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Washing Tips for Rashguards & Sunguards

January 3, 2021

Sunlight allows our body to produce vitamin D. Too much of it, however, can cause problems. For one thing, it can cause sunburns and heat strokes. Not only that, but it can contribute to skin cancer which affects millions of individuals annually. On top of that, ultraviolet rays can damage our eyes—or more specifically, the retina. Did we also mention that it can accelerate skin-aging?

The good news is that there are several ways to protect yourself from the sun. For example, you can wear sunscreen. Basically, how they work is that they’ll either absorb or scatter the rays before they can penetrate and damage your skin. For maximum protection, apply it to dry skin 15 minutes before exposing yourself to the sun.


Other ways to protect yourself from the sun:

– Seek shade whenever possible especially during the afternoon when the UV rays are strongest
– Reapply sunscreen every two hours
– Wear hats with wide brims that’ll cover your neck, eyes, and ears
– Wear protective clothing made UV-resistant fabric

What are Rashguards and Sunguards?

Speaking of protective clothing, there are close-fitting tops that are specifically designed to protect you from the sun—rashguards, and sunguards. Generally speaking, they’re worn over swimwear for surfing or swimming. Not only do they protect the wearer against rashes from abrasion but they also prevent sunburns from extended sun exposure.

what is rashguard

Washing the Product Prior to Wearing

Similar to swimsuits, you always want to wash your rashguard or sun guard before wearing it for the first time. After all, you never know what it might have come into contact with during transport or production. Remember, they’re not always as clean as they look! The last thing that you want is to expose yourself to something unnecessary.

What Materials are Rashguards and Sunguards Made of?

These protective garments are typically made of synthetic fabrics—this makes them more durable, which is important when you’re out and about in the water. Here are a few materials that are commonly used:


You’ve probably seen nylon on the labels of some of your clothes. A manmade material, it’s used to make a variety of apparel from jackets to rash guards. Not only is it elastic (it can stretch up to 33% its length), but it’s also resistant to static and abrasion. On top of all that, it rarely shrinks or stretches.


Spandex is similar to nylon in that it’s also synthetic. In fact, it was invented back in the late 1950s. Also referred to as elastane, the fiber has extraordinary stretch, which makes it ideal for sportswear such as leggings, sports bras, etc. In addition to that, it helps support the shape of the item, which is crucial for garments such as rash guards.


Polyester is up there with nylon as being one of the most common fabrics that you see on clothing labels. Similar to the latter, it’s extremely durable. The difference, however, is that it’s more breathable. It’s also more lightweight, which makes it suitable for workout clothes. As it is, it’s usually mixed with other fibers such as the ones we mentioned above.

Popular Brands that Sell Rashguards and Sunguards

There are several brands that sell rashguards and sunguards. Here are some that you might have heard of:

speedo rash guard

Speedo – Speedo is a well-known distributor of swimwear and swim-related accessories. Based in England, they’ve been around for more than 100 years. As far as rash guards go, they offer a variety of styles for men, women, and children.

Scubapro – Scubapro is one of the most popular brands for dive equipment. Given that, it’s not surprising to know that they also offer rash guards and sun guards, both of which are often worn for the sport.

Mares – Mares is a brand that’s known for selling scuba equipment. Founded in 1949, they offer various types of gear from dry suits to rash guards. What’s more, is that their rash guards come with UPF 50+ protection.

Washing Your Sunguard and Rashguard

As a general rule, you always want to wash your rashguard and sunguard after each wear. Why? The fabric probably came into contact with sweat, sunscreen, and salts while you were out and about, all of which can compromise the material over time.

Not sure how to actually wash the rashguard? No worries, that’s why we’re here! We’ll be going over the instructions step-by-step below so why not follow along?

Rinsing Your Rashguard and Sunguard After Wearing 

The first thing that you want to do after taking it off is to rinse it in water. You want to remove any impurities that may weaken the fibers. Don’t use hot water, though, as the heat can damage the rashguard to the point where you might not be able to wear it anymore.

Once they’re thoroughly rinsed, you can proceed to wash them with detergent.

Are Rashguards and Sunguards Machine Washable? 

Rash guards are made of the same fabrics as other activewear so yes, they are machine washable. The first step is to turn it inside out—that’ll help prevent any logos from fading. From there, put in a protective laundry bag. That way, it won’t rub against your other items during the cycle. For those who are wondering, you can wash your rash guard with other clothing granted that you’ve sorted out the colors.

active give

Once the laundry bag is in the machine, add one scoop of ACTIVE detergent (feel free to adjust the amount depending on the number of items that you’re washing). Make sure to use cold water and run a delicate cycle. If necessary, you can add a cup of baking soda or vinegar to help get rid of odors.

Allow the washer to run. Once the cycle is done, take out your rash guard from the protective bag and hang it up so that it can drip dry. Never run it through the dryer not should you put it under direct sunlight; the heat will easily damage the fabric.

Pro-tip: Unless you’re hanging it in the bathroom, you may wish to place a towel on the floor as the wet rash guard can drip a lot of water.

Washing Your Rashguards and Sunguards By Hand

While it’s fine to machine wash your rash guards, it’s not as gentle as washing them by hand. The first thing that you want to do is prepare a container or sink with detergent. That is, you want to fill it up with water and add half a scoop of ACTIVE detergent. Mix the two things together and place your rash guard into the water.

Gently massage or rub the fabric to loosen any debris or oils. Afterward, let it sit in the soapy water for at least 20 minutes. Once it’s been soaked, you can lightly scrub the rash guard by rubbing the material against itself. The goal is to remove any salt, dirt, sweat, or sunscreen that’s on the material. Pay extra attention to the armpit and neck areas.

Finally, rinse the detergent out of the rash guard by holding it under running water. You may have to squeeze out some of the excess moisture with your hands. Keep in mind, however, that you do not want to wring it like a towel or dishcloth—that will stretch out the spandex fibers. Allow it to drip dry afterward, ideally over a bathtub.

Removing Stains From Your Rashguards

Accidentally got something on your rash guard? Don’t worry, as long as you act fast, you’ll be able to get the stain off. How? Start by dissolving a bit of ACTIVE detergent in water. Dampen a sponge or cloth with the solution and use it to dab the detergent onto the problem spot. Gently rub the stain in a circular motion; be careful not to damage the fabric. When you’re finished, rinse the soap off and allow it to drip dry. Make sure not to use hot water as it’ll only set the stain deeper.

removing stains from rash guard

Pro-tip: You should always spot-clean your rashguard before putting it in the washing machine if there’s a stain.

How to Deodorize Rashguards and Sunguards

Your rashguard may develop a smell if you don’t rinse it right away after wearing it. Luckily, there are a couple of things that you can do to eliminate the odor.

Soak with White Vinegar

White vinegar is pretty useful when it comes to smells. Dilute it with water in a bucket and add your rashguard or sunguard in. Saturate the fabric with the solution by pressing down gently on the items. There’s no need to add soap. Let the garments soak in the vinegar-water for around 20 minutes or so—that should be enough to neutralize the smell. You can put the guards in the washing machine afterward.

Soak with Baking Soda

Baking soda works too. Similar to the above method, you want to mix it with water (one or two teaspoons should suffice). Wait until it’s fully mixed before dunking your rashguards in. Wait 20 or so minutes for the baking soda to work its magic. The smell should be gone afterward.

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Sophia Grant

Sophia Grant brings her extensive knowledge of laundry and clothing care to the masses with her intensive cleaning guides. Her thorough understanding of fabrics, detergents, and washing techniques helps readers master the art of maintaining their wardrobe. Sophia's advice ensures that anyone can achieve professional-level results at home, keeping their garments looking pristine and lasting longer.

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