If you’re a person who thinks learning how to pack wet swimsuits is trivial, wait till you hear about what can happen if you don’t do it the right way. If you think throwing your wet swimsuit in a gym bag is the solution, then you probably kill your dinner every night. 

You’re an uncivilized barbarian. (We don’t try to be petty, it just comes naturally.)

Katherine Winnik as a viking doesn't know how to pack wet swimsuits very well
Image source: m.imdb.com

The truth is, if you don’t how to pack wet swimsuits, bad things can happen. The chances are somewhere during your lifetime you’re going to find yourself leaving a pool, beach or lake with a wet bathing suit in hand. If you’re prepared beforehand, you won’t ever have an issue.

If you get caught with your pants down, you might be facing a gang of bacteria growing somewhere close to you.

Like your gym bag.

A quick life lesson: Avoid mildew and bacteria whenever possible

Let’s get straight to the point for all you cave people. Wet things breed bacteria. If you leave your bathing suit in a confined space it will eventually grow mildew and breed bacteria.

Have you ever picked up your kitchen cloth to wipe the counter and your fingers stink when you smell them afterward? That’s disgusting bacteria all over your fingers! So wash them off and throw that dirty rag in the garbage or put it in the washing machine.

Mould is no joke. No one likes it no matter where it’s growing. So avoid the whole mould, mildew and bacteria thing by having a plan on how to pack a wet bathing suit before you go to your event. Lucky for you, we’ve already laid out the game plan.

women playing in the ocean

Wet bathing suit tip #1: Perform the essential wash & rinse

Now that you understand the basics about bacteria, let’s talk about the importance of a good wash and rinse before you stash your suit. It’s simple really. Do your absolute best to get as much chlorine, lake water or whatever water off of your precious Petty-boii one-piece bathing suit.

Did you know that swimming in the ocean changes the microbes on your skin for a day?

If you were at the ocean, you might be thinking, “Saltwater is a natural cleanser.” 

Nope. Think again.

The ocean is full of organisms and micro bacteria that love to get all over you and that incredibly good-looking pair of men’s swim trunks. That “quick dip” can completely change the microbes on your skin for a whole day. And if it’s on your skin for that long, you can bet your cheeky butt it’s going to be all up in your gear.

Shower with your swimsuit on

Shower whenever possible

Shower with your swimsuit whenever possible. Bacteria do not discriminate about where it wants to leave a rash on you. Showering with soap gives you added protection that nothing will be clinging to you or your cheeky bikini bottom when you get home.

If you have access to a bathroom it’s ideal. You can shower AND rinse your bikini top and cheeky bottoms in the shower. The worst-case (if no shower) is you have the option to give them a good wash and a rinse in the sink.

Use soap on them. Hand soap is mild enough that it won’t do any harm to your bathing suit.  Scrub them as if they were your second skin. This will ensure you get rid of all the unwanted grime and potential bacteria that grow into mildew and mould.

Wet swimsuit tip #2: Dry your suit as best you can

It should be pretty obvious that a dry bathing suit is a much more welcome clothing item in your bag than a wet one. You’re going to need to get as much water off your swimwear as possible and you can do this in several ways.

Dry tip #1: A gentle squeeze is a welcome gesture

When done correctly, a gentle squeeze goes a long way. Of course, it depends on what you’re squeezing! When you pay good money for high-quality swim gear you don’t want to wring them out like towels. The intense leverage and pressure of a “towel wringing” could damage the shape of your bathing suit.

Be firm but gentle. 

Show that suit some TLC when you squeeze out the juice.

hang dry your wet swimsuit before packing it in your bag

Dry tip #2: Hang dry

But of course, you hang dry! Petty-boii bathing suits are made to repel and resist water. If you’re fancy, use a hanger. If you’re normal, drape it over a patio chair. 

A paltry 20 minutes in the open air should give you enough time to dry out your suit if the weather permits (humidity and still air will slow down this process). If it’s windy your good. If it’s hurricane season, maybe don’t leave them outside.

Dry tip #3: “Towel please!”

Fold up your bikini, swim trunks or one piece in a towel. Squeeze away. If you think you can manage a bit of control, you can even wring the towel GENTLY. You should get most of the water off your suit using this method. Don’t overdo the wringing!

Wet swimsuit tip #3: Bring something to carry it in!

Option A: If you spend a lot of time by the pool, ocean, beach, hot tubs lakes, rivers, streams, or hot geysers it might be a worthwhile investment to buy a wet bag. You can grab one of these convenient little dumplings for as little as 10 bucks or get some brand-name wet bags for $100. They look great and what’s more, they do a great job at keeping your wet bathing suit contained.

Carry your wet bag with you so you don’t need to worry about messing up any of the other stuff in your bag.

wet bags to pack your wet swimwear

Option B: A second option, is to carry one of those clear cellophane bags. Truthfully, if you don’t already have one, I have no idea why you would want to buy one when you could just buy a wet bag. However, if you happen to have one or the opportunity presents itself to scoop one up you can use it to do the same thing as a wet bag.

clear cellophane bag to tote your bikini in

Option C: Use a dry towel. You can use a wet one too but that usually sucks. A dry towel guarantees your gear doesn’t suffocate and grow bacteria to be all they can be. It’s not the best for separating moisture, sea salt, sand or what have you from the rest of your clothes-but it works.

Option D: Ok, if you’re under the gun you might be able to manage a plastic bag to accomplish this extremely complicated task. It’s kind of tacky but if you’re already hot and don’t give a what (or you live in the suburbs) then a plastic bag will do the job.

Try not to use plastic bags with print on them. The colour will sometimes run on the cheap bags and completely redesign your already flawlessly designed Petty-boii swimwear.

tips on how to pack wet bathing suits

A word to the wise

Don’t keep your wet bathing suit locked up and confined for a long period. Even if you’ve cleaned it up properly it will smell funky if it’s wet and holed up for too long. If you’re travelling a long distance try your darndest to get every bit of moisture off before packing.

If you think you can get away with throwing your wet bathing suit in with your other clothes, you can’t. Not unless you plan on washing the whole damn bag. 

Have you ever hugged someone who smelled… not quite like pee, but kind of like old dirty laundry? Like that frumpy, I-wear-my-clothes-until-they’re-noticeably-dirty kind of smell? 

Guess what? Their stink is probably from poorly dried clothes. 


Not cute.

Now that you know how to pack wet swimsuits, you can keep your gear looking good and smelling the way it was intended. 

Now go my pretties. 

Enjoy yourselves. 

And don’t say I never told you about how to pack wet swimsuits!