6 handy hints for washing bras to help them last for years

November 23, 2014

When it comes to women's delicates, like bras, how you wash them today can make them last for years—if done right. Here are six handy hints for washing brasto extend their longevity.

Bras come in a wide variety of fabrics (from cotton to silk to lace), endless styles, support and prices. Most women typically own many bras but will rotate between only a few on a regular basis. Considering the bra gets more wear than any other clothing item you own, you’ll want to extend its longevity. Therefore, how you wash a bra is important because a little tender loving can help your bra last for years.

1. Try hand washing your bras

Hand washing bras in cool water with a mild detergent in the sink will produce the best results. (Wash any removable cups separately.)

  • Fill sink with water and soap.
  • Let the garments soak for 5–10 minutes.
  • Squeeze soap through.
  • Then rinse thoroughly in cold water.

If using a washing machine, there are a few measures you can take to keep your bra from taking a beating.

  • Put your bra inside a mesh laundry bag designed for lingerie (the holes are smaller). This will prevent them from tangling with other clothing. Hook the bra closed so the clasps don’t accidentally catch on other items.
  • Use a delicate setting for both wash and spin cycle.
  • As you would with other clothing, always wash with like colors – whites with whites, darks with darks.

2. Keep it light

When washing in the machine, keep the rest of the load light.

  • Heavy clothing like denim or large loads of sheets or towels can damage delicate items.

4. Avoid chlorine bleach

The harsh chemicals in chlorine bleach can damage a bra’s elasticity. If necessary, use an oxygen bleach—it can remove organic stains and is color safe.

  • Tackle tough perspiration stains by lightly scrubbing with mild soap and water first, then let soak for 15-20 minutes before washing.

5. Let your bras air dry

Regardless of how you wash it, skip the dryer—lingerie is too delicate for dryer heat. Instead, lay the bra flat on a towel or hang to dry.

  • When drying flat, lay the bra with the cups facing up.
  • Reshape while drying for best results.

6. Don't wash them every time

How often you wash your bra is a personal preference, but it’s not necessary to wash after each wearing. The hotter—and sweatier—the weather and the more active you are, the more often you should clean them.

  • A good rule of thumb is to wash between every few wears.
  • Dust with a lightly scented powder between wears to refresh.

If you notice runs or pulls in the bra’s fabric, those are signs it may be time to replace it. (Clean, gently worn bras are welcome at most clothing drives.)

  • Keep your bras stored in their own drawer.
  • Don’t fold or twist, but stack them together.

With the proper wash and care, your bra should last a long time.

6 handy hints for washing bras to help them last for years
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