There are several different kinds of swimsuits available. From the fabric to the design, there is just so much that you need to consider when purchasing a swimsuit. It isn’t just as easy as picking out a summer-dress for yourself to wear at a garden fair. When buying a swimsuit, you have to focus on several factors, from safety and sustainability to style.

In the United States, swimwear sales have gone up with more and more Instagram influencers showing off itsy-bitsy bikinis on exotic beaches. However, not everyone has a thick wallet to flash out money for buying a new swimsuit each year. Most of us try to make our swimsuits last as long as they can, and only purchase a new one when in dire need.

That being said, here are some steps that you can take to ensure that you’re swimsuit lives a good, long life:

1 – Invest in quality swimwear

The price of your swimsuit does determine how long it can last and how many favorable features it offers. A good quality swimsuit costs anywhere between $350 to $400. It offers sun protection and is made of polyester or nylon blends. It also comes with a trendy design that you want to show off. Choose one that fits well and comes from a well-known brand. Be sure to read reviews prior to making a purchase.

2 – Have at least two swimsuits ready for use

Don’t entirely rely on the one expensive swimsuit that you have. If you wear it all too much, you are at the risk of losing it sooner. Therefore, also have a cheaper alternative sitting in your wardrobe. You can wear this comparatively low priced one when the need to rock the expensive one is not there. You can also invest in two mid-ranged ones and rotate them accordingly.

3 – Follow all care instructions

Your swimsuit comes into contact with chlorine or salt in the water. It suffers a good load at the hands of the chemicals and the UV rays of the sun. This is why it is a good idea to give it a wash as soon as you get home. Rinse the suit every time after you wear it. Typically, swimsuits should be handwashed in cold water. However, some swimsuits can also be washed in the machine. To be sure about how you should treat the suit, be sure to follow the care instructions mentioned.

4 – Give it pre-wear treatment

If you’re headed into a hot tub or are hitting the beach in your brand-new swimsuit, be sure to prepare your swimwear beforehand. Hot water can make the dye bleed, fading the colors and making the suit look rough in just one wear. This is why, before taking your new suit out for a sunny day in the water be sure to dip it a mixture of water and vinegar. This will prevent the dye from bleeding and ruining the color of your swimsuit.

5 – Be gentle and dry the natural way

Once the washing part is done, wring out the water gently. Don’t squeeze the water out as that can damage delicate parts such as the strings, padding, etc. Ensure that all soap has made its way out because you don’t want an accidental bubble bath when you visit a pool next. Air dry your swimsuit rather than tossing it under a machine. When air drying the suit don’t hang it. That will cause the chemicals to get collected at the bottom and cause damage. Lay the suit on a flat surface.

6 – Keep it properly

When you’re done using your swimsuit for the day, make sure it dries completely before you keep it inside. Don’t keep it inside damp as moisture can cause damage by encouraging mold formation. Do not hang it in your wardrobe. Instead, fold it properly. Hanging the swimsuit will cause strain which can make your suit lose its elasticity quickly.

7 – Avoid rough surfaces

When you have your swimsuit on, don’t just sit on the rocks or another such rough or abrasive surface. That can damage your swimsuit as the fabric or strings may get stuck in any jagged edges which can cause wear and tear. To avoid such surfaces, be sure to sit on a towel. In fact, it is a must to take your towel along wherever you are supposed to wear a swimsuit.

To sum up, to make your swimsuit last longer start with buying quality swimwear made of lasting fabric. Wash following all care instructions every time after wearing the swimsuit. Have at least two pairs in use and rotate them accordingly. Hand wash, air dry, wring gently, and fold when not in use. A good swimsuit should last you way longer than a year.