The facts are in and wearing a thong swimsuit in a hot tub or pool will over time fade its color and deteriorate the fabric no matter what type of fabric is used.
I can tell you now that your local hot tub or pool salesperson is not going to make a big deal out of this and probably downplay the effects, but the risks are real. But with a little extra care the risks can be dramatically reduced.
Before we look at some options, we first should understand what chemicals are typically used in hot tubs and pools.
Chlorine is by far the most popular chemical found in today’s water leisure industry. Most pools and spa’s use chlorine as the base chemical to control bacteria buildup. Also well-known is the fact that bleach or chlorine is highly effective for removing stains on white fabric, this alone tells the tale. This bleaching action is what causes all the damage to all swimwear fabrics. As much as the chlorine concentration in a pool or spa is nowhere near what it would be in a washing machine, the outcome is the same it just takes longer.
Saltwater tubs and pools are very different, the saltwater used in these systems is not as damaging as their chlorine based cousins but like swimming in the ocean, the salt water will fade your swimwear and, towels etc. If you follow the same care for your swimwear with salt as is recommended for chlorine, you will not have any issues.
In summary yes chlorine and salt are both hard on your swimwear. Chlorine however is considerably worse and will not only fade its color but slowly reduce the diameter of each fiber of the fabric making it thin and will weaken the fabrics weave. We have seen new swimsuits that have only been used during a weeks’ vacation considerably faded simply because they were left in a pile for hours after use soaking in the chlorinated water that remains on the suit. In addition, there is a major risk of bacteria developing on the swimsuit as the chlorine evaporates leaving the swimsuit damp with no bacterial control.
Let’s examine some of the options that can be applied to reduce the risk and associated costs.
Is it a good idea to have a second swimsuit for hot tub and pool use?
Answer – Having two swimsuits is a plus. Keep one for use only in chlorinated water and then change into your second swimsuit for tanning etc. Now this sounds easy but a day sitting around the resort pool or back yard hot tub does not necessarily lend itself to running back to your room to change repetitively throughout the day.
Will taking a freshwater shower remove chlorine from my swimsuit?
Answer – By all means taking a shower will help. Most resorts and cruises have showers strategically placed close to spas and pool regions. By giving your body and swimsuit a good rinse after each exposure to the chlorinated water will not only extend the life of your swimsuit but will also remove the chemical from your hair and skin. Rinsing with a mild body wash will remove the chlorine in its entirety.
Will chemicals typically used in pools and hot tubs ruin my swimsuit?
Answer – As mentioned above, yes without a doubt. Chlorine will not only fade the color and to be honest the deeper brighter the color, the faster it will fade. Further chlorine over time destroys all clothing fabrics. Some fabrics for example a nylon/lyrca combination will last longer but even lyrca will fail over time under the continued stress of chlorination exposure. The tiny fibers will simply get smaller in diameter thinning out the overall fabric density.
Should I use an old swimsuit in my pool or hot-tub?
Answer- This question is pretty much the same as no. 1. Sure, using an old swimsuit is probably the best solution, but who wants to wear an old swimsuit on vacation or with friends. It’s a great thought but not necessarily convenient.
What is the best solution to reduce or avoid damage to my swimsuit when using a hot tub or pool?
The best solution that we have found is to simply have two good quality lyrca/nylon swimsuits. Rotate the use of the swimsuits so that while on is being worn the other one has been washed and is drying on a towel. Never put a bikini in the dryer as the heat and tumbling will destroy the fabric quickly and will lose its elasticity. Use mild soaps, Ivory hand soap is a very mild soap that is cheap and will keep your swimsuit in great condition.
- Try to have two swimsuits, alternate their use allowing one to be washed and dried while the other is in use.
- Take a shower if possible, immediately after chlorine exposure to remove chlorine from your swimsuit, skin and hair.
- Keep your swimsuit out of the sun when drying. Do not hang on a line or rack.
- Do not use washing machines or dryers on swimwear, hand wash and air dry on a fresh dry towel.
- Never leave swimwear in a wet pile
- Keep tanning lotions and oils away from swimwear fabric
- When sitting in your swimsuit, sit on a towel, not the bench, sand or concrete to reduce wear and tear and its simply more sanitary for all especially if you are wearing a thong or G-string.
- Purchase a swimsuit that is manufactured using a lyrca/nylon fabric combination. Stay away from delicate fabrics like lace and cotton. These fabrics will not stand up to chlorination or salt exposure.
You have paid good hard earned money for your quality swimwear. You want to look good, so take a little extra care of your beach bound fashions.
Finally follow these simply rules, enjoy your life, get in that hot tub and swim in that pool, your swimsuit will last a long time with some simple added TLC.