How Do You Protect Your Swimsuit From Stretching Out?

Summer months afford you the time to blow off steam and take that relaxing vacation or trip with friends and family. And to complete this getaway, you need a well-fitting swimsuit that is sure to stay on your body while you have fun. But even if you eventually find the perfect swimsuit that fits properly, you still have to worry about what the rigors of your activities such as wearing swimsuit in a gym might do to it. One potential source of headache for swimsuits is its likely loss of elasticity and becoming stretched out.

The hardest part is that this can occur from your most unexpected actions. Swimsuits are delicate wear made from spandex and other stretchy materials, which means many factors contribute to the stretching out of form. This damage is often non-repairable and can end up costing you a trip to the store to get new sets of wears. To this end, it’s imperative to learn a few answers to the question; how do you protect your swimsuit from stretching out?

Below is an overview of the preventive tips to help keep your suits in good shape while allowing you to rock them some more.

How Do You Protect Your Swimsuit From Stretching Out?

Answering the question; how do you protect your swimsuit from stretching out, will require you to know the causes of a swimsuit stretching out. And we will consider this in a short while, but before than, it’s essential to learn how to prevent this. Thankfully, many prevention tips are the direct opposite of the causes. In addition, taking time to read the instructions on a swimsuit might save you the headache of making new purchases as well as cash.

Let’s take a look at some preventive measures:

1. Get more than one swimsuit and ensure to rotate usage

Using one swimsuit repeatedly is inadvisable, and it’s best to get more than one swimsuit if you wish to prevent your swimwear from stretching out. For example, swimsuits made out of spandex material require at least a full day before returning to their original form. Other materials might take less time to return to their original condition, but it’s essential to always alternate swimsuits between each use. This is arguably the best approach when it comes to answering the how do you protect your swimsuit from stretching out.

2. Avoid heat and everything hot on your swimsuit

As mentioned earlier, from irons to hot water to the sun, all of these sources of heat are bad for your swimsuit. Excessive heat weakens the strength of your swimsuit and its ability to regain its original form. Never wash your swimwear in hot water, and try to avoid taking frequent dips in a hot tub.

3. Use cold water to rinse your suit after each use

Swimsuits have diverse uses, including swimming, sunbathing, diving, beauty pageant, and even at the gym. This means your swimwear will quickly contact sweat, chlorine, sunscreen, lotion, and other harmful chemicals. To counteract the actions of these fluids, it’s best to always thoroughly rinse out your swimsuit with cold water to effortlessly remove these contaminants. This preserves the elasticity of your suit and prevents it from stretching out as a result of chemical reactions.

4. Gently Wash your swimsuit by hand

Washing machines agitate the delicate parts such as cups or padding of your swimsuit. And since swimsuits are soft clothing, they can easily stretch out. Gently wash your suits with mild detergents and by hand to prevent this. Wash your suit by filling a sink or bowl with clean, cold water, soak your swimsuit and add a detergent specifically made for light wear.

ALSO READ: How To Wash A Bathing Suit By Hand

Keep in mind to avoid excessive scrubbing and squeezing.

5. Always air dry or drip dry your swimsuit

Avoid using the dryer on your swimsuit by all means. Similarly, never hang your suit from a hanger when wet. Your best bet at drying out your swimsuit is to air dry or drip dry your wear. This eliminates any chance of stretching out, making it possible to use your swimwear a bit longer. Open a window or switch on a fan to air dry a wet suit to aid the drying process. Suits with molded bra cups or absorbent padding will soak in extra moisture; you can mildly squeeze out the water before laying your bathing suit to dry.

Recommended Air Dryer for Swimsuit

WEISGJA 3 Layers Folding Clothes Drying Rack, Air Dryer for Swimsuit

WEISGJA 3 Layers Folding Clothes Drying Rack, Collapsible Sweater Drying Rack, Mesh Hanging Air Dryer for T-Shirt Swimsuit Food, with Internal Fixation (30X30.7X24 in/2PCS)


With its 30x24x30.7 in dimension, you can leverage its large capacity and multiple layers to dry more than one swimsuit at a time. It also comes fitted with elastic bands to safely secure your fabrics in place against the action of wind.

Adwaita Drying Rack Large Size 3 Tier Folded Mesh

Clothes Drying Rack large Size 3 Tier Folded Mesh Clothes Hanging Dryer T shirt Sweater Drying Rack 30.3 inches L x 24.5 inches W x 30.7 inches H


Having a 30.3×24.5×30.7 dimension, this swimsuit dryer is strong enough to hold 10 pounds of weight from multiple swimsuits.

It’s essential to resist the urge to wriggle out every drop of water, as this can cause irreparable damage by stretching out your suit

Instead, lay out your swimsuit and roll it up in a towel before gently squeezing it for it to absorb some of the moisture. Once you have, you can use a swimsuit dryer to lay your suit flat and allow it to dry. Ensure to completely dry out the swimsuit before storing it to prevent mold growth.

Why Do Bathing Suits Lose Their Elasticity?

Elasticity is the ability of your swimsuit to stretch or expand and still return to its original shape. This ability is a common feature of swimsuits to accommodate your physical activities while wearing them. When your swimwear undergoes stretching beyond its recovery point, the material becomes unable to return to its form.

READ ALSO: Do Swimsuits Need Elastic?

We say the swimsuit has lost its elastic property and is no longer in prime shape when this happens. As much as you don’t want your swimwear to lose this property, it is bound to happen with time and usage.

What Causes Swimsuits to Stretch Out?

Different factors contribute to how your swimwear loses its elasticity. While elasticity is a property of the materials used in making your suit, usage practice can and will, in time, affect its strength to regain its original form. Below are a few factors that contribute to this:

1. Frequency of Use

Every swimsuit will eventually lose its elasticity, but how fast this happens is majorly dependent on how often you use it. For swimsuits worn daily, the process of wearing and taking off constantly will stretch the fabric. And over time, it will eventually reach its elastic limit and lose form. Also, when in water, the action of drag and friction will ultimately contribute to the loss of elasticity and hence cause it to stretch out.

2. Type of Fabric Making Up the Swimsuit

Different materials have different elastic properties. It means depending on the composition of your swimsuit; its elastic limit might not be much. If it consists of low stretchy material, this means its flexible strength will be low and will quickly lose its ability to return to its original form. On the other hand, if your swimsuit is made from materials of high elastic strength, then you are sure of getting some use out of your bathing suit before worrying about elasticity loss. 

3. Washing in Washing Machine

Not all bathing suits are suitable for use in a washing machine, and if you fail to read the instructions on the label, you might end up damaging your swimsuit unknowingly. This is because the action of washing by a machine might end up stretching your swimsuit beyond its elastic capacity.

4. Use of Dryer

Just as washing machines can damage your swimsuits, so can the use of dryers cause them to lose their elasticity. Many swimsuits come with instructions to never use a dryer, and if you fail to heed instructions, you might be looking at an early loss of elasticity.

5. Ironing

If you iron your swimsuit, the heat from the iron can cause a loss of elasticity which will eventually stretch out your wear. As a rule, ironing your swimsuit is not advisable due to this.

6. Scrubbing too hard when washing

When washing your swimsuit by hand, it’s essential to take extra care not to scrub or squeeze excessively. Scrubbing your swimsuit too hard will cause it to stretch, and if you continue this action frequently, your swimwear will lose its elasticity in no time.

7. Hanging

This is one action that can stretch out your swimwear easily. Hanging a washed swimwear leaves it at the mercy of gravity as well as the weight of the water it had absorbed. These two will combine to drag downwards your swimsuit, which would only aid its loss of elasticity.

What Is The Best Elastic Material For A Swimsuit?

The polyester or Elastane composition is arguably the best material that provides incredible elasticity to swimwear. Also known as Spandex or Lycra, you will find nearly all swimsuits. A suitable material also used is Nylon due to its impressive tensile strength. A mixture of Nylon and spandex produces excellent swimsuits that don’t stretch out easily. The perfect blend sits at around 80% to 85% nylon and 20% to 15% spandex.

Can My Swimsuit Regain its Elasticity After it Has Been Stretched Out?

Even with the numerous answers to the question; how do you protect your swimsuit from stretching out. The truth is you still have to contend with the reality that your swimsuit will at a point lose its elasticity. When this happens, there’s practically nothing you can do to regain lost elasticity other than to get new swimwear. But your swimsuit isn’t entirely useless after stretching out, there is always room for use in different aspects, and you can click here to learn more about this.

ALSO READ: What Do You Do With Old Swimsuits?

Conclusion – How Do You Protect Your Swimsuit From Stretching Out?

Regardless of the material your swimsuit is made of, it will eventually stretch out. Sadly this is the fate you can do nothing to stop. Your best bet is to prevent it for as long as possible. And with the preventive tips above, you can be sure of getting your money’s worth of value out of your swimsuits. Also, take care to understand the causes of stretching out in swimsuits, as your actions might directly contribute to early loss of elasticity. In my opinion, having a couple of swimsuits will further help you out as you can easily rotate swimsuits.


You may see some products here which has either been used by us or independently selected by (obsessive) editors. As an affiliate of Amazon, Anything purchased through our links may earn us a commission at no extra cost to you. 

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