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How to Get Sand Out of Bathing Suit

We've all been there—you're at the beach, enjoying the sun and surf, and then it's time to head back. As you change out of your bathing suit, you notice the stubborn presence of sand clinging to your suit. It's uncomfortable, irritating, and can leave you feeling less than thrilled about your beach day.3 You may even look up the question, “how to wash swimsuits in washing machine?” because of how much you want to take the sand out of your swimsuits.  But fear not! In this guide, we'll delve into the science behind why sand sticks to bathing suits, offer practical tips to prevent sand build-up, provide step-by-step instructions to effectively remove sand, and even explore specialized techniques for different types of fabrics. Say goodbye to sandy discomfort and hello to carefree beach days!

Why Does Sand Stick to Bathing Suits?

Before we dive into the solutions, let's understand why sand tends to stick to bathing suits. Sand particles have a way of infiltrating fabrics due to their size and texture.1 They easily find their way into tiny crevices, making it challenging to get them out completely. Plus, when sand becomes moist from water or sweat, it can bind to fabric fibers, exacerbating the problem. This is especially true for certain fabrics that have a rougher texture, creating an ideal environment for sand to cling to. So before you ask yourself, “how many swimsuits should I own?” think about the practicality of having less swimsuits so that you can avoid the sand problem.

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Preventing Sand Build-Up in Bathing Suits

The key to a sand-free beach experience starts with proactive prevention.2 Here are some tips to minimize sand accumulation in your bathing suit:

  • Rinse Before Wearing: Give it a good rinse with cool water before putting on your bathing suit. This can help dislodge any loose sand particles and make your suit feel more comfortable against your skin.
  • Strategically Use Beach Towels: Lay a beach towel before sitting or lying on the sand. This creates a barrier between your suit and the sand, reducing the chances of sand getting trapped.
  • Shake It Off: Give your bathing suit a vigorous shake after a beach day. This can help remove larger grains of sand clinging to the surface.

Step-by-Step Guide: Removing Sand from Bathing Suits

When sand does manage to sneak its way into your bathing suit, here's a step-by-step guide to effectively remove it (without having to use the washing machine!):

  • Shake It Out: Hold your bathing suit by the waistband and gently shake it. This will help dislodge any loose sand particles.4
  • Rinse with Cold Water: Head to a shower or use a hose to rinse your bathing suit with cold water. Washing bathing suits with cold water can help shrink fabric fibers, making it easier for sand to wash away.
  • Talcum Powder Trick: If you're dealing with particularly stubborn sand, sprinkle a small amount of talcum powder on the affected areas. Gently rub the powder on the fabric to help loosen the sand.

Specialized Techniques for Different Fabrics

Different fabrics require different care when it comes to removing sand:

  • Spandex and Microfiber: For stretchy fabrics like spandex and microfiber, follow the general steps outlined above. Due to their smoother textures, these fabrics are less likely to hold onto sand.5
  • Polyester: Polyester swimsuits can sometimes hold onto sand more stubbornly. In addition to rinsing and shaking, consider soaking the suit in a basin of cold water and gently agitating it to release the sand.
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Tips for Quick Sand Removal at the Beach

When you're still at the beach and want to avoid taking extra sand home with you, try these quick solutions:

  • Shake It Off: Before changing out of your bathing suit, give it a thorough shake to remove excess sand.
  • Use Beach Showers: Many beaches have outdoor showers – take advantage of them to rinse off before changing.

Common Mistakes to Avoid

While trying to get rid of sand, there are a few mistakes you should steer clear of:

  • Rubbing: Rubbing or scrubbing the fabric aggressively can embed sand deeper into the fibers.
  • Brushing: Using a brush may damage delicate fabrics and lead to fraying.6

Best Practices for Post-Beach Care

To maintain the quality of your bathing suit and keep it sand-free in the long run:

  • Rinse Again: Once you're home, rinse your bathing suit once more with cold water to ensure all sand is removed.
  • Hand Wash with Mild Detergent: Fill a basin with cold water and mild detergent. Gently agitate the bathing suit, then rinse thoroughly.
  • Avoid Washing Machines: Machines can damage delicate fabrics and contribute to sand accumulation in the machine.


Q: Can I use warm water instead of cold water?

A: While cold water helps shrink fabric fibers, warm water can cause sand to bind more strongly to the fabric. Stick to cold water for effective sand removal.

Q: Can sunscreen contribute to sand sticking to my bathing suit?

A: Yes, sunscreen can create a sticky surface that attracts sand. Consider applying sunscreen before putting on your suit.

Q: How often should I rinse my bathing suit during a beach day?

A: It's a good idea to give your bathing suit a quick rinse every couple of hours if you're spending an extended period on the beach. This will help prevent sand from becoming deeply embedded in the fabric.

Q: Are there any special detergents I should use to wash my bathing suit after removing sand?

A: Stick to mild detergents that are specifically designed for delicate fabrics. Harsh detergents can damage the fabric and affect its ability to repel sand in the future.

Q: Can I use a hairdryer to remove sand from my bathing suit?

A: Using a hairdryer on a cool setting can help remove moisture from your bathing suit after rinsing, which may aid in detaching sand particles. However, be careful not to use high heat as it can damage the fabric.

Q: Are there specific fabrics I should avoid if I want to minimize sand sticking?

A: Fabrics with rough textures, such as terry cloth, can be more prone to sand accumulation.7 Opt for smoother fabrics like spandex or microfiber if you want to reduce the chances of sand sticking to your bathing suit.

Q: Can I apply baby powder instead of talcum powder for sand removal?

A: Yes, baby powder can also help loosen sand from your bathing suit. Make sure to use it sparingly and gently rub it onto the fabric to avoid any residue.

Q: Is it better to air dry or use a towel to dry my bathing suit?

A: Air drying is generally gentler on fabrics and can help prevent friction that might cause sand to stick. If you use a towel, make sure it's clean and free of sand to avoid transferring sand particles back onto the suit.

Q: Can I machine wash my bathing suit if it's heavily covered in sand?

A: It's best to avoid machine washing heavily sand-covered bathing suits, as the sand can damage the machine and may not effectively rinse out from the suit. Stick to hand washing for thorough and gentle cleaning.

Q: What if I accidentally put my sandy bathing suit in a bag with other clothes?

A: If sand from your bathing suit transfers to other clothes, shake them out outdoors to remove as much sand as possible. Then, wash the affected clothes separately to prevent further sand transfer.


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With these tips in mind, you're ready to enjoy your beach days without the hassle of sand sticking to your bathing suit. Remember, prevention is key, and a little extra care goes a long way in keeping your swimwear sand-free and comfortable. So embrace the island state of mind and make the most of your luxury swimsuit styles from Gooseberry Seaside!


  1. Williamson, Lauren. “5 Hacks for Dealing with Sand in Your Clothes.” Apartment Therapy, Apartment Therapy, LLC., 16 Aug. 2021, Accessed 16 Aug. 2023.
  2. “How to Remove Sand from Bathing Suit & Skin without Ruining Your Swimwear.” Ocean Bunny | Bathing Suits and Swimwear for Women, 9 Mar. 2009, Accessed 16 Aug. 2023.
  3. “How to Wash Swimsuits so They Look Good All Summer.” Real Simple, 2015, Accessed 16 Aug. 2023.

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