You depend on UPF 50+ clothing, accessories, and sunscreen to protect your family’s skin and health when outdoors. So show these UV-shielding items some love back. Today, we go over how to care for UPF clothing so it stays in excellent condition for years to come.
How Do I Care for My UPF Clothing?
For specific care and cleaning instructions, always read the labels on your UPF clothing first. You can also check the manufacturer’s website for any additional tips to extend the life of your specific sun essential products.
For UV Skinz's UPF clothing care, you can check out our page on how to maintain your UPF swimwear for additional support.
Generally, you should avoid using fabric softeners, which can reduce the fabric's UPF rating, and instead opt for mild detergents. You should also avoid wringing or twisting the fabric, which can damage the fibers, and allow the garment to air dry. Additionally, over time, UPF clothing may lose some of its effectiveness, so it's a good idea to keep an eye out for damaged fabric to replace an item if needed.
Tips on How to Extend the Life of UPF Clothing
Here are some tips on how to extend the life of your UPF clothing:
UPF Sun and Swimwear Care
Rinse these items in cold water immediately after wearing them, then clean them as soon as possible in cold water either by hand or on a gentle/delicate cycle. Lay them out to dry away from direct sunlight.
Avoid sitting on rough surfaces like cement pool edges as this can lead to fabric pilling. Wear an older swimsuit if you're going to spend a significant amount of time in a hot tub at night as well. Since you won't be exposed to the sun, you don't need to wear a UPF swimsuit for sun protection.
Do note that excessive heat and high chlorine levels can break down the fibers of your garment, even in chlorine-resistant fabrics.
UPF Sun Scarves and Wraps Care
For these versatile items, hand wash or machine wash them in cold water on the gentle/delicate cycle, and then dry them flat or line dry them (out of direct sunlight).
Don't wring out your UPF sun wraps and never iron, dry clean, or bleach them.
UPF Sun Hat Care
Pay close attention to the care instructions on your UPF sun hat label to keep your sun hat in great condition.
Swim hats can only be washed by hand in cold water or on the gentle/delicate cycle and then line dried or laid flat to dry away from direct sunlight.
Most sun hats should only be spot cleaned to retain their fabric integrity and shape. Never wring out a hat, lay it out to dry after washing. Also, don't store the hat until it's completely dry.
Beach Towel Care
Beach towels and hooded towels can typically be shaken out, machine washed, and line dried. Check the label to see if your towel can also be tossed in the dryer.
Sun Umbrella Care
Retain the life of your umbrella by wiping any sand or dirt off the frame and fabric with a damp cloth and air dry it after use. If the umbrella fabric is damp, allow it to fully air dry before storing. For spots and mildew, check the cleaning instructions on the tag.
How Long Does UPF Clothing Last?
The lifespan of UPF clothing varies depending on a number of factors, such as the following:
- Quality of the fabric.
- How frequently it is worn.
- How well it's cared for.
In general, UPF clothing can maintain its effectiveness for several years with proper care and maintenance. However, over time, exposure to sun, sweat, and chlorine can cause the fabric to break down and lose its UPF rating.
It's important to follow the care instructions on the label of your clothing and inspect it regularly for signs of wear and tear. When in doubt, it's best to replace your UPF clothing with noticeable wear and tear every 3 to 4 years to ensure that you're getting the best protection possible.
How to Know When to Replace UPF Clothing?
Look for the following signs which will let you know its time to replace your UPF clothing:
- Signs of wear and tear, such as pilling and torn fabric.
- Faded fabric.
- Stretched or thinning fabric.
- Holes or tears.