So, you have just bought your very first swimwear, huh? Although owning a piece of garment as skimpy and as body-hugging as a swimwear can be downright an "in" thing, caring for it in such a way that it will last long may be a little bit daunting especially for beginners.
The different materials upon which these apparels are made of are not the usual fabric types we see in our everyday clothes. Nor are they made of materials that require ordinary washing, drying, folding and storage. You see, majority of these swimwear lines are made up of a combination of nylon and spandex or polyester. Nylon provides the durability and excellent abrasion resistance needed by the swimwear while spandex allowed for unparalleled elasticity as well as further strengthening the swimwear fabric. Polyester, on the other hand, affords the swimwear fabric to become water resistant while allowing only minimal shrinkage and thus, higher resistance to wrinkling.
Because of the nature of the swimwear material, it is highly recommended that swimwear should be washed by hand and never by a washing machine. Although there are some modern washing machines that have integrated "gentle" machine wash action in their cycle, the moving parts of the agitator might damage the synthetic fibers which comprise the swimwear. As such, washing by hand is the "hands down" choice in cleaning such delicate apparels as swimwear.
- Mix a commercially available swimwear cleaner in warm or cold water and soak your swimwear in the solution for about three to five minutes. The solution works by neutralizing the chemicals found in tap water which can literally "eat" away at the material. This greatly increases the life span of your swimwear. If a commercial swimwear cleaner is not available, you can use a mild liquid soap (some have found baby soaps to be especially useful).
- In rinsing the swimwear, never attempt to wring or twist it the way we normally do with the rest of our washed clothes. Instead, roll out the swimwear in a clean, lint-free, light-colored, and fade-resistant towel and squeeze. If a clean lint-free towel is not available, you can gently squeeze the excess water off the swimwear by squeezing gently from one end towards the other end. In some cases, literally allowing the swimwear to drip off the excess water by itself has been observed by some.
- In case of a new swimwear, it is advisable to wash it thoroughly yet gently first before wearing it. This is necessary in order to wash off excess dye from the swimwear; expect bleeding of dye within the first few washes of the swimwear. Make sure to wash a new swimwear separately from other fabric items in order to prevent staining them with the bled dye.
- If the swimsuit has a stain, you must gently scrub off the stain from the wrong side or the underside of the stain in order to push it out and not rub it in further into the fabric. Gently rinse off excess soap suds and water either by gently squeezing the swimwear or rolling it on a clean lint-free and fade-resistant towel.
- Air dry the swimwear under the shade and never directly under the sun. The sun has a particularly good reputation for fading colors in your swimwear, it seems. That said, it definitely is unwise to ever press or iron your swimwear to straighten out the wrinkles.
- Neatly fold your swimwear and store them in a drawer that has ample space. As much as possible, avoid placing your swimwear in between clothes as these can exert undue pressure on the swimwear's fabric fibers.
- Washing, drying, and storing your swimwear is only a part of the swimwear care you need to understand. Care should also be observed during your use of the apparel itself. Whether in the beach or in a pool, your swimwear will have to be taken good care of by following these few simple tips.
- Before you take a dip you should always shower yourself first with clean and clear water in order to prime your swimwear with tap water. This "primes" the fabric of the swimwear with water to make it less pervious to chlorine and other salts which can damage the fabric of your swimwear. Do this again if you are going to get out from the water, this time, to rinse off excess chlorine and salts from the swimwear.
- If you need to bathe in the sun, it is best to wear instead an old, used swimwear rather than your new one. Remember that heat can greatly fade the colors of a new swimwear, especially if it is still wet. Do not use oil-based tanning lotions because oil can damage the fabric of the swimwear.
- If you will still not be changing in your clothes, stay in the shade so as not to unduly expose your new swimwear to the harsh radiation of the sun. Also, do not wrap the towel which you used to dry yourself up around your swimwear because you will just be returning to your swimwear the harsh chemicals you have rinsed off.
- Be very cautious of where you sit because debris and other sharp objects can damage the fabric of your swimwear. It is generally more advisable to put on a clean lint-free and fade-resistant towel over the surface where you intend to sit.
- If you are going to a heavily chlorinated pool, a Jacuzzi, or even a hot tub, it is best to wear an old swimwear rather than the new one.
- Make sure to hang first your worn swimwear under the shade to dry before you finally put inside your bag. Do not also leave them rolled in a lint-free clean towel because the moisture that can accumulate can lead to significant malodor development as well as total swimwear failure.
- Allow a 24-hour rest period in between wearings so that the fabric condition normalizes even before it is used again. It is thus recommended that you should have at least two swimwear available especially if you will be swimming for several days.
The idea about all of these is to treat your swimwear as a one — of, a unique and truly delicate piece of wardrobe that you cannot just simply expose to any environmental condition. Just remember that heat and chemicals are just two of the more common enemies of swimwear. Too bad, where you will be going, there is plenty of these two.
Nonetheless, just remember all these suggestions and you will be on your way to not only enjoying your very first swimwear activity but also ensuring more happy times ahead.
- Handwash the swimsuit prior to the first wear to set the colors
- After wearing the swimsuit, handwash the suit in a mild detergent, rinse well, hang or lay flat to dry out of direct sunlight
- Make sure that ALL body and suntan oils are removed from the swimsuit. If not, these oils will destroy the elasticity of the swimsuit!
- Don't leave the suit soaking, bundled, wadded up, or rolled in a towel. This will cause the colors to bleed.
- Don't use Woolite, bleach, or dry the swimsuit in a dryer. All will destroy the elasticity of the suit.
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