Finding the perfect bikini can cause any woman a meltdown, but even worse is ruining your hard-won find when washing it. We chatted with cleaners extraordinaires Gwen Whiting and Lindsey Boyd of The Laundress to make sure your favorite suit lasts all season and beyond. Below, they dish their tips.

Pretreat, Pretreat, Pretreat

Be mindful to pretreat your suit if no stains are visible! Stains and yellowing can be caused by tanning lotions, so The Laundress Wash & Stain Bar is our go-to product. It’s ideal for removing oil-based stains and easily allows you to target key areas like underwire, straps, and waistbands. This will prevent buildup and yellowing from presenting itself over time.

Always Hand Wash

We recommend swimwear to be hand-washed in warm water immediately after use—salt, sunscreen, perspiration, and chlorine can be very harmful to the fabric. Sunscreen can actually cause the most damage to your suit if left untreated. If washing isn’t possible after a trip to the pool, you should at least rinse the suit in a sink to remove chlorine.

Use a Wash Bag

If you just can't fathom hand-washing yourself, insert your suit into a mesh washing bag to prevent any snagging or tangling during the wash cycle. Set the machine to the delicate cycle and cold water and add the appropriate amount of detergent.

Never Twist Your Suit

Don't wring water from swimsuits. This causes stress to the fabric!

Avoid the Dryer

It’s the most intense drying method and high heat will reduce elasticity and damage fabrics. Air drying is the gentlest drying method and the best way to preserve fibers, colors, shape, and elasticity. Simply lay the swimsuit flat on a drying rack or towel, or hang to dry. Avoid air-drying items made of synthetic fabrics like spandex and nylon in the sun as this can cause color fading.

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