Common Bra Washing Mistakes Every Woman Should Know

Bra Washing Mistakes Every Woman Should Know

How do you wash your bras? Do you throw them in the washer or do you wash each one by hand? Do you hang them to dry or do you pop them in the dryer?

You’ve probably heard that proper lingerie care is crucial if you want your bras to last a long time. How you care for your bras (including how you store them!) has a direct impact on the lifespan and fit of your bras. A bra that is properly cared for will likely last you much longer than a bra that is washed and dried without care.

Below are some of the mistakes we all need to avoid.

Cleaning it after every wear

Back away from the detergent. Washing your bra too often can do more harm than good. Over-washing can damage the elasticity, which is essential for providing proper support. Unless you're really sweaty, wait for three or four wears before washing. Every few wears should be sufficient, but it does depend on your activity level.

Misdefining a "wear"

If you're outside on a humid day and end up sweating a lot, you'll want to wash your bra sooner. On the other hand, if you throw a bra on for a couple hours, that might not count as a 'wear.' Since washing gets rid of the oils and germs that accumulate, the more oil you're producing, the more frequently you'll need to launder your bra. So, that lacy bra you break out for dressy occasions can probably live in your drawer for a while, but you'll want to wash your sports bra from spin class after every use.

Worrying about your "rotation"

Good news for those of us who just can't keep track of one more thing: we give you full permission to forget which bra you wore yesterday. You should have several bras to rotate through to avoid stressing elastic over time, but wearing the same bra two days in a row isn't an issue. Taking it off at night should allow plenty of time for it to recover its shape and elasticity. If it can't do that in eight to 12 hours, waiting an extra day won't make a big difference.

Storing without care

Crumples, creases, and haphazard piles can cause the bras to become misshapen. Line them up in a drawer, like they do in the store. If you fold them with one cup inside of the other, you risk messing up the shape and shifting the padding.

Using hot water to wash your bras

Hot water can shrink fabrics like cotton and ruin rayon, silk, and satin. Many fabrics are not designed to be washed in hot water. It’s best to stick with cool water instead. Also, don’t let your bras soak for too long – 10-15 minutes is more than enough time for them to sit in soapy water. And don’t forget to rinse them and pat them dry. Never wring them out. Twisting the fabric could bend the cups and do more harm than good.

Don’t throw your bras in the dryer

The heat from the dryer can do irreversible damage to delicate lingerie. It can warp and wrinkle cups, stretch out elastic bands and straps, and bend and rip hook and eye closures. Instead of throwing your bras in the dryer, we recommend laying them flat or hanging them to dry with the center front of the bra draped over the hanger.

Hanging your bras to dry by their straps

If laying your bras flat to dry isn’t an option, hanging them is the next best thing. Instead of hanging them by their straps, hang them by their center gore instead. The center front of the bra (the small part between the cups that looks like it joins them together) is typically made of a low-stretch or no stretch fabric and is often stabilized, so you don’t have to worry about it stretching out.

Bra straps, on the other hand, may stretch out from the weight of the hanging bra and can only be shortened so much. Once they’re stretched out, your only options are to take the bra to tailor to shorten the straps (or do the alteration yourself) or replace the bra with a new one.

Geoffrey Nevine — IT Services and IT Consulting

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