One thing is for sure: swimming pools can wreak havoc on swimwear. Thankfully, though, there are a few things you can do to extend the longevity of your swimwear. As we discussed in Part 1, you can purchase swimwear made from chlorine-friendly fabrics and give your swimwear time to rest between uses. If you really want to get serious about protecting both your swimwear and your skin, you might even want to consider having a salt water chlorine generator installed.
Aside from purchasing specialty swimwear and changing up your pool’s chemicals, there are some simple, inexpensive ways you can extend the life of whatever swimwear you prefer.
Change Before You Sunbathe
While you can’t change the fact that chlorine will be tough on your swimwear, you can be intentional about mixing it with other elements that will also contribute to the breakdown of the fabric. A few common culprits include direct sunlight and heat as well as perspiration and sunblock. When these elements combine with exposure to chlorine, their impact will be much more significant. To avoid compounding the destructive potential of these elements, one activity to avoid after you’ve been in the pool is sunbathing. All we’re suggesting is that you wait until you change into a clean, dry swimsuit before you lay out. (Of course, if you do, we hope you’ll be sure to wear sunblock, too — but that’s a blog post for another day.)
Change Before You Play
For young children, the potential for snagging swimwear is probably more significant. Snags are difficult to stop and impossible to completely repair, so you want to avoid them whenever possible. Typically, snagging occurs due to exposure to rough surfaces outside the pool. You can help avoid snags on your child’s swimwear by encouraging your child to change clothes or use a swimsuit cover up anytime he or she exits the pool. Even during a short break, make sure you sit on a towel rather than directly on any rough surface that presents the potential for snags.
Properly Care for Your Swimwear
Whatever you wear for swimming can last longer or shorter, depending on how well you care for it. The most significant step in your swimwear care routine should be removing your swimsuit while it’s still wet and then rinsing it in cool, fresh water immediately after use. Ideally, let your swimwear soak in the water for at least 30 minutes; in a pinch, though, a quick rinse will still help. After rinsing, avoid wringing it out (and stretching the shape-retaining spandex). Simply roll your suit out on a dry towel, roll it up, and gently squeeze. While it will retain more moisture that way, it will allow your swimwear to retain its original shape for longer. Once you get home, you can continue your swimwear care routine, which we’ll describe more in Part 3.
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