How do I get sand out of my clothes?
June 18, 2017 8:03 PM   Subscribe

We'll be visiting the beach a lot this summer. We're several trips in and I'm not sure how to get all of the sand out of our clothes.

As soon as we get home, I hang everything up to dry. The next day, I shake everything out really well until no more sand comes out. But then I run everything through the washing machine and its insides are coated in sand. Like, a lot of sand. So much that it coats the next couple of loads of clothes in sand.
How do I get all of the sand off of our clothes so it doesn't end up in the washing machine? Also, am I wrecking my washing machine?
posted by smashface to Home & Garden (12 answers total)
Hand soak them, wring them out as best you can, and dry the ever loving heck out of them in the dryer. Have a vacuum on hand to get the sand out of the dryer bucket. That is, if you're *super* concerned about sand in the washing machine. Oh, you'll have sand in the dryer either way.

I've lived in Florida for 25 years and haven't ruined a washing machine with sand yet. I do all the beach clothes, then a "rinse load" before washing non-sandy stuff.
posted by Seek at 8:08 PM on June 18 [1 favorite]

I lived in Hawai'i when I was a kid, and I'm pretty sure it may just never all come out. I remember that my parents finally gave up and acknowledged that the car would always have sand in it. I would recommend having designated beach clothes.
posted by aniola at 8:09 PM on June 18 [6 favorites]

Thoroughly rinse everything before you hang up to dry.
posted by greta simone at 8:22 PM on June 18 [1 favorite]

I have specific clothes that I wear to the beach and they don't really go into the washing machine. At least, not very often. If I am sandy, I shower off while still wearing those clothes/swimsuit, etc, and then I wring the clothes out and hang them outside to dry. They never get perfectly clean, I guess, but whatever, I only wear them to the beach anyway.
posted by lollusc at 9:11 PM on June 18 [6 favorites]

I put them on the fence and hose them off. I think that's pretty common in beach areas, along with outdoor showers.
posted by fshgrl at 9:56 PM on June 18 [2 favorites]

Agree with having designated beach clothes - also pick them strategically (no or few folds, pockets, etc.)
posted by warriorqueen at 5:21 AM on June 19 [1 favorite]

What warriorqueen said, and also, avoid any knits with a large weave, like polo shirts.
posted by Miko at 5:38 AM on June 19 [1 favorite]

One thing that helps is going through each item to clean out the pockets and also the places where there are linings before they go in the wash.
posted by advicepig at 7:22 AM on June 19 [1 favorite]

Toss all the beach clothes into a soaking bucket before they go in the washing machine to get a lot of the sand out of it (alternately: hose 'em down and just soak and line dry most stuff don't even wash it) and wear stuff at the beach that is more sand-resistant: bathing suits and coverups and then change into "going home" clothes if you don't want to go home with damp/sandy clothing.
posted by jessamyn at 8:00 AM on June 19 [2 favorites]

I also wonder if you're washing swimsuits each trip? That's not really necessary, it's a big source of sand, and what's more, it really wears out the suits faster (says this former swim teacher). They really can't take all the mangling in the washer and become threadbare and less elastic a lot quicker. In the case of womens' and girls' swimsuits, they often, for mysterious reasons, have a weird little pocket in the crotch which I guess is supposed to be a sort of a pantiliner or maybe something to help avoid sticking, but in any case, that pocket can hold a ridiculous amount of sand is often the culprit behind sand in the shower or the washer. So, nthing just a cold freshwater rinse and line dry for swimsuits, and a true wash only every now and then.
posted by Miko at 11:42 AM on June 19 [3 favorites]

Wear the clothes into the shower, post-beach. Rinse them thoroughly. Then wash and dry normally. Bathing suits really only need rinsed and then probably hung out to dry if you're still using them (like during a beach vacation), beach towels should just be hung up outside to dry if you're still using them.

Note: grew up in New Jersey, frequent lifelong Jersey shoregoer. This is the method we always used and we've never blown out a washing machine.

Miko: YES, that weird bathing suit crotch pocket holds a ton of sand! Empty that thing in the shower!
posted by Aquifer at 11:48 AM on June 19 [2 favorites]

Empty that thing in the shower!

***Not YOUR shower!! the BEACH shower!!
posted by Miko at 2:42 PM on June 19 [2 favorites]

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