How to Hand Wash Swimsuits

You’ve had your fun in the sun and come home with a sandy, sweat soaked swimsuit. Right after you grab a glass of ice cold water, the first thing on your mind should be to hand wash your swimsuit. The faster you can get it clean, the longer lasting your swimsuit will be.

Keep swimsuits looking dashing with proper washing techniques.

Even if you didn’t go swimming, it’s recommended to hand wash swimsuits after every wearing. Here’s how.

  1. Rinse the swimsuit in cold water to dislodge any sand, dirt, chlorine, wayward sea creatures, sweat, oils and suntan lotions.

  2. Fill a sink or other basin with cold water and a tablespoon or two of a gentle detergent formulated specially for hand washing delicates.

  3. Let the swimsuit soak in the cold water mixture for 30 minutes.

  4. Drain the water out of the basin while running cold water over the swimsuit to dislodge any dirt remnants. You’ll be amazed how black the water can often become from a seemingly clean-looking swimsuit.

  5. Thoroughly rinse the swimsuit in more cold water until it runs clear, free of dirt and detergent bubbles. You may want to do this in a shower or bathtub where the water pressure is usually higher and the faucet wider than a sink’s.

  6. Gently squeeze excess water from the swimsuit then lay on a flat towel. Roll up the towel with the swimsuit, again gently squeezing out excess water.

  7. Hang the swimsuit over a smooth rack or bar or lay flat on a clean, dry towel to dry.

  8. Tip

    You can start the swimsuit cleaning process by leaving it on and rinsing yourself and the suit in cold water. Then remove the suit and proceed through the steps. Make sure to flip the swimsuit over once one side is dry if you choose to lay flat for drying. Woolite is one brand of gentle detergent that’s had excellent results for ages. You can also try a Woolite imitator, but check the ingredients against the Woolite bottle to make sure you are getting an equally gentle product. Use a liquid detergent, not powder. The latter will simply cake all over your swimsuit. If you are out of detergent, you can substitute a baby shampoo or other gentle shampoo.


    Don’t dry a swimsuit or other delicates in direct sunlight. That hastens fading. Yes, we know swimsuits are made to be worn in the sun, but why speed up the fading process? Never wring a swimsuit dry unless you like stretched out, ruined swimsuits.