Bikinis are special items. We buy them usually because we're going to go something really cool, like vacation in St. Martin, swim under a waterfall, snorkel a reef, laugh with friends in a hot tub, surf big and little waves, get a killer tan... They're one sign that you're about to have a really good time. And if you're on this page, then you know the value of a good swimsuit, it hugs your amazing curves just right, it's your favorite color, it makes you feel good and secure and sexy. And that's why it's so important to take good care of it. You want that suit to last forever and there are ways you can help it. Of course, with all the fun you're having in your suit, some things that might be damaging are unavoidable. If you take good care of your suit and it ends up damaged or worn bare, just know it was done in the name of fun and that suit worked hard for you! Now, on to expert advice.
How to Care for a Bikini
One of the easiest ways to consistently care for your bikini is to take it in the shower with you! After use, just rinse it really well in the shower in the coolest water you can stand. Only squeeze, don't wring or twist. Press with a towel and lay flat to dry. Rinsing immediately after use keeps the bacteria and grime from settling into the fibers and will help preserve your bikini.
If you notice any buildup or lingering smells on your suit, you can hand wash using a very mild, organic detergent, or gentle hand soap. Simply fill a clean sink or bucket with lukewarm warm, add your soap, and swish, squeeze, and swirl your bikini for a few minutes. Rinse really well with cool water, squeeze out the excess, press with a towel, and lay flat to dry. Severe stains may be spot treated, but please be advised that using a harsh chemical stain remover could be damaging to the fibers of the swimsuit and may affect the color.
If your bikini happens to acquire a blood stain (major bummer, but not unlikely), don't panic! And don't throw your suit away! Mix a capful of hydrogen peroxide with a capful of water and apply to the stain (many thanks to the ER suture-er who gave me this tip!). Wait just a few minutes for the peroxide to break apart and loosen the stain, then hand wash and dry as directed above. Look lovingly at your fresh, clean suit and go on your merry way!
How to Ruin a Bikini
There are some things you should never do your swimsuit and some you should really try to avoid. But, we all know that having fun in a swimsuit is imperative, and some of these are kind of unavoidable.
1. Never ever put your swimsuit in a dryer. This is the fastest way to destroy the spandex, the elastic, and the color. Wear it wet or wear a different one until it dries.
2. Never ever put your swimsuit in a washer. Even the delicate cycle will be too rough on the strings and the risk of it getting twisted and stretched is not worth it.
3. Sweat, oils/lotions, sun, chlorine, salt water... these are inherent dangers to your bikini, totally unavoidable. But letting your bikini sit without rinsing right after use is bad for it. Repeat after me: rinse, squeeze, swish, press, lay flat to dry.
4. Hot tubs. Oh how we love them! If you're fortunate enough to be a regular hot tub user (lucky duck), try to rotate which swimsuits you wear so as to distribute the damage the hot water can cause.
5. Abrasive surfaces like sand, coral, rocks, pool decks... Again, these are inherent dangers, but it's worth it know that they can do some serious damage. So, if you are seated on an abrasive surface, try not to scooch your booty, lift and "walk" your butt cheeks to a new position. I have no advice, though, if you are regularly getting pummeled by waves into the bottom of the ocean... good luck.
6. Putting your bikini away wet. It's like a little petri dish. Trapping that moisture, and the accompanying bacteria, is a good way to produce a stinky bikini. Let it dry all the way before you store it.
7. Constant wear. I know, you love your MBC bikini, but bikinis are kind of like introverts; if you don't give it some time to rest and regain it's shape, it's not going to be very pretty. Spandex stretches to accommodate your body and your movement (yay!), and when you take it off, it doesn't immediately regain it's shape, even if it looks like it. Those fibers need a chance to relax and cool off before they're ready to hug your curves again. Give your other 'kinis some love, and if you don't have enough to give your faves a day or two of rest, then it's time to buy more!
How to Store a Bikini
There are probably many different ways to store bikinis that suit each person, but the most important thing is that the bikini is dry. And, try to keep your matching tops and bottoms together. No one is happy about a lost mate, even your bikinis. One method you could try to store your bikinis is by using those plastic drawer dividers. They're a little flimsy, but that probably wouldn't matter if you're really a couple-times-a-year bikini wearer. The Marie Kondo method would have you acquire some small boxes that fit perfectly in your drawer to hold each bikini. It would be sturdier than the dividers and good for a larger bikini drawer. Another method I'd like to try is using small, breathable and see-through (somehow...) bags to hold each bikini neatly in my drawer. That way all the strings would be contained and they'd be easy to pack.
Damage that can be fixed
Sometimes bad things happen to swimsuits that make them unwearable, but it's not always the death of the suit. Here are a few things that can probably be fixed:
1. A broken strap. It either pulled out of the seam or ripped in half (girl, if it rips in half, you must tell the story before I will fix it for you).
2. A popped seam. No biggie. You could stitch it up yourself, but if it's serious, I'll take a look.
3. A broken strap slider. The plastic ones break, I don't use those. If you break a metal one, I will also require the story before fixing it for you... You wild!
4. Missing straps. Some suits I make come with straps that are not permanently attached to the suit. If you lose one, it can probably be replaced.
Things that cannot be fixed include rips or tears in the fabric, general loss of elasticity, fading. If you have a damaged MBC suit and you aren't sure if it can be fixed, please email me. I will deal with all damage on a case by case basis. I'll have you pay shipping, and depending on the repair, may ask a small fee to cover it. At the end of the day, I want you to love your suit for a long time.