Many cruisers report their swimsuits being completely ruined by the end of their cruise. Some blame it on the sun, others blame it on the salt water pools. Still others blame it on the minerals in the Thalassotherapy pool. The real culprit is Chlorine in the pools and hot tubs.
Lycra spandex just isn’t made to stand up to this harsh chemical. While chlorine helps to keep our pools free from contamination, it just does a number on this synthetic fabric Most conventional suits are made from Lycra. When it was invented by chemists at DuPont in the 1950’s, it revolutionized the clothing industry. Soon it was being utilized in all kinds of application including lingerie, exercise apparel and swimsuits. However the fabric while versatile and inexpensive, does not hold up well in chlorinated water.
Often people don’t notice this except over a long period of time, like all summer or even several seasons. However, on a cruise ship the fading and deterioration seems to be accelerated. Several cruise specific reasons may contribute to this fact. On a cruise infrequent swimmers my spend way more time in the therapy pools or hot tubs than they would at home. The addition of heat to chlorine increases the corrosive effects of chlorine on Lycra. Also with limited facilities for washing and rinsing suits, swimmers may not be able to care for their suit as lovingly as they would at home.
So what are bathers to do if they don’t want to have their favorite suit ruined on their next cruise. Here are a couple of suggestions that I have picked up over my years of cruising:
1. Rinse your suit while wearing it with a fresh water shower as soon as you leave the pool or hot tub.
2. Rinse your suit again with a gentle care soap in your sink or shower when you return to your state room.
3. Alternatively cruisers could buy an inexpensive suit to be replace every couple of cruises, or bring an older suit for the long dips in the chlorinated pools and tubs.
Perhaps the most cost effective solution for frequent cruisers may be to purchase a chlorine resistant suit to wear in chlorinated environments. These suits are made of polyester material, that through the recent advancement of knit technology, are nearly as elastic as Lycra, but is much more durable in Chlorine.
Many department stores, specialty stores and websites are now carrying such chlorine resistant swimwear, just ask for it next time you are shopping for your cruise wear.