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How To Wash A Bikini How To Wash A Bikini

For Women

How To Wash A Bikini

Written by: Pierette Farley

Learn the proper way to wash your bikini for women and keep it looking fresh all summer long. Follow our easy steps to maintain its color and fit.

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Table of Contents


A bikini is a quintessential piece of swimwear for women, offering both style and comfort. Whether you’ve just returned from a beach vacation or simply want to freshen up your favorite bikini for your next poolside outing, knowing how to properly wash it is essential. By following the right techniques, you can keep your bikini looking vibrant and in top condition for many swimsuit seasons to come.

Properly caring for your bikini not only helps to maintain its visual appeal but also helps to extend its lifespan. Bikinis are exposed to various elements, such as chlorine, saltwater, sunscreen, and body oils, all of which can cause color fading and material damage over time. Regular washing is crucial to remove these impurities and prevent them from deteriorating the fabric.

While washing your bikini may seem like a simple task, there are a few key factors to consider to ensure its longevity. This includes the preparation phase, the washing technique, and the drying process. In this article, we will guide you through the step-by-step process of washing a bikini, whether you prefer hand washing or using a washing machine. Additionally, we will provide you with tips on how to maintain the quality of your bikini, so you can enjoy it all summer long.

So, let’s dive into the world of bikini care and learn how to properly wash and maintain this beloved swimwear staple!


Preparing the Bikini for Washing

Before you begin the actual washing process, it’s important to prepare your bikini properly. This will help ensure that any dirt, oils, or chemicals are effectively removed during the washing process. Here are a few steps to follow:

  1. Check the care label: Start by checking the care label on your bikini. This will provide specific instructions on how to wash and care for your swimwear. Pay attention to any temperature limitations or special precautions.
  2. Remove any accessories: Take off any removable accessories such as pads, straps, or decorative elements. These items may have separate care instructions or could get damaged during washing. Set them aside to be cleaned separately if required.
  3. Rinse in cold water: Give your bikini a quick rinse in cold water. This helps to remove any surface-level dirt, sand, or chemicals. Gently swish the bikini in the water to ensure all areas are rinsed thoroughly.
  4. Pre-treat stains: If you notice any stubborn stains on your bikini, you can pre-treat them with a mild detergent or stain remover. Gently rub the stained area with your fingers or a soft brush to loosen the stain before proceeding to the washing stage.
  5. Turn it inside out: To prevent color fading and maintain the vibrancy of your bikini, turn it inside out before washing. This will help protect the exterior fabric from friction and direct contact with detergent and water.
  6. Secure any closures: If your bikini has any hooks, tie-ups, or closures, make sure to secure them properly. This will prevent any snagging or tangling that could damage the fabric or hardware during the washing process.

By properly preparing your bikini before washing, you can ensure that the cleaning process is more effective and gentle on the fabric. These steps help to remove surface-level impurities and protect the delicate materials, ensuring that your bikini stays in excellent condition for many beach trips to come!


Hand Washing the Bikini

If you prefer a more hands-on approach to washing your bikini or if the care label recommends hand washing, here’s a step-by-step guide on how to effectively clean your swimwear:

  1. Fill a basin or sink: Start by filling a clean basin or sink with cool water. Avoid using hot water, as it can damage the delicate fabrics and elastic of your bikini.
  2. Add a gentle detergent: Add a small amount of mild detergent specifically designed for delicate fabrics into the water. Avoid using harsh detergents, bleach, or fabric softeners, as they can harm the fabric and alter its color.
  3. Submerge and gently agitate: Place your bikini in the water and carefully submerge it. Gently agitate the water with your hands to create a mild soapy solution. This will help loosen and remove any dirt, oils, or sunscreen residue that may be trapped in the fabric.
  4. Let it soak: Allow your bikini to soak in the soapy water for about 15 minutes. This will give the detergent enough time to penetrate the fabric and lift any impurities.
  5. Gently scrub: Using your fingertips, gently scrub the bikini to further remove any dirt or stains. Pay close attention to areas that tend to accumulate sunscreen or oils, such as the chest and waistband.
  6. Rinse thoroughly: Drain the soapy water and refill the basin or sink with clean, cool water. Rinse your bikini by gently swishing it around in the water. Repeat this process until all traces of detergent are removed.
  7. Press out excess water: Once your bikini is thoroughly rinsed, gently press on the fabric to remove excess water. Avoid wringing or twisting the bikini, as this can stretch or distort its shape.
  8. Pat dry with a towel: Lay a clean, absorbent towel flat on a surface. Place your bikini on top of the towel and roll it up, applying gentle pressure to absorb the remaining moisture. Avoid rubbing the fabric, as this can cause damage or create friction that leads to pilling.
  9. Air dry in a shady area: After towel-drying, lay your bikini flat on a clean towel or hang it in a shaded area to air dry. Avoid direct sunlight, as it can cause fading and damage to the fabric.

Following these steps will help to preserve the quality and color of your bikini. Hand washing is a gentle method that reduces the risk of damage and ensures that your swimwear stays in pristine condition, ready for your next beach adventure.


Using a Washing Machine for Bikini

If the care label on your bikini allows machine washing, you can use this convenient method to clean your swimwear. However, it’s important to take a few precautions to ensure that the washing process doesn’t damage or distort your bikini:

  1. Use a mesh laundry bag: Before placing your bikini in the washing machine, place it inside a mesh laundry bag. This protects the bikini from getting tangled with other garments and prevents any small parts, such as straps or hooks, from getting caught in the machine.
  2. Select a gentle cycle: Set your washing machine to a gentle or delicate cycle with cool water. Avoid using hot water, as it can cause shrinkage and damage the fabric.
  3. Opt for a mild detergent: Choose a mild detergent specifically formulated for delicate fabrics. Avoid using harsh detergents or bleach, as they can weaken the fibers and fade the color of your bikini.
  4. Avoid fabric softener: Fabric softeners can leave a residue on your bikini, impacting its elasticity and overall performance. It’s best to skip the fabric softener when washing swimwear.
  5. Don’t overload the machine: Place the mesh bag with your bikini in the washing machine, making sure not to overload it. Overcrowding the machine can lead to inadequate water circulation and ineffective cleaning.
  6. Extra rinse cycle: Consider running an extra rinse cycle to ensure that all detergent is thoroughly flushed out from the fabric. This helps prevent any residue from causing skin irritation or affecting the performance of your bikini.
  7. Handle with care: Once the washing cycle is complete, remove the mesh bag from the washing machine and gently squeeze out any excess water. Avoid wringing or twisting the bikini, as this can damage the fabric and alter its shape.
  8. Pat dry with a towel: Lay a clean, absorbent towel flat on a surface. Place your bikini on top of the towel and roll it up, applying gentle pressure to absorb the remaining moisture. Avoid rubbing the fabric, as this can cause damage or create friction that leads to pilling.
  9. Air dry in a shady area: After towel-drying, lay your bikini flat on a clean towel or hang it in a shaded area to air dry. Avoid direct sunlight, as it can cause fading and damage to the fabric.

By following these steps, you can safely and effectively wash your bikini using a washing machine. Just be sure to use a mesh bag to protect the fabric and select gentle settings to preserve the quality and longevity of your swimwear.


Drying the Bikini

Properly drying your bikini is just as important as the washing process. Improper drying techniques can cause stretching, shape distortion, or damage to the fabric. Here are some recommended steps to ensure your bikini dries effectively:

  1. Pat dry with a towel: After gently pressing out the excess water from your bikini, lay it flat on a clean, absorbent towel. Gently pat the towel on top of your bikini to absorb additional moisture. Avoid rubbing or wringing, as this can cause damage to the delicate fabric.
  2. Avoid direct heat and sunlight: When drying your bikini, it’s important to avoid direct heat sources such as radiators, direct sunlight, or tumble dryers. Excessive heat can cause the fabric to shrink or become brittle, leading to color fading and reduced elasticity.
  3. Air dry in a shaded area: Find a shady spot and lay your bikini flat on a clean towel or drying rack. Allow it to air dry naturally at room temperature. This gentle drying method helps maintain the shape and quality of the fabric.
  4. Flip halfway through drying: To ensure equal drying on both sides, flip your bikini halfway through the drying process. This will help prevent any potential moisture buildup on one side and ensure that the entire bikini dries evenly.
  5. Avoid hanging with clothespins: Avoid hanging your bikini on a clothesline using clothespins, as they can leave marks or press marks onto the delicate fabric. Opt for laying it flat instead to maintain its original shape.
  6. Allow sufficient drying time: Depending on the humidity and ventilation in your area, it may take several hours for your bikini to fully dry. Avoid the temptation to wear it while it’s still damp, as this can cause discomfort and potentially damage the fabric.
  7. Store only when completely dry: Once your bikini is dry, it’s safe to store it in your swimwear drawer or suitcase. Ensure that it is fully dry to prevent any mildew or unpleasant odors from developing during storage.

By following these drying guidelines, you can help preserve the durability, shape, and color of your bikini. Proper drying techniques are essential to ensure that your swimwear remains in excellent condition and ready for your next beach or pool adventure.


Tips for Maintaining the Bikini’s Quality

To keep your bikini looking its best and ensure its longevity, here are some additional tips to help maintain its quality:

  1. Alternate between bikinis: It’s a good idea to have more than one bikini in your rotation. By alternating between bikinis, you allow each one to fully dry and regain its shape before wearing it again. This helps prevent excessive wear and tear.
  2. Rinse after each use: After wearing your bikini, rinse it with cool water to remove any chlorine, saltwater, or sunscreen residue. This helps prevent these elements from causing discoloration or damaging the fabric over time.
  3. Hand wash whenever possible: Although some bikinis are labeled as machine washable, hand washing is generally gentler on the fabric. If the care label permits it, opt for hand washing to minimize any potential damage caused by a washing machine.
  4. Avoid excessive wringing or twisting: When removing excess water from your bikini, be gentle and avoid wringing or twisting it. Excessive force can stretch the fabric and alter its shape, compromising its fit and appearance.
  5. Be cautious with rough surfaces: Avoid sitting or rubbing your bikini against rough surfaces like concrete or pool chairs. These surfaces can cause pilling, snags, or tears in the fabric. Always choose a soft and clean spot to lounge or sit.
  6. Limit use of oils and lotions: While sunscreen and body oils are necessary for sun protection, excessive use can lead to stains and deterioration of the bikini fabric. Try to limit the amount of oil and lotion applied before wearing your bikini, and make sure to let it absorb fully before putting it on.
  7. Don’t leave wet bikini in a bag: It’s important to avoid leaving a wet bikini in a plastic bag or any other confined space for an extended period. Moisture trapped in an enclosed environment can lead to mold or mildew growth, causing unpleasant odors and potential fabric damage.
  8. Avoid rough handling during storage: When storing your bikini, avoid folding or piling it with heavy objects. Opt for a dedicated swimwear drawer or use a separate storage bag to protect it from dust and potential damage. Ensure that it is completely dry before putting it away.
  9. Replace worn-out bikinis: Over time, even with proper care, bikinis can naturally wear out. If you notice stretched out elastic, faded colors, or significant fabric thinning, it may be time to replace your bikini. Investing in a new one ensures that you have a well-fitting and stylish swimwear collection.

By incorporating these tips into your bikini care routine, you can maintain the quality and appearance of your swimwear, allowing you to enjoy it for many seasons to come.



Taking proper care of your bikini is essential to preserve its quality and ensure that it stays vibrant and comfortable for multiple swim seasons. By following the right techniques for washing, drying, and maintaining your bikini, you can extend its lifespan and keep it looking its best.

The first step in caring for your bikini is to prepare it for washing by checking the care label, removing any accessories, and giving it a quick rinse. Hand washing your bikini with a gentle detergent is a great option, ensuring that you scrub gently and rinse thoroughly. If machine washing is allowed, use a mesh laundry bag and select a delicate cycle with cool water.

Properly drying your bikini is crucial to avoid stretching or damage. Pat dry with a towel, avoid direct heat and sunlight, and let it air dry in a shaded area to preserve its original shape and color. Additionally, following tips such as alternating between bikinis, rinsing after each use, and avoiding excessive wringing or twisting can further maintain its quality.

By incorporating these tips into your bikini care routine, you can keep your swimwear looking fresh and fashionable, ensuring that it remains a staple in your summer wardrobe. Proper care and maintenance allow you to enjoy your bikini for many poolside lounging sessions, beach vacations, and water activities.

So, embrace the joy of taking care of your bikini and make it a habit to follow these guidelines. Your beautiful and well-maintained bikini will not only make you feel confident and stylish but also last longer, saving you time and money in the long run!

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