How To Dry A Swimsuit Fast? (I tested it)


A swimsuit being dried using a towel

Drying a swimsuit quickly is often a high priority for swimmers. As a regular swimmer myself, I know that trying to keep a fresh supply of dry swimsuits on hand can be a challenge.

I love my swimsuits and I want to keep them looking fresh and maintain their shape, however; I need them to dry fast. Getting into a wet swimsuit first thing in the morning is not a fun way to start the day.

I have tried and tested the best and fastest methods to dry a swimsuit quickly, from using a specific swimsuit dryer to trying the “salad spinner” method.

The fastest way to dry a swimsuit is with a dedicated swimsuit dryer which you can find in some gyms. However, this can age your swimsuit. The best method to maintain elasticity and shape is to flat dry in a well-vented room.

For some of us, the priority is to get our swimsuit dry as quickly as possible, so it is ready for our next swim. For others, especially those with expensive or loved swimsuits, the priority is to keep our swimwear looking good.

In this article, I will share what I have found while trying to solve the age-old problem of trying to get my swimsuit dried fast.

How Do You Dry A Swim Suit Fast?

Drying a swimsuit fast is a top priority for many swimmers, especially those who swim every day.

I swim every morning, therefore need to get my swimsuit dry overnight. This might seem achievable, but when you are away from home all day and only have 9 hours to flat dry a swimsuit and do not want to expose it to heat, this can be a challenge if you live in a humid area.

I have considered buying multiple swimsuits, but this gets expensive quickly, so I have hunted high and low for the fastest and best way to dry a swimsuit.

In the following table, I have listed a summary of the fastest and most common ways to dry a swimsuit. I have highlighted the disadvantages of some of these methods, explaining the pros and cons of each approach later in this article.

Drying MethodDrying TimeComments
Dedicated Swim Suit Dryer3 MinutesThis is a special drier for swimsuits only.
Heated Stainless Steel Radiator30 MinutesDo not hang the swimsuit from the straps. Drape over the radiator.
Towel Dry2 – 8 HoursTowel dry and then lay the swimsuit flat.
Swim Suit Airing Hanger2 – 8 HoursLay flat in a well-ventilated room. Towel dry first.
Salad Spinning Method2 – 8 HoursSee Below
SunshineVariesDrying speed depends on the temperature but quickly ages your suit.
This Table Shows The Drying Times For Swimsuits

If you are exposing heat or agitation to your swimwear, it will lose its shape and elasticity. Therefore, if you have a very expensive swimsuit or one you want to protect, it is best to flat dry in a well-vented area.

If you want speed, then check if your local swimming pool has a dedicated swimsuit dryer. This is a small machine mounted on the wall at waist height. You lift the lid and place your swimsuit into it. When the lid is closed, the dryer will dry your swimsuit.

Below I have described all the ways to dry a swimsuit which I have tested.

1. Dedicated Swim Suit Dryer

Some swimming pools or spas will have a dedicated swimsuit dryer. These are not like the dryers you have at home – do not put your swimming suit into a home tumble dryer as the temperature can damage your swimsuit.

A swimsuit dryer is a small, wall-mounted dryer that accepts one swimsuit at a time. It is typically placed at waist height.

To use, open the lid and place your swimming suit inside. Once the lid is closed, the swimsuit dryer will use a combination of heat and centrifugal force to dry your swimsuit.

By far, this is the fastest way to dry a swimming suit. However, not every swimming pool or gym has one.

Although fast, the heat and centrifugal force of the swimsuit will age your swimsuit over time. They set most swimsuit dryers to a low temperature to avoid any catastrophic damage to your swimsuit, but over time with daily use, your swimming suit will age faster by applying heat compared to simply drying it flat.

I used a swimsuit dryer in my local gym every day for my swimming suit. On average, I needed to replace my swimming suit after three months. Although the swimsuit was still functional, it looked aged and slightly faded.

Given that I swam every day and had just the one suit as I could dry it, I felt that three months of daily swimming with this swimsuit was an acceptable length of time before I needed a replacement.

On average, it takes a swimsuit dryer 3 minutes to fully dry a swimming suit.

2. Stainless Steel Radiator

Here in the UK, most homes will have a standard stainless steel radiator in the bathroom.

If I want my swimsuit to dry quickly at home, I will drape my swimsuit over this heated radiator. As this is in the bathroom, the humidity released from the swimsuit is contained in a room that can handle humidity.

It takes 30 minutes for a swimsuit to dry at home using this method.

It is important to drape the swimsuit in a way which does not place any pressure on the straps, as this will cause the swimsuit to become misshapen.

This speeds up the ageing process for swimming suits and most swimsuits can last between 3 to 6 months using this method daily.

The downside is that you are using house heating energy to dry a swimsuit, which, at the time of writing, is very expensive in the UK. In addition, as your swimsuit is blocking the radiator heat, for 30 minutes your bathroom will have reduced heat.

It is not the most efficient method to dry a swimsuit. But for speed, at home, you can have a swimsuit dried in 30 minutes using this method.

Ensure that the radiator does not get too hot. It should be comfortable to touch. Very hot radiators will damage the elasticity of the swimsuit.

3. Towel Dry

The towel-drying method is one of my favourites for drying a swimsuit.

It is a great first step before drying a swimsuit flat as you can easily remove excess water. It is also a great way to store a wet swimsuit if you do not have a wet bag or dedicated swim bag with waterproof compartments.

Lay your towel flat and lay your swimsuit flat, as shown in the following image. The towel I am using for this test is the Eono Microfibre Towel.

Roll the towel with your swimsuit inside. You can already see in the following image how the excess water is being absorbed from the swimsuit and into the towel.

This is a gentle and effective way to remove excess water from a swimsuit and help it dry.

You can then remove the swimsuit from the towel and dry it flat as it is no longer dripping with water.

This towel rolling and squeeze method speeds up the swimsuit drying process. It is a great way to remove excess water from your swimming suit without wringing it, which will quickly cause your swimsuit to become misshapen.

4. Swimsuit Airing Hanger

Using an airing hanger is a very handy and effective way of drying a swimsuit at home. This is particularly good for expensive swimsuits, or swimsuits that you really want to keep in good shape.

You can hang this swimsuit airing dryer in your laundry, utility or drying area in your home with a space that is large and flat for your swimsuit.

Personally, I recommend using the towel drying method first to remove excess water before placing the swimsuit on the dryer. Avoid wringing the swimsuit as this will cause the material to become misshapen.

By using the towel drying method, you can remove excess water and your swimsuit can then dry flat on the hanger for between 2- 9 hours, depending on the temperature and ventilation of your drying room.

5. Salad Spinning Method

The salad spinning method is a ‘life hack’ that has grown in popularity online. It is so common I had to buy a new salad spinner and try it for myself.

The idea behind the salad spinning method is to place your swimsuit in a regular salad spinner and spin. The centrifugal force will remove excess water from the swimsuit.

Although yes, this method does remove excess water from your swimming suit, it does not dry your swimming suit quickly.

I purchased a salad spinner and tested how well this method works.

I placed the wet swimsuit into the salad spinner and started to spin.

After 60 seconds of spinning, my arm was tired and sore. All the online videos promoting this method fail to point out how difficult it is to spin a heavy object such as a wet swimsuit in a salad spinner, designed to remove water from lettuce and vegetables.

Some water was removed from the swimsuit, as expected, but the swimsuit was still very wet.

After 5 minutes of spinning, my arm was exhausted, and I was bored and frustrated. At this point, I tested the swimsuit, and it was still very wet.

Of course, some water is removed from the swimming suit, and after the full 5 minutes, I removed 134ml of water from the swimsuit.

Here is an image of the amount of water the salad spinner removed from my swimsuit:

You might think this is impressive, but the swimsuit was still wet and a gentle squeeze of the swimsuit would have removed the same amount of water.

In conclusion, for serious swimmers who truly want their swimsuits to be dry, I do not recommend the salad spinning hack.

It is cumbersome, expensive and does not dry your swimsuit. The amount of water it removes is not worth the effort.

The towel drying method mentioned previously removes more excess water and the swimsuit feels dryer using a towel than using a salad spinner.

6. Sunshine

If you dry your swimming suit in direct sunlight, the colour can fade.

Below is an image of one of my old swimming suits I used when swimming in my garden pool. I also used to dry this swimsuit in the sun after my swim.

You can see how the material is faded and worn.

The sun does dry swimsuits quickly because of the heat. However, avoid placing your swimsuit in direct sunlight. Ideally, try to dry your swimming suit flat in the shade on a warm day.

If you need to hang your swimsuit up to dry, avoid handing it from the straps, as this will cause them to become misshapen. Instead, opt to drape your swimsuit over a smooth surface.

Drying A Swimsuit – Frequently Asked Questions

From my experience of testing all the methods of drying a swimsuit, I have learned that if you want a fast drying time, then heat or agitation needs to be involved, which will accelerate the ageing of your swimsuit.

If you want to protect your expensive or your favourite swimsuit from premature ageing, then the best and safest method to dry your swimsuit is to lay it flat in a well-ventilated area. Do not put it in direct sunlight.

Drying your swimsuit flat will keep your swimming suit looking fresh for longer.

The following are some of the most frequently asked questions when it comes to drying a swimsuit.

How Long Does It Take For A Swimsuit To Dry?

The time it takes for a swimsuit to dry depends on a few factors, including the material and how wet the swimsuit is. Generally, it can take anywhere from 2 to 8 hours to dry a swimsuit completely, depending on the method used.

Dedicated swimsuit dryers are the fastest way to dry a swimsuit and can take as little as 3 minutes. It is important to note that these are dedicated small dryers specifically for swimsuits. Do not put your swimsuit into your home dryer as the wrong heat setting can destroy the elasticity of the material.

Towel drying and flat air drying will generally take between 2 to 8 hours depending on the amount of water trapped in the material, the temperature of the area and the airflow and ventilation of where the swimsuit is drying.

Do not wring your swimsuit out. Although this may be tempting in order to remove the excess water, it quickly pulls the material and causes the swimsuit to age quickly, losing its shape.

Instead, you roll the swimsuit in a ball and compress the swimsuit. This causes less damage to the material than wringing, yet removes excess water.

Placing your swimsuit in direct sunlight is not recommended as it can cause colour damage to your swimsuit, making it look old and worn before its time.

What Is The Best Way To Dry A Swimsuit?

The best way to dry a swimsuit is to flat dry it in a well-ventilated area. This will ensure that your swimwear retains its shape and elasticity, as well as minimize wear and tear from the water.

The following swimsuit drying shelf is a great way to dry a swimsuit flat. It allows maximum airflow around the swimsuit, yet does not put any stress or strain on the material.

Never hang your swimsuit up to dry, for example, on a clothes hanger.

If you are short on time, you can use a dedicated swimsuit dryer or towel dry your swimsuit. Keep in mind that towel drying will take longer than using a dedicated dryer and should be done carefully to avoid stretching the material out of shape.

Can You Dry A Swimsuit In The Dryer?

I do not recommend that you put a swimsuit in a tumble dryer or spin dryer, as this could cause damage to the material and reduce its elasticity.

How Do You Dry A Swimsuit Fast In A Hotel Room?

The best way to dry a swimsuit fast in a hotel room is to place your swimsuit near a fan or air conditioner, which will help it dry more quickly.

You can also towel dry your swimsuit first, then lay the wet suit out flat on top of a towel in a warm and well-ventilated area to dry.

The heat from the air conditioner will help to evaporate excess water and speed up drying time.

I do not recommend using a hairdryer which is often suggested online. I think this is a bad idea.

First, handling a wet swimsuit with a hairdryer is not safe as water and electricity are a dangerous combination.

Second, the focused heat of the hairdryer, particularly on Lycra swimsuits, can easily damage the material and weaken the elasticity.

It is best to find a warm and well-ventilated area to dry your swimsuit flat.

How Do You Dry A Swimsuit At Home?

The best way to dry a swimsuit at home is to lay it flat using a hanging dryer.

This protects the shape and elasticity of your swimsuit, while naturally drying. Depending on the temperature of the room and ventilation, it can take between 2 to 9 hours for a swimsuit to fully dry using this method.

It helps to roll the swimsuit in a towel first and gently squeeze. This will remove any excess water to help speed up the drying process. Then remove the swimsuit from the towel and lay flat on the handing dryer.

What Swimsuit Material Dries The Fastest?

Nylon and polyester materials have great drying properties and dry fairly quickly when compared to other fabrics.

While these materials are lightweight and can dry quickly, they also retain moisture, so it’s important to give them enough time to fully dry before storing them away.

Lycra and spandex can also be quick-drying as long as you give them enough time.

Cotton is slower-drying, but it’s still possible to dry cotton materials quickly in warm and well-ventilated areas.

Final Thoughts

Drying your swimsuit quickly and effectively can be a challenge. There is always a compromise between the speed of drying and taking care of your swimming suit.

When heat or agitation is involved, your swimming suit will age faster.

Whether you choose to use a dedicated swimsuit dryer, towel dry, or flat dry in a well-ventilated area, make sure that you take good care of your swimwear so it can last for many seasons.

Finally, remember that drying your swimsuit in the dryer is not recommended as it can cause damage to the material, so try to avoid this method whenever possible. Even very hot water can damage some Lycra suits.

Swimming suits are an important tool for us swimmers and with care, we can keep them looking fresh for longer.

Happy swimming!

Louise Byrne

Hi, I am Louise and I am obsessed with swimming. I spend my free time in the water or getting ready for my next water adventure. I am also authour of the "The Mindful Swimmer", the very first mindful journal and swimming log book which combines the art of mindfulness and swimming so you can get even more from your swims. Check it out here on Amazon.

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