Washing bikinis: The proper swimwear care

Anyone who invests in aesthetic or sporty swimwear wants to enjoy the products for as long as possible. Proper care is therefore very important. It can very easily happen that the wrong wash cycle damages the color or the material and the new favorite piece no longer has the same shine as it did at the beginning. Here you can find out what mistakes to avoid when washing bikinis and - at the same time - what tips to follow.

Colorful bikini tops from JOLYN

The Magic of Swimwear Materials

There are countless types, shapes and colors of bikinis and swimsuits. And the materials are just as varied. Here you can find out what benefits they offer, what you need to consider when washing them and how many degrees you should choose to safely wash them.


Nylon was developed in the USA in 1935 and was first used for toothbrushes. Nowadays, most people probably know nylon thanks to nylon tights. The synthetic fibers are stretchy, soft and fit the body like a second skin. The fabric also absorbs little moisture and therefore dries faster than other materials.

Washing instructions: Synthetic materials such as nylon can be washed at a maximum of 60 degrees Celsius. You can simply leave your swimwear to air dry, as the fabric absorbs little water and dries very quickly after washing. 

Lycra or elastane

Lycra is probably known to most people as elastane. The fabric was developed in 1959 and consists of polyethylene glycol and polyurethane. The material is particularly stretchy and resistant and can stretch between 500% and 700%. The fabric is also characterized by low moisture absorption. It retains its shape, is light, soft, smooth and can be easily dyed.

Washing instructions: If the washing machine has a gentle cycle or a special program for easy-care laundry, these should be used. Otherwise, Lycra should be washed at a maximum of 30 degrees and at a low spin speed. Never use fabric softener when washing bikinis or swimsuits. Swimwear made of Lycra should only be air-dried and should never be dried in an electric dryer.


Polyester is also found in nature and has been known since 1830. Nowadays, polyester is produced synthetically. The most important type is polyethylene terephthalate, also known as PET. PET as a textile stretches only slightly, is shape-retaining and doesn't crease much. The fabric is very tear-resistant and doesn't absorb much water, making it particularly suitable for swimwear.

Washing instructions: Polyester should be washed at 40 degrees Celsius, a special detergent is not necessary and fabric softener can be used (optional). Polyester can be put in an electric dryer at low temperature and ironed. However, it is recommended that you simply allow the clothing to air dry. This way the clothes won't crease.


Scuba fabrics are knitted on both sides and consist of fine fibers. They are usually made of polyester and elastane, sometimes with viscose. Scuba fabrics are very elastic and retain their shape, which makes them comfortable and durable at the same time.

Washing instructions: The fabric can be washed at 30 degrees Celsius. It's usually not suitable for tumble drying and should therefore be air-dried.


Neoprene was invented in the 1930s and is produced by polymerizing chloroprene. The material is flexible, elastic and resistant to weather influences, decomposition and chemicals. Due to its excellent thermal insulation and high flexibility, neoprene is also used for water sports. Other than that, neoprene clothing is tear and abrasion resistant, which makes it highly durable, even if it's heavily used.

Washing instructions: Neoprene cannot be washed in the washing machine. Neoprene swimwear must be cleaned by hand in cold water. The tumble dryer is also not an option for this fabric.

How do you wash your bikinis? Hand-washed vs. Machine-washed

After a relaxing day at the beach or an intensive training session in the pool, there comes the time when you have to wash your swimwear. Whether you wash your swimwear by hand or in a washing machine, the first step is to rinse coarse dirt such as sand, hard mud or stones out of the material.


Some fabrics, such as neoprene, should only be washed by hand. For hand washing, you can use a mild detergent or a mild, non-greasy hand soap.

After you remove the coarse dirt, you can run cold water in a sink. Add the mild soap and start washing the swimwear gently. Wash the clothing thoroughly with clear water until there is no product left in the clothing. To remove excess water, place the clothing in a towel and squeeze it gently.


Depending on the material, bikinis and swimsuits can also be washed in the washing machine. In general, you should avoid fabric softener and use a low temperature wash cycle (30 to 40 degrees Celsius) without spinning.

Tip: Use a laundry net to clean the items with extra care. Details such as lace or embroidery in particular will not be damaged by the rest of the wash.

Drying of swimwear

Avoid electric dryers and let the swimwear air dry instead. Make sure that there is no direct sunlight, otherwise the colors could easily fade. Before you fold them, you should make sure that they are really dry to avoid mold. 

Stain treatment

When wearing a bikini, it's easy for sun cream to get on the material and cause unpleasant stains. Here you can find out how to remove these or even other stains.


Washing-up liquid can be used to treat sun cream stains. It is fat-dissolving and should simply remove the oily suncream from the material. 


To prevent the chlorine in the pool water from attacking your swimwear, you should always rinse it thoroughly with water after swimming in a chlorinated pool.


In order to get the most out of your favorite swimwear for as long as possible, you should above all treat it with care. Check beforehand what type of fabric your bikini is made of and follow the washing instructions. To be on the safer side, you just might want to wash your swimwear by hand.

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