Swimsuits are a unique article of clothing. Depending on where you live and what the climate is like, they often are put in storage for a few months of the year, only to make their triumphant return in the summer.
So, what should you be doing with your favorite bathing suit when it’s in storage? Hint: you should not be stuffing it into a plastic garbage bag.
Let’s break down some tips for safe swimsuit storage. With any luck, your suit will be just as vibrant and beautiful the next time summer rolls around.
Why Does Proper Swimsuit Storage Matter?
You might be wondering how important it is to use best practices for storing your swimsuits. Honestly, storage is an area that most people tend to ignore. Amid the washing and drying tips, many of us forget that where and how we store our clothes can matter just as much as how we clean them.
If you store your swimsuits the correct way, you can expect the following benefits:
- The shape, coloring, and elasticity of the suit will be preserved.
- You can extend the overall life of the suit, ultimately saving money on new swim purchases.
- Once you’ve found a suit you love, you can hang onto it for years!
How Should I Store My Favorite Swimsuits?
We thought you’d never ask! We have compiled some of our most well-loved tips, curated by experts. Here are some tried and tested tips to help you maintain your swimwear for years to come.
Short Term: Swimsuits Should Be Folded in a Drawer
Most of us don’t love folding and putting away laundry, and it can be tempting to ball up that bathing suit and throw it in your underwear drawer. However, this is not good for your suit!
How to fold them varies depending on their style.
Bikini straps can be folded into the cups. Next, you can fold the bikini bottom and place it flat beneath the bathing suit top. For a one-piece, the suit's material can be folded so that the cups rest on top of the suit, one inside the other.
Avoid squashing shaped cups. This is one of the worst things that can happen to a swimsuit and can cause unsightly wrinkles and creases.
Make Sure To Wash Them
It may sound obvious, but it’s important to ensure that you are washing your swimsuits before storing them. You must remove any of the sunscreen, salt, or chlorine from your suit before putting it away.
You can’t get away with giving it a quick rinse! And just because you went swimming in it does not mean that it’s clean. If you can avoid it, don’t wash your suit in the washing machine. By hand is best, and some suits even require a hand wash.
You can gently wring the excess water out of the suit and lay it flat to dry. Never put it in a commercial dryer!
Consider Using a Garment Bag
When looking at long-term storage options, it might be a good idea to use a garment bag.
Of course, when you are using your suit frequently, you will want to have it folded nicely in a drawer. Once it comes time to put the swimwear away for the winter, an easy way to take care of it is to lay it flat — multiple suits can be put on top of each other — and put it into the bag.
Garment bags provide a breathable, safe option for storing your swimwear. Hanging them in the garment bag is also an option, but we don’t recommend it. If the suits are left hanging for months at a time, the straps may become stretched out, negatively affecting the suit’s fit.
Ensure That It Is Completely Dry
Do you know what moisture means? Well, when it comes to long-term storage, it almost always means mold. Trust us: a moldy bathing suit is not flattering! If your suit develops mold or mildew, there’s really no way to salvage it.
After washing your suit, you will want to lay it flat for long enough that you can be 100% sure it is dry. We recommend at least 24 hours just to be safe.
Avoid Airtight Plastic Storage
Most bathing suits are made of material that needs to breathe when it is put away for long periods of time. Though popular, plastic storage tubs can make clothes (especially bathing suits) musty and gross.
If possible, store your suits in a cardboard box. Keep them up on a high shelf or in a closet in a spot that won’t be in the way. The only time that you should use airtight plastic containers is if you absolutely must store your clothing in an area that gets damp, like a basement. However, a basement is really not preferable.
Store in a Cool, Dry Place
If you are switching out your clothes based on the season, you need to heed this recommendation! Your clothes will do so much better if you are able to put them in a place where it is cool and dry.
Have you ever pulled your clothes out of storage and felt that you had no choice but to rewash them? Most of us have had that experience. However, if you can keep your most prized swimsuits in an optimal atmosphere, you will not have this problem.
If you don’t have such an area in your own home, you might consider a climate-controlled storage unit. This might sound like overkill, but chances are you have some other items that you could benefit from decluttering. Thankfully, the smallest size storage unit won’t break the bank.
Other Swimsuit Care Tips:
Though storage is a huge component of clothing care, there are a few more tips that will help you immensely when it comes to bathing suits:
- Don’t let your suit soak in chlorine. Make sure to wash it immediately when you get out of the pool to avoid discoloration.
- Wash in cool water. Make sure that you aren’t using hot water, which can fade and damage stretchy swimsuit material.
- Think about where you sit. If you are sitting poolside or somewhere with abrasive, textured surfaces, you may snag your bathing suit bottoms.
- Alternate your swimwear. If you can afford it, own more than one suit. By alternating your bathing suits, you will prolong their wearability.
With a few easy tips and tricks, you can make your swimwear last for years. Make an effort to wash and dry your suit properly, store it in a breathable container in a cool, dry place, and care for your suits on a day-to-day basis.
Taking a little extra time will make a world of difference — as will buying the perfect suit.