Why Does My Swimsuit Have White Spots?

Summer arrived, and you could not get your swimsuit from the back of the closest soon enough to jump in it and hit the beach. You put it on and realize that something is off. There are unknown white spots on your most recent purchase, the same as many previous times. Why does your swimsuit have white spots?

Your swimsuit might have white spots because of the water. Chlorine and saltwater pools can cause white stains on swimwear as these substances don’t interact well with spandex – fibers found in most swimwear. Worn-out threads can also cause a white powdery substance on your swimsuit.

There are many causes for white spots on your swimsuit. The best way to save your favorite beach wear will be first to know the cause of your specific stains, remove them, and keep them from happening again.

What Are These White Spots On My Swimsuit?

These white spots or stains are a significant mood damper when you find them covering your board shorts or bikini. The good news is that certain things cause them, and when you know what they are, you can implement the necessary care to prevent your swimwear from being destroyed.

What Causes White Spots On Swimsuits?

Saltwater pools or taking a dip in the sea may cause white stains and fading of your swimwear if you do not take the necessary steps to prevent them. When your suit is dry, and you enter a saltwater pool, the material absorbs all the salt into the fibers of the swimwear.

Suppose you take your swimsuit off after swimming to let it dry; the salt is still stuck between the fibers and will cause fading of the colors of your swimsuit, and in extreme cases – white spots.

Chlorine is a powerful chemical that keeps a pool clean and clear. Pool maintenance guys use chlorine to kill algae and bacteria in the water to make it safe for swimmers to use. The downfall of chlorine is that it breaks down the fibers of swimwear, making it last shorter than supposed to and fade the colors. In white swimwear, it will change the color to yellow.

Lotions, oils, and sweat are some culprits that can cause white spots on your swimsuit. These agents are harsh on the delicate material of the swimsuit, and the longer it is exposed to these elements, the quicker it will form white spots (absorbed into the fabric) or fade (affecting the color component of the material).

Most swimsuits these days have spandex as one of the composite materials. They offer a better stretch ability and are easier to put on and take off. The problem with spandex is that it is more susceptible to chemical damage and loses the stretch factor faster, causing it to wear out.

You can identify worn-out spandex as a white powdery substance on your swimsuit, or the elastic is hard and breakable. When your swimsuit reaches this level, there is no option other than buying a new one.

Some manufacturers are specializing in competition swimwear use 100% polyester for the suits. They state that the chemicals in the water don’t affect the polyester as much, and the swimsuits last longer. 

Mold can cause white spots on your swimsuit, related to fiber breakdown. Mold forms in their ideal conditions – damp. Luckily, if you are fast enough, you can remove the spots it forms on your swimsuit and save it.

How To Remove Mold From My Swimsuit

When you discover white spots on your swimwear accompanied by a smell, you will know it is mold. The best way is to act fast; follow the next few steps, and you will be able to save your swimsuit.

Step 1: Remove your swimsuit from where you stored it. Using a soft brush to remove the visible mold spores will prevent damage to the swimwear.

Step 2: Spot treat the visibly affected areas with distilled vinegar and let it dry.

Step 3: Mix equal parts cold water and vinegar. Soak the bathing suit in the mixture for a day or two, replacing the water and vinegar two times.

Step 4: Wash the swimsuit in delicate laundry detergent, liquid soap, and cold water.

Step 5: place the swimsuit flat on a lint-free towel, roll it up and squeeze the excess water out.

Step 6: hang up to dry out of direct sunlight and store as usual.

How To Prevent White Spots On Your Swimsuit

You can implement a few things to prevent salt, chlorine, and sun rays from damaging your swimsuit.

  • Choose the suitable material for a longer-lasting suit. Some manufacturers are implementing fibers that can withstand these elements better, but they might come with a higher price tag.
  • Pre-treat your new suit. Lay your swimsuit in cold water and 2 Tbs vinegar. The cold water will seal the vinegar inside the fibers, locking the color in and keeping it beautiful for longer.
  • After swimming, keep your swimsuit on and take a shower. Showering with your swimsuit on will remove most chemicals, protecting your swimsuit fibers from being damaged.
  • Rinse (not wash) your swimsuit after use. By rinsing in cold water, the salt, chlorine, and sunscreen can be removed and will not cause prolonged damage.
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How To Clean Your Swimsuit To Last Longer

It is essential to clean your suit the correct way. If you do this, you can prevent mold and white spots from chemicals and lotions from ruining your swimsuits.

Experts recommend that you wash your swimsuit according to how you use it. If you use it daily or only for a beach day now and again, the washing needs will change. The reason to wash your swimsuit will mainly be to get rid of unwanted substances in the materials, and secondly, to keep the color of your suit.

Swimsuits should be hand washed. The delicate fabrics and elasticity can be compromised if stretched and handled too much. The step to clean your swimsuit successfully without damaging it:

Step 1: Rinse it with cold water – soak for 30 minutes – to get rid of the chemicals, salt, sweat, and body oils.

Step 2: Drain the old water and add new cold water with a bit of detergent for delicate clothes.

Step 3: Before placing it in soapy water, treat spots first. These can be from self-tanner, saucy food, or lotion. Each cause has its way of removal, so best to adhere to these guidelines.

Step 4: Place in the soapy water and wash with hands, do not wring it (it will affect the elasticity of the suit)

Step 5: rinse under a running tap to ensure all the soap is out.

Step 6: Lay flat on a dry surface (not in direct sun).

Step 7: pack away when dry. Any moisture still left can cause mold build-up.

Machine wash is a NO for swimsuits, but if you cannot opt for the hand wash option as recommended, put it in a mesh laundry bag on a delicate cycle, and do not rinse or spin. When the washing cycle finish (only wash with a bit of mild detergent), follow the steps mentioned for handwashing.


White spots on swimwear happen to everyone. The difference will be how you handle it and if you are willing to put in a bit of effort to keep the spots from returning.