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how often should you wash your bra

You probably know by now that taking proper care of your bras is essential to ensure their longevity, which, in turn, means you get far more wear out of them. So you make sure to rotate them throughout the week, store them carefully and of course, lay them flat to dry instead of tossing them into a dryer. But what about when it comes to cleaning them? What should you use to wash your bras?

If this question has ever crossed your mind, follow these recommendations to washing your beloved bras without putting them at risk for damage and find out how often you should wash your bras.

Laundry detergent dos and don’ts

Soap is obviously key for getting sweat, dead skin cells and dirt out of your bras. But you shouldn’t use the same kind you use to wash things like jeans, towels, and bedding — it’s sure to be far too harsh for the delicate fabrics of your underthings.

A special lingerie wash that’s formulated for these fabrics, such as lace, satin, and silk, is a wise investment because it’ll help you to avoid issues like tears, deformation of the underwire and padding, and color fading. Both Nordstrom and The Laundress make an ultra-gentle lingerie wash that will effectively clean your bras while preserving their fabrics and forms. In a pinch, you could also try whipping up a DIY wash with a cup of hot water and a dash of baby shampoo.

Luckily, you need very little of this detergent to wash your delicates, so it should last you a long time — in fact, you can be as sparing as one tablespoon per load need a capful per wash. Besides, using too much could result in a soapy residue after rinsing.

Other tried-and-true tips

It goes without saying that hand washing is the safest method for your bras. If you absolutely must use a machine, definitely set it to a delicate cycle and place your undergarments in a special lingerie bag so that they don’t get tangled. However, when it comes to molded bras and underwire bras, we always advise hand washing no matter what in order to preserve their shape.

Regardless of whether you hand wash or not, always opt for cool or cold water. Exposure to hot water can lead the elastic in your bras to break down over time, meaning they won’t fit nearly as well.

Dealing with some extra pesky stains from sweat or deodorant? Before you soak the bras with detergent, spot treat those stains by mixing several tablespoons of baking soda with water and massaging the paste into the fabric, then rinsing it out.

How often should you wash your bra?

You should wash your bras every 3-4 wears and your sports bras every 1-2 wears. Unless you’re wearing the same bra everyday (which we don’t recommend for these reasons), you’re most likely rotating a few bras throughout the week and changing into sports bras when you workout, so it doesn’t need to be washed as often as sports bras.

A little extra consideration and care goes a long way when washing your bras. Be sure to hand wash whenever you can, use a specially formulated detergent, and stick to cool water for rinsing, and you’ll be able to clean your unmentionables without causing any damage in the process.

How do you wash your bras?


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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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