We all love a good hot tub, especially one that's outside when the weather is chilly or at the end of a stressful day or week. It gives a perfect temperature balance and helps us relax during one of the most stressful times of the year. But did you know that, over time, your hot tub can damage your swimsuit?

Like most swimming pools, most hot tubs have chlorine in order to keep the tub and water sanitized. While chlorine is outstanding at keeping water clean and safe to swim in, it is also a harsh chemical. After all, chlorine and bleach are the same things, just in slightly different strengths and. Combined with the heat of the hot tub, this means that, unfortunately, over time, chlorine can and will cause the colors in your swimsuits to fade, fabrics to weaken or tear, and elasticity to disappear.

If you use a hot tub on vacation or even once a week at home, you probably won't notice a difference in the quality of your swimsuit right away. Exposure to chlorine levels present in a properly balanced pool or hot tub takes time to show on fabric. If you use it every day, though, you'll begin the see the impacts much, much more quickly. Fortunately, there are a few ways to protect your favorite swimsuits from unforeseen damages and stretch out the life of those swimsuits so you can enjoy as many nights soaking in the hot tub as possible.

First, when shopping for a swimsuit, look for one that is resistant to chlorine. Different fabrics are more susceptible to damage from the harsh chemical. If the fading color of a swimsuit is your primary concern, look for bathing suits made of natural fibers, which may take longer to fade than synthetic fibers, depending on the dye used. Lycra, which is typically blended with other fibers, is the material that gives many swimsuits their "stretch" and is somewhat resistant to chlorine. There are more resistant varieties available on the market, and with proper care, these can outlast less resistant fabrics.

Second, before you get into a hot tub, take a minute and soak your bathing suit in water that doesn't have chlorine in it. While there is little worse than having to wait before slipping into that warm relaxing tub, this simple step can help protect your swimsuit by saturating the fabric and preventing as much chlorine from getting in as possible. Soaking your suit like this isn't a cure-all for fading and weakening, of course. The longer you're soaking, the more likely chlorine or other chemicals can penetrate and damage your swimsuit. Similarly, once you get out of the hot tub, it's extremely important to take a moment to rinse it with clean, unchlorinated water thoroughly, even before you wash. Leaving your swimsuit to dry while soaked through with treated water will almost always result in faded colors and weakened fabric.

One other thing to keep in mind is something mentioned up above: properly balanced water. Many home hot tubs and pools (and plenty of commercial ones) are not properly balanced, and while the water can be safe to swim in, the chemical levels can be much higher than they should be. This harsher environment can result in wear and fading happening even faster. While soaking your swimsuit before a swim and thoroughly rinsing it afterward can help reduce this effect, the more careful you are in properly balancing the chemicals in your hot tub, the safer it will be both for you and for your swimsuit in the long run.

Third, make sure you're alternating swimsuits between hot tub uses. Regardless of whether you're in the pool or hot tub, if you only have one bathing suit and you swim or soak regularly, it's going to wear out and fade much more quickly, no matter how many times you soak and rinse. The best way to ensure you're not wearing them out through repeated use is simple: more suits! Pick up a few extras so you can avoid using the same suit every time, and give yourself a few options to choose from for when you're in a more public setting. Alternating swimsuits will help protect the quality of each one and extend each swimsuit's lifespan. In addition, this is healthier for you, too, since wearing the same swimsuit repeatedly, without giving them time for a proper wash and air dry can often result in bacteria build-up.

Last but certainly not least, think about picking a couple of swimsuits to use ONLY for the hot tub. For those of you soaking in luxury at your own home, you can pick a couple of old swimsuits that you don't wear much anymore or that you don't mind getting a little damaged over time and make those your designated hot tub swim apparel. This way, you can save your super cute bathing suits for the beach, pool, and sunbathing session while the hot tub suit takes one for the team. Remember that no matter what fabric you choose or the care you take, chlorine eventually will win. Every swimsuit exposed to it will eventually fade, weaken, and get baggy as the stretch weakens, but every bit of care you can do lengthens the life of your swimsuit.

There are few things more relaxing and calming than a long, steamy soak in a hot tub. It's peak self-care and, unlike many swimming pools, they aren't just limited to the warm summer months. Just make sure you wear the right swimwear and that you take care of your swimsuit so you can enjoy your hot tub year round!