12 answers

Getting Sand Out of Swimsuits

well, my 7.5YO's had a great time at the Capitola beach yesterday, and now I'm trying to get the sand out of their swim suits and rash guards. The suits have been soaking in cool water overnight and still have tiny dark spots (which might be really fine sand particles) as well as areas of discoloration that might be just plain dirt. Any tips for cleaning that won't totally ruin the fabric? I've added just a wee bit of laundry detergent but am afraid anything stronger will eat the fabric

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So What Happened?™

Thanks for everyone who commiserated and shared suggestions. I decided to try the let the suit dry and stretch the fabric/brush the sand out and got a lot of sand out that way.

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The sand gets embedded in the bathing suit fibers. Let the suit dry out and then stretch the material and shake (or brush) off the sand. It's tedious but it will come out.

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so someone has the same problem as me! We were on vacation and we were all looking at the suits saying "this can't be mold" they weren't sitting wet all that long...but nothing has gotten rid of the stains. They're exactly as you described.

Sorry no help here...just commiseration!

Sand gets ground into the fabric. I also couldn't get it out, and after we were done with the going to the beach that summer, I just threw it away.

Dear E.,
I have two kids who love the beach and the sand. I found that what works best for swim suits, shorts, shirts, whatever is instead of constantly rinsing before putting in the washer is to let them dry in the sun. Sand sticks to what is wet, but if you let them dry either in the sun or another warm spot exposed to air, the sand shakes out and rubs off much more easily.
I live across the street from a river and my son is always coming home with sandy/rocky socks and shorts. I just drape them over the porch banister until they dry and shake them out before washing. It works great!

I wash our suits in regular detergent through the machine, and it has been fine. Maybe if you used a little oxy cleaner or a color safe bleach it would remove the spots?

Hi E.,

What works for me is, in the sink, leaving the water running while I stretching the swimsuit fabric and using my fingers to scrub those sands out. Tedious job but it works.

Most swimsuits should be machine washable.
I had a suit that mildewed once when I didn't rinse it soon enough after being in not-so-clean water from an amusement park water ride. But I think you would know if there was mildew, because it would probably would have smelled a little bit bad in that case (I know mine did).

Could the black spots be mold? My friend gave me a bathing suit for my daughter that I thought was dirty, but once I took it outside and really looked at it, it was moldy and it wouldn't come off.
By the way, I wash all our swim suits in the machine, with soap on a normal cycle and it's been fine.
Best of luck,

It's sand and it ruins light colored swimsuits! Once the sand gets in the fibers of the swimsuit, it won't come out. I have decided that I am going to buy my daughter a brown, blue or black swimsuit for beach play and save the pink or light colored swimsuits for in pools, lakes or rivers.

The only thing I have considered, but haven't tried yet is washing the swimsuits in a high-powered wahsing machine at the laundromat to see if the super fast spin cycle would force some of the sand out of the fabric. Sorry to be the bearer of bad news. Let us know if you figure anything out.

My son buried himself in sand on one beach trip and I have now washed the suit about 4 or 5 times (by hand and in cold water in the washer) and there is still sand. So, they'll keep using them this year and we'll just deal with it. Next year will be a new suit anyway.

I machine wash our swimsuits - just dont put them through the dryer as the heat is what destroys the elasticity of the swimsuit fabric.

It is sand and, sorry to say, it will not come out. I always have a separate suit each summer that is for the beach and parks that have sand and water play. The tiny bits of sand get in the material and just won't come out, even after machine washing. So, the suit is not dirty, but it does not look "clean" anymore either.

The sand gets embedded in the bathing suit fibers. Let the suit dry out and then stretch the material and shake (or brush) off the sand. It's tedious but it will come out.

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