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how to wash bras

When it comes to washing your lingerie, some no-nos are no-brainers. For instance, you may know that it’s not a good idea to toss your bras in the dryer, as the intense heat from the machine can wreak havoc on your delicates. You may also know that it’s a bad idea to wring out your bras or to wash them with super hot water.

There are some gray areas, however. While it’s best to hand wash your lingerie, there are times when you may wish to machine wash them. In those cases, is it OK to wash your bras with other garments? Or should they be washed separately? In this guide, we’ll cover everything you need to know to answer this common lingerie laundering question.

Do I have to wash my bras separately?

One of the worst things you can do is toss your lingerie in a machine with heavy articles of clothing or bedding, such as towels, blankets, and jeans. This is because heavy garments like this could do some damage to your delicates while being agitated in the machine. Buttons and zippers on denim can snag lace, and hefty articles can cause some wear and tear on a bra’s lightweight fabric.

That said, you can wash your bras with other pieces, but you should stick to light garments like blouses and tanks. No matter what you’re washing your bras with, you should consider placing them in a mesh lingerie bag to protect them from damage in the machine. When straps get tangled around larger items, they’re more likely to stretch out, so putting them in a mesh bag can help you to avoid this. Even if you’re washing your lingerie by itself this is a good idea! That extra layer between your lingerie and the washing machine parts can do wonders for preventing them from getting tangled.

You might even invest in a mini washing machine specifically for your delicates to keep them separate. These lightweight machines are the perfect size to wash all your lingerie pieces. Plus, they’re so small that they can fit on a counter or shelf without taking up too much space.

Related: Bra Care 101: How To Wash Bras

How else can I preserve bras’ longevity in the machine?

Before you place your bras in a lingerie bag, make sure all hook-and-eye closures are fastened — this prevents them from snagging any fabric.

Also, you should always wash your bras on the delicates cycle — other cycles’ wash and spin cycles tend to be too fast, so they’re more likely to break down the fibers in your bras over time and shorten their lifespan as a result. A delicates cycle means less agitation and thus, less abrasion.

Ideally, you’ll want to invest in a specialty lingerie detergent to keep your bras in tip-top shape. Always opt for a machine cycle that has cool or cold water. And once your bras are clean, lay them flat to dry or hang them by their center gore (so as not to stretch out the straps).


Next time you’re machine washing your bras, remember: it’s OK to wash them with other delicate, lightweight garments, but they should never be placed in the same load as your heavier items. Using a mesh lingerie bag will help to further protect them in the machine. After all, you invested in high-quality lingerie because you know it will last — and properly washing it is key to ensuring the longevity of all your favorite pieces!

Related: How To Wash, Dry, and Store Lingerie

We Highly Recommend

Whether you’re shopping for new everyday bras or lingerie for a special occasion, it’s always a good idea to seek out a second opinion. We know how hard it is to find bras that fit well and feel good, especially when you’re doing it on your own. If you’ve ever felt unsure about your bra size or you just don’t know where to go to find good bras, it’s time to let a bra fitter help.

Many specialty lingerie boutiques offer bra fittings. Their expert bra fitters will take the pain and frustration out of bra shopping and do all the work for you. Even better, their product knowledge can save you time and money. Plus, they know where all of the best bras are hiding.

If you’ve struggled with finding bras in the right size, it’s time to make a change. Visit our specialty store locator to find a store near you and schedule an appointment.

Happy bra shopping!

Featured image lingerie:
Parfait Matilda Contour Plunge Bra P5311 in Bisque | Parfait Charlotte Bikini 6905 in Bronze
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Published by

Rebecca Strong

Rebecca is a Boston-based freelance writer who focuses on style, fitness, food, and travel. She has contributed to such publications as HuffPost, Elite Daily and U.S. News & World Report. When she's not writing, she can be found at home or in the studio working on the songs for her upcoming album. Her favorite bra is a black demi-cup style with all-over-lace — timeless and feminine.

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