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How Do I Get the Chlorine Smell Out of a Swimsuit?

Real Simple answers your questions.

Woman in plaid bikini and sun hat floating on a yellow floatie in poolThayer Allyson Gowdy
Q. What’s the best way to wash a swimsuit after swimming in chlorinated water?
Barbara Shipman
Ann Arbor, Michigan
 
 A. While a dip in the pool on a hot summer’s day is refreshing, the chemical smell that’s sometimes left behind isn’t. To get rid of the odor and to help your suit last longer, follow these simple steps, courtesy of swimwear expert and Canyon Beachwear store manager Ilene Sofferman.
  • Always hand-wash your suit as soon as you can after swimming. This prevents smelly bacteria and chemicals from making themselves at home in the fibers.
  • Use a lingerie cleaner that is formulated to gently yet thoroughly clean delicate pieces. But when the chlorine smell is overbearing, Sofferman recommends using a swimsuit cleaner like Canyon Beachwear Swimwear Cleanser ($7, canyonbeachwear.com). These solutions are designed to remove chlorine while restoring the brilliance of a suit’s color.
  • Pour one capful of cleaner into a sink filled with cold water (never warm or hot), then add the swimsuit. Swish it around for about three minutes. Depending on the level of odor, you can leave the suit to soak in the solution for a few minutes more.
  • After cleaning, rinse the suit and roll―don’t wring―the excess water out with a towel.
  • Lay the suit flat to air-dry.
―Elinor Smith 
 
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