Over time, thanks to the effects of chlorine on fabrics, particularly on spandex, using a hot tub may damage your swimsuit. Colors could fade, fabrics with elastic content might lose their elasticity, and some fabrics could eventually weaken and tear. However, hot tubs that use non-chlorine water care options are considerably gentler on swimsuits.
Let’s review the most frequently asked questions about hot tubs and swimsuits.
HOW MIGHT A HOT TUB DAMAGE MY SWIMSUIT?
While no studies have been done on this particular subject, anecdotal evidence abounds. A hot tub won’t cause noticeable damage to your swimsuit immediately. So, if you use a hot tub at a friend’s house or while on vacation, you won’t see any damage right away. If, on the other hand, you use a hot tub every day to take advantage of its benefits and wear the same swimsuit, you may begin to notice damage. How soon you’ll notice and the rate of swimsuit damage will depend on the rate of exposure to the chemicals in your spa and to the sun, which will also cause fading. More soaks for longer periods of time will harm your suit more quickly than fewer, brisker soaks.
HOW CAN I PROTECT MY SWIMSUIT?
When shopping for a swimsuit, look for one that is chlorine and fade resistant. Chlorine can fade synthetic fabrics over time, but swimsuits made from natural fibers may fade less. Once at home, you can protect the colors in a new swimsuit by rinsing it in water and vinegar for 30 minutes before the first use. This helps hold the dye in the fabric. Also, soaking your swimsuit in non-chlorinated water before getting into a hot tub will saturate the fabric, preventing some chlorine from entering the fibers.
The best way to protect your swimwear from the effects of chlorine is to own more than one swimsuit and wear each in rotation. Alternating swimwear will significantly extend the life of each suit. Or, if you have a swimsuit you’d like to keep bright and new for public wear, consider wearing an older swimsuit when soaking in the hot tub.
HOW SHOULD I WASH MY SWIMSUIT AFTER HOT TUBBING?
Hot tubbing shouldn’t soil your swimsuit. In fact, the same chemicals that clean your water will clean your swimsuit, so your suit should not require a heavy wash. Also, the motion of washing machines and the heat of dryers will cause swimsuit fabric to further deteriorate. So, wash your swimsuit as gently as possible after hot-tubbing. A rinse in non-chlorinated water and an air-dry is best. Don’t hang your swimsuit by the straps to dry, however, as that will speed elasticity loss, and don’t leave it in a wet pile on the floor or in a bag, where it can grow mold and mildew.
If you choose to put your swimsuit in a washing machine, use a delicate detergent in a gentle, cold water cycle. Laundry detergent will linger in your suit and perhaps foam the next time you use your hot tub. This could potentially harm your hot tub’s plumbing, pumps, and plastic parts.
ARE NON-CHLORINE HOT TUB OPTIONS AVAILABLE?
Yes! Since the early days of hot tubbing, spa manufacturers have developed alternative water care options, including ozone systems. Ozone systems reduce the need for chlorine by continuously releasing ozone into hot tub water to neutralize contaminants and improve water quality. Some systems additionally employ silver ions to help purify water.
While chlorine exposure could degrade swimsuit fabrics over time, that shouldn’t stop you from enjoying the many benefits of a refreshing soak on a regular basis. To learn more about how regular hot tub use can benefit your overall wellness, and to discover the line of Hot Spring® spas, download our brochure today!