Do Hot Springs Ruin Swimsuits?

Going to an indoor or outdoor hot spring is a fabulous way to rejuvenate your body and overall health. The hydrothermal or geothermal water is enriched with naturally occurring minerals that do wonders for your skin and help draw out toxins from the body, but what effect does it have on your swimwear?

Hot spring water is no more damaging to swimwear than chlorinated, saltwater, or hot tub water. However, lightly colored swimwear may become discolored by the tannins or algae in some geothermal springs, and the hot water can cause the elasticity of your swimsuit to deteriorate.

The best way to preserve your swimwear at a hot spring is to wear nothing at all (you don’t wear clothes in a sauna, so why here?), although most establishments are against public nudity. Some hot springs rent out suits and towels, some which require you to take your gear, and others where nude bathing is allowed. So what is acceptable attire at a hot spring?

What Exactly Is It That Could Affect My Swimsuit?

The water in hot springs is heated underground by magma or hot rocks in the earth’s crust. Swimsuits can lose their elasticity when exposed to prolonged or excessive heat, so bear that in mind when choosing what to wear when immersing yourself in hot water.

Lighter swimwear might become tinted green from algae or brown from tannins present in the hot spring. Tinting will largely depend on whether the water is filtered or not.

The mineral composition of hot spring water differs from spring to spring. Still, generally, it is enriched with silica, sulfates, dissolved metals, potassium, chloride, sodium, zinc, calcium, boron, phosphate, lithium, manganese, and fluoride. Each mineral benefits your body and skin, but it is advisable to give your swimwear a good rinse after every bathing session.

What Should I Wear At A Hot Spring?

Before deciding what to wear, think of why you are going to a hot water spring. It could be a fantastic vacation spot for you and your family, or perhaps you want a quiet place to simmer gently in the healing waters. By getting more information on the facilities on offer and the type of clientele at the hot water spring, you will get a good indication of your required bathing attire.

If you don’t need to impress anyone with a designer swimsuit, but need to cover your bits, last year’s swimsuit or comfortable shorts and a shirt will do the job with little fuss. The healing, hot water needs access to your skin to work its wonders, so one- or two-piece swimwear is acceptable. You can skip the wetsuit here.

If you do want to look fabulous in a designer swimsuit, it is advisable to wear a darker one to avoid the disappointment of possible tinting from algae or tannins. Sunscreen and sweat can also cause unsightly marks on your swimwear if left unattended, and excessive or prolonged heat can negatively affect its elasticity. Follow the tips below to help you care for your swimsuit.

Maintaining Your Swimsuit After Bathing

Whether you have used your swimsuit at the poolside, seaside, or a hot water spring, here are a few tips from to keep it in shape for as long as possible:

  • Read the labels on your swimwear. Doing so will advise you on the best way to care for your swimsuit, depending on the materials used.
  • Thoroughly rinse your swimsuit in cold water after every use. Doing so will remove the residue from the bathing water.
  • Hand-wash your swimsuit, targeting the waistband, straps, and under-wiring. You can use a hard bar of laundry soap, or your shower gel will work just as well if you are traveling. If you must use a washing machine, set it on a cold water cycle.
  • Remove removable padding for the washing process. It also needs a wash, but your swimsuit will dry faster without the padding. You can reinsert the padding when everything has dried.
  • Air-dry your swimsuit by lying it flat on a towel, preferably. Avoid using a tumble dryer to dry your swimsuit, as the heat can damage the elastic fibers, causing them to become misshapen. Wringing out your swimsuit can also cause it to lose shape, and leaving it in the sun can cause the colors to fade.
  • Sit on a towel when wearing a swimsuit outside the pool. The rough edging around pools or rocks around hot water springs can easily catch or tear the seat of your swimsuit. You should attend to any loose stitching as quickly as possible. Remember, a stitch in time saves nine.
  • Treat stains swiftly with a stain remover or baking soda with vinegar. Sweat and excessive sunscreen can cause staining, too, so bear that in mind.
  • Unpack and wash your swimsuit as soon as possible. Leaving it in a soggy, crumpled mess in a plastic bag invites mildew and could cause it to lose shape.
  • Store your swimsuit in a closet or drawer in off-seasons; it is not necessary to vacuum-seal it.

What Else Should I Take With To A Hot Spring?

If you are visiting a hot spring in winter, it is advisable to wear your bathing suit underneath your clothes, so you can get into that hot water as quickly as possible. Decent shoes are advisable; flip-flops may be slippery. If you are visiting an outdoor hot water spring, try to wear water shoes in case there are sharp rocks below the surface.

You will need a towel for drying off, sunscreen (you can even get sunburned in winter), warm, dry clothes, and a torch or headlamp if walking at night time. Don’t forget to take along something to drink – preferably water, since you’re doing something healthy for your body. It is best to avoid alcohol and glass containers around any bathing area.

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Bathing in a hot water spring’s warm, mineral waters has many health benefits for your body. You can soak away persistent skin ailments and aches and pains, plus you have the added benefit of detoxing. There are indoor and outdoor springs and formal and informal hot water springs that require various states of dress or bodily coverage.

Your snow-white swimsuit might risk becoming ruined at a hot water spring, so it is advisable to wear darker swimwear. There are ways to avoid spoiling your swimsuit and care for it so that you can get the most use out of it for a season or more. Alternatively, you can wear shorts and a shirt or find a hot water spring that allows nudie bathing.