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When Lycra was invented in 1958, it changed the shape of summer forever. Stretchable, breathable and lightweight, Lycra swimsuits not only hold their shape, they also hold yours. Lycra bathing suits are sturdy and resistant to chlorine and many bacteria, but they're not indestructible. A few laundry mistakes and you've got a colorful, stretchy rag. Taking care of your Lycra is the best way to keep you and your swimsuit at your snappy best.
Rinse your swimsuit out the second you get out of the water. Depending on the exact type of Lycra it's made of and the dye process, chlorine can fade the colors.
Wash your swimsuit by hand in cool water and a squirt or two of mild detergent. Don't be rough with it, just swish it around in the sink or wash tub. The detergent will remove any sweat or skin oils.
Rinse the soap suds out with warm or cool water. Make sure you get it all. Soap residue can make your suit feel stiff when it dries. Gently shake and squeeze out any excess water, but don't wring or twist your swimsuit.
Lay your swimsuit flat on a clean towel and re-shape it. The better shape it has, the better your shape will look in it. Roll the towel up with the swimsuit inside it. Give the rolled towel a few good bear hugs to remove the last bit of water.
Lay your swimsuit flat on a towel to finish drying, or hang it in a cool, shady place that's out of the sun. Make sure it has enough air circulating around it so that it dries completely.
Wet your bathing suit in clear water before swimming, and it will absorb less chlorine.
Never put a Lycra swimsuit in the washer or dryer; the high heat can damage the fibers.