Expert Tips on Caring for Your Swim Trunks to Make Them Last Longer


Swim trunks are a summer essential, but constant exposure to sun, saltwater, and chlorine can quickly wear them out. How can you keep your favorite pair looking fresh and lasting longer? Dive into these expert care tips and extend the life of your swimwear.

Understanding Swim Trunk Fabric

First things first, let’s talk fabric. Most swim trunks are made from materials like polyester, nylon, and spandex. Each of these fabrics has its own strengths and weaknesses. Polyester, for instance, is durable and resistant to chlorine and UV rays (Wikipedia). Nylon is known for its quick-drying properties but can be less resistant to sunlight over time. Spandex provides great elasticity but is prone to damage from chlorine. Understanding the fabric of your swim trunks can help you tailor your care routine to maximize their lifespan.

Proper Washing Techniques

One of the simplest yet most effective ways to care for your swim trunks is by washing them correctly. Here’s a step-by-step guide:

  1. Rinse Immediately After Swimming: As soon as you’re out of the pool or ocean, give your swim trunks a thorough rinse with fresh water. This helps to remove salt, chlorine, and other chemicals that can degrade the fabric (CDC on Pool Chemicals).

  2. Hand Washing vs. Machine Washing: Hand washing is generally recommended to maintain the integrity of the fabric. Use cold water and a mild detergent. If you must use a washing machine, place your trunks in a mesh laundry bag and select a gentle cycle.

  3. Choosing the Right Detergent: Opt for a mild detergent that’s free of harsh chemicals. Avoid fabric softeners as they can leave residues that damage the fibers and reduce elasticity (Good Housekeeping on Detergents).

Drying Your Swim Trunks

Proper drying is crucial to prevent damage and maintain shape:

  1. Air Drying is Key: Always air dry your swim trunks. Lay them flat on a towel or hang them in a shaded area. Avoid wringing them out as this can stretch the fabric.

  2. Avoid Direct Sunlight: Prolonged exposure to direct sunlight can fade colors and weaken fibers. Dry your trunks in a well-ventilated area away from direct sun (Fabric Care).

  3. Skip the Dryer: The heat from a dryer can be harsh on swim trunk materials. Stick to air drying to keep your trunks in tip-top shape.

Stain Removal Tips

Accidents happen, but stains don’t have to be permanent:

  1. Treat Common Stains Promptly: For sunscreen, oils, or food stains, rinse the area with cold water as soon as possible. Gently rub with a mild detergent and rinse thoroughly.

  2. Natural vs. Chemical Removers: For stubborn stains, you can use natural options like baking soda and vinegar or opt for chemical stain removers designed for delicate fabrics. Always test on a small area first (WikiHow on Stain Removal).

Storage Solutions

Storing your swim trunks properly is just as important as washing and drying them:

  1. Breathable Storage Bags: Use breathable fabric bags for storage to prevent mildew and mold. Plastic bags can trap moisture and lead to unpleasant odors or damage.

  2. Avoid Damp Environments: Store your swim trunks in a cool, dry place. Avoid leaving them in damp areas like a gym bag for extended periods.

Repairing Minor Damages

Don’t toss your trunks at the first sign of wear and tear. Minor damages can be fixed easily:

  1. Fixing Small Tears and Holes: Small tears can be mended with a needle and thread. For larger holes, consider taking them to a professional tailor who specializes in swimwear.

  2. Restoring Elasticity in Waistbands: If the waistband loses its stretch, try soaking it in a mixture of water and vinegar, then let it air dry. This can sometimes help restore some elasticity (Family Handyman on Repairs).

Preventive Measures

Preventing damage is always easier than repairing it:

  1. Pre-rinsing Before Swimming: Rinse your swim trunks in fresh water before hitting the pool. This helps reduce chlorine absorption.

  2. Rotating Between Multiple Pairs: Having a few pairs of swim trunks on rotation ensures each pair has enough time to dry and recover between uses.

  3. Using a Swimsuit Bag for Travel: When traveling, store your swim trunks in a dedicated swimsuit bag to protect them from getting snagged or damaged.

Choosing Durable Swim Trunks

Investing in quality swim trunks can save you time and money in the long run:

  1. Features to Look For: Seek out trunks with reinforced stitching, high-quality fabrics, and features like UV protection and chlorine resistance.

  2. Brands Known for Durability: Brands like Speedo, Patagonia, and Hurley are renowned for their durable and stylish swimwear options (Speedo Official Site, Patagonia Official Site, Hurley Official Site).


  • How often should I wash my swim trunks? Ideally, rinse after every use and wash thoroughly after every 3-5 wears.
  • Can I use regular detergent on swimwear? It's best to use mild detergents to avoid damaging the fabric.
  • Is it okay to iron swim trunks? Avoid ironing as it can damage the material. If necessary, use a low heat setting and a pressing cloth.

Final Thoughts

Taking good care of your swim trunks doesn’t have to be a chore. By following these expert tips, you can keep your swimwear looking great and lasting longer. So, next time you hit the beach or pool, you’ll do so with confidence, knowing your trunks are in prime condition. Happy swimming!