Have you ever wondered if it was a good idea to go into a hot tub immediately after swimming in the pool? How about the sauna or the steam room? Since these facilities are all readily available at a swimming pool, people assume it’s okay to expose their swimsuits to these extreme changes in temperature, and don’t really realize how much damage this can cause to their swimsuit.
Most swimsuits are made with spandex/Lycra, or some blend of these fabrics. Spandex is very stretchy and makes the swimsuit very comfortable to wear. However, spandex is susceptible to heat damage which can cause it to shrink and lose its elasticity.
It’s the same reason why you are recommended to hand wash your swimsuit with cold water only, instead of using a washing machine or dryer. The goal is to keep your swimsuit away from anything that can wear down the spandex inside, and unfortunately hot tubs are one such thing you should avoid if you can.
So if you ever want to enjoy a hot tub, what are you supposed to do, go naked? If you are in the privacy of your own home, then actually that’s not a half bad idea. Alternatively, you should get a swimsuit that is exclusively used for the hot tub (one that is sized up with the intention of shrinking down to size).
There is no “best” hot tub swimsuit because all swimsuits will get damaged by the hot tub. Thus, you should have a separate or old swimsuit reserved exclusively for hot tub use, and keep your newer swimsuit in mint condition by avoiding the hot tub with it if you can.
In this article, we will discuss why it’s generally not a good idea to wear your good swimsuit into the hot tub, the ways a hot tub can damage your swimsuit, and the ways you can limit damage on your swimsuit from wearing it into the hot tub.
How a hot tub can damage your bathing suit
While there are no studies that confirm this claim, there is enough anecdotal evidence (and you are free to test this yourself) that exposing your swimsuit to hot tubs will decrease its lifespan.
What exactly makes hot tubs so damaging to your bathing suit? It’s all the chemicals put inside that keep it sanitary, particularly chlorine. However, a hot tub has the added whammy of being… well, hot. Heat will cause fabric to shrink, fade, and lose its elasticity.
Hot tubs will not cause any significant damage to your swimsuit in the short term. If you only occasionally wear a swimsuit to the hot tub, you probably won’t notice damage right away. However, it is with repeated exposure that you will start to feel your bathing suit start to disintegrate.
Soaking your swimsuit in hot water for extended periods of time is more damaging than more frequent, albeit faster soaks. This is a shame because hot tubs feel amazing to relax in after swimming laps at the pool.
Which swimsuits are best suited for hot tubs?
We can tell you which swimsuits are not suitable for hot tubs: anything made with Lycra spandex, or some blend of Lycra spandex. That should already significantly narrow down which swimsuits are more appropriate for hot tubs.
If you are someone that likes to buy expensive swimsuits, better save those for other uses. It would be a shame for your beautiful, expensive swimsuit to get ruined so quickly.
Instead, you should invest in a cheaper swimsuit that is dedicated for hot tub or spa use. Or you can just use an old swimsuit, one that you will not lose any sleep over if it is damaged. It should preferably be made with a tougher, heavy-duty material such as nylon.
Since this bathing suit is going to be subjected to intense wear, you had better take good care of it by immediately washing it after every use. This ensures that any damaging chemicals left on it are quickly removed to limit the damage.
If you feel that getting a separate bathing suit and taking care of it is a hassle, then you can opt for the “birthday suit” option instead.
For those unaware, that is slang for going naked. Yes, it is a viable option if you are in the privacy of your own backyard and if you feel that there is enough foliage to cover yourself from prying eyes.
That said, if you don’t want to risk being spotted by a neighbor and labeled an exhibitionist, then just get a dedicated swimsuit for hot tub use.
Can you wear regular clothes in a hot tub?
Good Lord, that is a terrible idea. Absolutely no, do not do that. If a hot tub can already ruin your swimsuits, which are at least designed to be worn underwater, how much worse do you think it will damage your normal clothing?
Not only will the chlorine and heat degrade your clothes, but the fibers and dyes can potentially disintegrate and leach out into the hot tub, damaging it.
Plus, the purpose of the hot tub is for you to relax and be comfortable in. It would be extremely difficult to do that if your whole outfit is waterlogged and you can barely move in it.
There is not really a thing as a “best hot tub swimsuit” because hot tubs are quite damaging to swimsuits in general. Instead, you can get one that is slightly more resistant and long-lasting, which are typically ones made of nylon.
Instead, you should think of your hot tub swimsuit as more of a sacrifice. You are sacrificing one swimsuit to be worn at hot tubs or spas so that your other nicer looking and more comfortable swimsuits get to have normal, happy lives.
Even your dedicated hot tub swimsuit should be taken care of to the best of your ability. Even though it’s getting worn down at an accelerated rate, that’s all the more reason to thoroughly wash the chlorine off so that it will last longer. Otherwise, you will have to constantly replace your hot tub swimsuit, and that expense can add up quickly.
If a separate swimsuit for hot tub and spa use sounds like a pain in the butt, you can just not wear a swimsuit to your private, residential hot tub. Just be aware of peeping toms.