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Stinky Swimsuit? You can wash your swimsuit easier than you think on a cruise!
If you’re like most cruisers, then most of your cruise days are spent in your bathing suit. Whether you are snorkeling, lounging on a beach, or relaxing in the hot tub, your swimsuits get plenty of wear. With all the saltwater, sand, chlorine, sunscreen, and sweat, those bikinis and swim trunks can get filthy (and moldy!) fast. Luckily, swimsuits are already best washed by hand. You can do this free and easy to do at sea in the comfort of your cabin! Here is how to wash your swimsuit in your stateroom sink (or at home):
What to bring to wash your swimsuit
The significant part about planning to wash your swimsuits onboard is you don’t have to pack anything extra. All you need to bring is:
- Your bathing suit(s)
- Your regular body soap/shampoo
- A stain remover (optional)
If you forgot your soap, don’t worry. You can also use the shampoo/body wash dispenser in your cabin’s shower. While mild and unscented soaps are best for washing clothes, almost any shampoo or body soap will do. If you want to invest in a swimsuit-specific detergent, Fashion Care’s Splash Swimwear Wash ($12, Amazon.com) is a good option and won’t take up much space in your luggage. If you’d like, a stain remover can also help avoid sunblock stains.
How to wash your swimsuit
Suppose you want to wash your swimsuit while on a cruise; it doesn’t have to be a chore. Here are five easy steps to follow to keep your suit ready for the next day of fun.
- Clean. Use cold water to clean any sand or dirt on your bathing suit. Use a stain stick, if desired.
- Soak. Fill the sink with cold water. Add about a quarter-size squirt of soap (about 5 ML) to the water, and stir. If using a bar of bar soap, lather up your hands and gently massage it into your wet suit. Then, let it soak for about 15 minutes.
- Wash. Gently massage your swimsuit for 1-2 minutes.
- Rinse. Rinse all the suds with cold water for about 1-2 minutes.
- Squeeze. Don’t wring out your suit! Squeeze the swimsuit into a ball until it is damp. If your swimsuit drips when you hold it up, it means you need to squeeze more water out.
How to dry your swimsuit
After squeezing as much of the water out as possible, use a dry towel to help remove the excess water. Lay your swimsuit flat on a towel, then roll the towel up and squeeze gently. Let the suit air dry. If you hang up your suit to dry, it’s best to drape it. Using clothespins or hanging by the straps can wear out the elastic. Most cruise lines these days offer a clothesline that stretches across your bathtub via a retractable string.
Most cruise packing guides recommend packing 2-3 swimsuits for a 7-day cruise. Since it often takes at least 24 hours for a suit to completely dry, bringing 2-3 different swimsuits allows plenty of time for them to dry between use.
Bonus tip: Some cruise lines offer guest laundry services you can take advantage of to wash your swimsuit. For example, on NCL, certain Lattitude members get one free bag of laundry on seven-day cruises, while on Princess you can take advantage of self-service laundry rooms to wash your swimsuits.
If you’re going minimalist (check out: How to Pack for a Cruise with Only a Carry On) and only packing one suit, you can use a hairdryer to finish the job.