Eco-Friendly Tips for Caring for Your Swimsuit

Eco-Friendly Tips for Caring for Your Swimsuit

Before you butterfly, breaststroke, or belly flop, make a splash with what you wear. For the eco-conscious dipper, diver or lounger that means choosing a swimsuit that’s as kind to the planet as your body. But simply avoiding plastic-based nylon or polyester isn’t enough. Remember, sustainable should also mean durable. And it makes sense that if you’re enjoying nature, you should want to safeguard it. Fortunately, whether you’re chilling by the pool or frolicking on the beach, we have just the techniques and tricks to help your swimsuits last for years to come. Let’s explore eco-friendly tips for caring and cleaning your swimsuit.

Step 1: Choose an Eco-Friendly Swimsuit

Look for brands that use sustainable materials such as recycled nylon or polyester, ECONYL®  made from regenerated nylon waste, and hemp — the most eco-friendly of them all. These materials have a lower environmental footprint compared to conventional swimsuit materials and help reduce plastic pollution in our oceans. When shopping, look for recycled material labels — without falling for greenwashing tricks — and brands that are transparent about their environmental footprint. For the most mindful approach, avoid buying more than two or three swimsuits in a summer season. Overconsumption simply isn’t sustainable. Every purchase we make has a carbon footprint, so the less we need to buy, the better for the planet — and our bank accounts.

Step 2: Rinse Immediately After Use

After a sunny, sweltering day at the beach or pool, rinse your bathing suit thoroughly with fresh water to remove saltwater, chlorine, sunscreen, and other impurities. Rinsing your swimwear will help prevent damage and discoloration caused by prolonged exposure. When rinsing, avoid wringing or twisting your swimsuit so as to not stretch and distort the fabric. Instead, rinse and squeeze the swimsuit in a ball shape.

Step 3: Hand Wash with Eco-Friendly Detergent

When it comes time to clean your swimwear, opt for hand washing instead of machine washing to minimize wear and tear. Many swimsuits have long strings, whether for tightening the waistline or tying around your back. Even washing on a delicate setting can cause these strings to get mangled in the wash.

Instead, we recommend filling a basin or sink with lukewarm water and using SaltyLama laundry detergent sheets.  These plant-based sheets come pre-measured, which means you never have to second-guess how much detergent to use. Simply, rip a strip — two strips to a sheet — and add it to the water until it dissolves. Gently swirl the bathing suit in the water for a few minutes, paying extra attention to any areas with stains or odors. Harsh chemicals or bleach can degrade the fabric and harm the environment.

If you want to make your entire laundry routine even easier, as well as eco-friendly and hypoallergenic, skip the store and lines by subscribing. You’ll save money and never run out of detergent again.  You can cancel, pause, or skip an order on your subscription whenever you like.

And if you simply can’t hand wash and need to use your washing machine? Minimize the damage to your garment by placing it in a mesh laundry bag.

Step 4: Air Dry Away from Direct Sunlight

After washing, gently squeeze out excess water from your bathing suit and lay it flat on a clean towel to air dry. Avoid hanging your swimsuit in direct sunlight, as prolonged exposure to UV rays can cause fading and damage to the fabric. Instead, choose a shaded area or indoor drying rack to preserve the color and elasticity of your bathing suit. This trick will help your sustainable swimsuit last for years.

Step 5: Store Properly

When your bathing suit is completely dry, store it in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight and heat sources. Many swimsuits need to be carefully folded to prevent permanent wrinkles and lasting elasticity. After your swimwear is completely dry, follow these steps for properly folding them.

Folding a One-Piece Swimsuit:

  • Remove any padding.
  • Lay the swimsuit flat on a clean surface with the front facing down.
  • Smooth out any wrinkles or creases in the fabric.
  • Fold the bottom of the swimsuit up towards the straps, about halfway up the torso.
  • Fold one side of the swimsuit towards the center, aligning the edge with the center seam.
  • Repeat the previous step with the other side of the swimsuit, folding it over the first fold.
  • Smooth out any wrinkles and adjust the folds as needed to create a neat, compact rectangle.

Folding a Two-Piece Swimsuit:

  • Remove any padding.
  • Lay the bikini top and bottom flat on a clean surface.
  • Fold the straps over the back of the swimsuit.
  • Lay the swimsuit bottom on top of the swimsuit top.
  • Fold the swimsuit in half horizontally
  • Then fold it again vertically.
  • Smooth out any wrinkles and adjust the folds as needed to ensure it's neat and wrinkle-free.

Folding Boardshorts:

  • Lay the boardshorts flat on a clean surface with the front facing down.
  • Smooth out any wrinkles or creases in the fabric.
  • Fold the boardshorts in half vertically, bringing the left leg over to meet the right leg.
  • Fold the boardshorts in half horizontally, bringing the waistband down to meet the hem.
  • Smooth out any wrinkles and adjust the folds as needed to create a neat, compact rectangle.

These swimsuit folding tips should help you fold your swimwear neatly and compactly for storage or travel.

From choosing a green-minded swimsuit free of plastic byproducts to hand washing with eco-friendly detergent and air drying away from direct sunlight, small changes in your care routine can make a big difference in the longevity and sustainability of your swimwear. So, dive into summer with confidence, knowing that you’re doing your part to make the next big plunge you take as sustainable as it is refreshing.

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