A bright white or tropical print makes your swimsuit stand out whether you're hanging out at the beach, styling at a pool party, or doing water aerobics for your health. Over time, your brilliant swimwear may acquire a yellowish tinge from chlorine and/or day-to-day wear, and you may need to know how to get stains out of a bathing suit. Unlike cotton and other natural materials, the whitening power of chlorine bleach doesn't work as well on synthetics, including spandex.
Bleach a White Swimsuit
Though chlorine bleach is not recommended for most swimsuit fabrics, there are some high-end bathing suits and coverups that are made of 100 percent cotton and cotton blends. Read the label carefully to ensure that your bathing suit doesn't incorporate spandex. If the label says "spandex," do not use chlorine bleach.
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To soak in chlorine bleach, add 1/4 cup of bleach for each gallon of water in the sink or the washer. Use the appropriate water temperature per the instructions on the label. Submerge the bathing suit in the solution, soak for five minutes, and then wash with other whites in the hottest water allowable. Add the correct amount of laundry soap according to the size of the load and add bleach as needed to a maximum of 3/4 cup bleach.
Whiten With Baking Soda
Synthetic and spandex fabrics can be whitened by soaking them in a solution of 1/2 cup of baking soda and 2 gallons of cold water. Submerge the bathing suit and weigh it down with a plate or a sealable bag filled with water. Soak for two to six hours.
Remove Stains With Vinegar
To get stains out of a bathing suit, add 1 cup of white vinegar for every 3 cups of cold or lukewarm water. Add the bathing suit to the solution and soak for one to two hours. Alternatively, apply the white vinegar directly to sunscreen or other stains on the fabric and allow it to work for 15 to 30 minutes.
Use a Bleach-Free Product
Bleach-free products are generally safe for use with swimsuits. Apply a liquid product, such as Clorox 2 for Colors 3-in-1, directly to the stain. Allow it to soak for five to 10 minutes. Alternatively, mix the liquid with water and soak the entire bathing suit for one to two hours.
Soak in Oxygen Bleach
Oxygen bleach products are also used to whiten and remove stains on fabrics that cannot be bleached with chlorine bleach. Mix the oxygen bleach or OxiClean at a rate of one capful for a liquid product or one scoop of a powdered product to each gallon of warm water. Soak for six hours before laundering.
Hand Wash the Swimsuit
After rinsing the soaked swimsuit in clean water, place it in a sink or tub for hand washing. Add mild laundry soap and water. Soak for 15 to 30 minutes and then gently work the solution through the swimsuit.
Drain the detergent solution and then rinse the swimsuit with fresh water. Repeat until the rinse water is clear. Don't wring the water out of the swimsuit, as twisting can damage the fabric. Roll it in a towel and press down firmly on the towel to press the excess water out of the swimsuit.
Machine Wash the Swimsuit
When washing a swimsuit in a washing machine, set the washer on the delicate cycle. Check the bathing suit label and set the washer on the warmest temperature recommended. Add laundry detergent and wash the swimsuit.
Dry the Swimsuit
Avoid drying a swimsuit in the dryer or hanging it to drip dry. Instead, lay it on a dry towel on a flat, water-resistant surface or place the swimsuit on a mesh drying rack. Turn over the swimsuit at intervals so it dries evenly. A fan set nearby will circulate the air around the swimsuit to speed its drying.