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how to hand wash bras

Properly laundering your lingerie can extend the condition of your garments. And, when you splurge on lingerie that you love, you want to maximize the return on your investment. But there are several mistakes women make that jeopardize the lingerie’s quality. These mistakes can wear down the lingerie’s fabric and decrease the elasticity – taking time off your lingerie’s lifespan.

Here are seven mistakes you’re making when laundering your lingerie.

1.  Washing lingerie too often.

Washing lingerie too often can quickly shed months or years off the garment’s shelf life. It’s suggested that you should wear a bra between two and four times before washing it. Washing it more frequently than this will result in the bra losing its shape. If a bra loses its elasticity and shape, it’s not doing its job for you.

2.  Not washing lingerie often enough.

You shouldn’t wash your bra too often, but you also need to make sure you wash it enough. Each time you wear a bra, dead skin cells and body oils make their way onto the bra’s fabric. These things can break down the elastic of a bra over time. (This is why it’s important to have more than one go-to bra in your lingerie drawer.) Even if your bra doesn’t appear to be dirty, stick to the two to four wear rule between washings.

3.  Not hooking bras during a wash.

This may be one of the most common lingerie laundering mistakes. Tossing your bra into the washing machine unhooked lets it get tangled with other items. Plus, the clasps could get snagged on other garments, tearing your garments or damaging the clasp itself. To keep your bras and other items safe, always clasp your bra if you must wash it in the washing machine.

4.  Putting your lingerie in the dryer.

The heat from the dryer can wear down your lingerie’s elasticity. From panties to bras, you’ll want to avoid putting any lingerie in the dryer. It’s best to let all your lingerie air dry.

Related Post: Bra Care 101: How To Wash Bras

5.  Not hand-washing your lingerie.

It’s okay to use the washing machine to launder your lingerie when you’re short on time. However, the washing machine can be harsh on your delicate underthings. It’s best to hand-wash your lingerie in the sink. You can ring out excess water by pushing your hand against the garment. Don’t twist your lingerie to remove water before letting pieces air dry.

6.  Not using lingerie bags in the washer.

If you must use the washing machine, place your lingerie in a mesh lingerie bag first. The bag can be tossed into the washer and will protect the lingerie from other items. Allowing other garments to rub against your lingerie can cause pulling and snagging of the fabric. The lingerie bag also decreases the washer’s harshness on your lingerie, which can stretch lingerie.

7.  Washing lingerie with non-delicate items.

Another popular lingerie laundering mistake is washing lingerie with non-delicate items. For example, washing your bras with towels and wash cloths will create more lent on the bra. The lent can be hard to remove. And if it is removed, it can leave pulls in the bra’s fabric.

What do all these lingerie laundering mistakes have in common? Each can result in stretched elastic or damaged fabric – which means the lingerie won’t fit your body like it should. Properly laundering your lingerie isn’t just about keeping lingerie looking like new. Proper care allows lingerie to retain its shape, so it continues to fit your body like the day you bought it.

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


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Lauren Hamilton

Lauren Hamilton is the founder of, a lifestyle and relationship blog offering relationship advice and encouraging women to be the happiest, most confident version of themselves through positivity and self-love. She's also a freelance writer and communications strategist. Follow her on Instagram or Twitter, and check out some of her accomplishments on her portfolio.

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