of the suds are washed off, as are any specks of sand or other debris that might be stuck on the swimsuit.

Hold off on wringing your dripping wet swimsuit. Wringing is very damaging to the spandex and will cause it to get stretched out much faster. To get rid of the water in a gentle way, here’s what to do.

Get a towel and lay it flat. Lay the swimsuit on the towel. Now roll the towel up with the swimsuit in it like you’re making a sushi roll. Really try to roll it as tight as you can to get as much water out.

If you have two towels, lay the first one on the floor. Put your swimsuit on the first towel. Lay the second towel over the swimsuit and first towel. Now step on the towel where you placed it over the swimsuit to squeeze the water out from the swimsuit.

Finally, leave your swimsuit in a shaded, ventilated area that is out of direct sunlight. Preferably, lay it on a drying rack. You can hang it on a clothesline, but note that the water can pool on the bottom of the swimsuit and stretch out the shoulder straps supporting the weight of the swimsuit.

So there you have it. As you can see, the swimsuit detergent was but just one step in a series of many, but its importance cannot be overstated. Without a good swimsuit detergent, even if you do all of the other steps perfectly, any lingering chlorine can still reduce the lifespan of the swimsuit and make your efforts go to waste. With one, you don’t have to worry about your swimsuit fading, smelling funny, or losing its elasticity so quickly.

Last update on 2021-10-30 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API