Swimsuits can be expensive. Whether you’re using them for training, working out, or lounging by the pool, you want to save money where you can. So how can you make your swimsuit last longer?
Related article: How Much Does it Cost to Start Swimming?
We offer several tips to help you get the most out of your next swimsuit and keep it lasting through the year.
Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links, meaning we earn a small commission at no cost to you if you purchase something through one of our links. As an Amazon Associate, we earn from qualifying purchases. Please check out our disclosure page for more information.
Rinse Out Your Suit
One of the easiest ways to make your swimsuit last longer is to rinse it out.
Chlorine is hard on the fabric of the suit. Some fabrics more than others. When you rinse off your suit after each use, you wash out some of the chlorine that breaks down the fabric.
Ideally, you’ll want to ensure that you’re using cold or cool water to rinse out your suit. Warm or hot water isn’t the best for the fabric. And the cooler water will help the suit and fabric maintain their shape longer.
You can rinse out your suit in one of two ways.
Run it under running water
Either in the sink or the shower/bathtub.
Again, make sure the water is cold when you’re rinsing it off under the faucet. You don’t need to worry about scrubbing the fabric together. Your goal isn’t to clean it, but instead, remove as much chlorine as you can.
Our recommendation when using this method is to avoid balling up the suit and holding it under the facet. This doesn’t get the entire swimsuit rinsed.
Instead, hold the top in one hand and the bottom in the other. Run the suit under the water in a back and forth motion. Make sure you get the front, back, and straps 🙂
The only downside of this method is that you can’t always ensure you get the full suit rinsed out. And the quick wash might not get the majority of the chlorine off. Although it’s better than not rinsing it off.
Another option is to soak the suit in a sink or a bucket of water. This ensures that the suit is completely submerged in water and can be swished around to help remove the chlorine.
You can use regular tap water for this.
They also offer a variety for beach/lake use that removes sand, sunscreen, and salt from suits.
Just be sure that you rinse out your suit well if you use any solution to help remove chlorine. You don’t want any solution getting back into the pool. Or on your skin!
One of the downsides of soaking your suit is that your swimsuit stays in the water as the chlorine is being rinsed out.
The amount of water compared to the chlorine that’s being removed is probably small though. But for some, it might be better to rinse it with fresh water instead.
Or, to rinse it first and then soak it. 🙂
Don’t Shower in Your Suit
Now, we know what you’re thinking. Why don’t I just shower in my suit and be done with it? Two birds with one stone!
And yes, you could do that. However, the hot water, plus the soap from the shampoo, etc., isn’t always the best for your suit either.
It’s also hard to rinse out the suit completely because it’s still on your body.
If you don’t feel comfortable about showering without your suit on, that’s okay! Just be sure to rinse out your suit after you’ve changed to rinse out any lingering soaps.
Dry Your Suit
The surest way to ruin a suit is to leave it wet. Whether that’s balled up at the bottom of your locker or in a wet towel all day.
Wet suits rarely last as long as they could and they tend to smell awful after a while. They can also grow some mold if you’re really lucky!
Letting your suit dry out every day is the best way to make your swimsuit last longer. And it makes things more comfortable for you. Putting on a suit that’s still damp or wet isn’t enjoyable.
Avoid the Suit Dryer
It’s so very tempting to use the swimsuit water extractor. You know, the machine mounted on the wall that you put your suit in and it screams for a bit when you close the lid. Yeah, that one 😉
These machines do work well in spinning out most of the water. They’ll never make your swimsuit perfectly dry but they work well enough to get them mostly there.
However, they do run the risk of snagging or tearing suits. We’ve seen straps catch before and suits ruined. Mainly by those not used to using them, but it can still happen to experienced swimmers, too.
And the quick force of the machine can stretch out suits that use less chlorine-resistant fabric.
If you can, try your best to avoid using the suit dryer. Or at least cut back on the frequency at which you use them. You might find yourself surprised at how much longer your swimsuit will last if you let your suit dry more naturally.
Squeeze Out Excess Water
When it comes time to wring out the excess water, try to squeeze it out instead of wringing it. Wringing your suit can pull the fabric and can eventually lead to stretching and tearing.
Squeezing the excess water helps make your swimsuit last longer as it’s more gentle on the fabric. You can also use this time to check over the fabric and the seams to make sure that everything is in working order.
Don’t expect the suit to be completely dry. Rather, squeezing out the water just helps it dry a bit faster and helps you avoid using the suit dryer that some locker rooms have.
And honestly, if you wrap your suit up in a towel for the drive home, it’s nearly dry when you do set it out to dry.
Related article: 5 Reasons Swimmers Should Own a Shammy
Dry Your Suit Flat
Personally, I dry my suits flat after every workout. Morning and afternoon. No matter the suit type.
In college, it was easy to attach the suit to the lock and let it drip dry. Literally!
And while doing that isn’t a quick way to ruin your suit, it does lessen its longevity if you’re not careful.
Letting a wet suit hang and drip allows the water to pool at the bottom of the suit. And it can cause stretching if done frequently. It also doesn’t allow the groin area to dry as quickly as the rest of the suit. Which can leave it still damp when you go to wear it again.
If you can, lay your suit out flat to dry. Either on a dry towel or a rack to allow for better ventilation.
I use an over toilet rack (such as this one) to lay my suit on so it dries easier at work. And when I’m at home, it dries on a part of the bathroom counter. Or I use this drying rack to dry my suit and towel.
It’s a simple change but it does make a difference in making your swimsuit last longer. You’ll also find that your suit will dry quicker and more uniform!
Rotate Your Swimsuits
It probably sounds strange, but to help make your swimsuit last longer, try rotating them out. If you can, you should have at least two suits that you can alternate using. This keeps you from wearing one out in one go and instead, shares the burden.
I alternate between two suits. One which is newer and the other which is a bit older. It’s also nice to have different suits for various practices. For longer practices, you might like a suit that’s a bit more loose and comfortable.
Or on sprint days, you might like a swimsuit that’s a bit tighter.
As a bonus, rotating out your suits between practices means you don’t get bored seeing the same suit all the time!
Don’t Put Your Suit in the Clothes Dryer
While putting clothes in the dryer might help shrink them, it’s not always the same for your swimsuit. The heat of the dryer can damage the elastic in the straps or waistband of your suit.
And it can also ruin the fabric if done too frequently.
If you accidentally throw your swimsuit in the dryer once or twice with your towel, it’s not the end of the world. Just be sure to check over the straps and bands to see that the elastic is still holding up.
Your suit might fit a little more snuggly the next time you put it on, but it should snap back to its original shape quickly.
This isn’t necessarily a trick to help make your swimsuit last longer, but it’s worth mentioning.
Certain fabrics last much longer in chlorinated water than others. When looking for your next swimsuit, check the tag to see if it mentions chlorine-resistant fabric.
If you need a suit for training or working out, we highly recommend Speedo Endurance swimsuits. These are made from incredibly durable fabric that, when taken care of properly, can last for months. If not a year or more.
We will note that Speedo Endurance+ suits can run a little on the tighter side.
Another good suit brand to consider is those from Jolyn. These suits hold up well in the water and come in dozens of styles and colors.
As always, happy swimming!
What Equipment Do You Need to Start Lap Swimming?: What swim equipment do you need to start lap swimming? We help you break down which gear you need so you can make the best decision and get started!
7 Reasons to Wear Goggles When You Swim: Goggles may seem like a pain but their benefits far outweigh any frustrations. So why should you wear goggles when you swim and are they that helpful?
Want to Improve at the Pool?
Join swimmers and swim parents to receive my free newsletter and receive a free Swimming Glossary e-book as a thanks!
Every month you’ll receive tips and coaching to help you find success at the pool.