Many things can damage swim fabrics. Heat from the Sun, dryer, sauna, or hot tub will damage the elastic fibers in the fabric, causing it to loose it's shape. Chlorine is also known to break down swim fabric, and fade the colors. Oils from your skin, sunscreen, and even lotion can cause yellowing or fading of the suit. The sun is also to blame for fading.
- The best things to do for extending the life of your swimwear is to shower before wearing your suit, so as to remove any excess oils from your skin. Rinse the suit in clean water when done swimming. If possible, rinse before sunbathing so the chlorine + the sun's rays won't break down the fabric faster.
- I've even heard people say not to wring out swimwear, but to only dry it with a towel.
- To wash your suit, put it in a sink of cold water with a little bit of hand soap, and wash it by hand. Gently squeeze the water out and dry with a towel.
- To dry, lay flat in indirect sunlight. If it must be in sunlight, turn it inside out so the colors won't fade as much. I have hung swimwear outside, but turned it inside out to reduce fading
- It is suggested that you give a swimsuit a 24 hour break to help the spandex fabric retain it's memory. Rotate suits if you have more than one.
Here is what happened to a hat of mine after touching chlorine just one time!