Ah, bras. They’re either your holy grail or the bane of your existence. They can do magical things for your breasts but being in-between sizes makes bra shopping Satan’s work. And they’re expensive as HECK. After you’ve put down all this time and money, you throw them in the wash and stuff them in your drawers without a second thought. What gives, ladies? Here are six ways you’re abusing your bras and what to do about it:
1. You’re washing it in the machine
The Problem: Washing machines are not gentle. While a tempting and easy way to clean your bra, washing machines can bend the underwire permanently out of shape, damage the padding, and rip the fabric. Even the delicate cycle can have horrifying consequences on your lacy breast holders.
The Solution: Hand-wash your bras with mild soap to prolong their lives. If you must use the washing machine, put your bra in a mesh lingerie bag to give it some buffer between the machine and the fabric.
2. Drying it in the dryer
The Problem: Just like washing machines, dryers will whip your bras into a hot mess and break down the delicate fabric on your little lacy numbers.
The Solution: Hang your bras by the straps over your bathtub or anywhere they can air dry. Even better, place them somewhere flat so they can retain their shape while they dry.
3. You’re not washing it enough
The Problem: We’re definitely on the ‘don’t think about how dirty our bras are until we have to’ train, which means not thinking about all the sweat and grime that would accumulate. Sweat also breaks down the elastic in the bands of your bra so washing them frequently is absolutely a necessity.
The Solution: Wash your bra once a week. That way both you and your bra can feel fresh as a daisy for longer.
4. You’re using the wrong hooks
The Problem: A lot of ladies misunderstand the purpose of the different hooks that reside at the back of your bra and mistakingly hook them onto the tightest hook upon first wear. But what they’re really there for is to give you room to stretch out your bra so you don’t have to throw them away after a month because it becomes too loose.
The Solution: Start with the first hooks you’d cross when latching your bra closed. After a couple months when your bra starts feeling loose, move onto the middle hooks and use those until you need to switch to the last pair of hooks.
5. You shove your bra under your covers instead of storing it
The Problem: Hey, no shame collegiettes. College has us running around like chickens without heads and we don’t always have time to put away our clothes. But bras should be an exception, because accidently rolling over your bra in your sleep can cause unwanted bends and rips.
The Solution: Find a snug little spot in your lingerie drawer for your brassieres and make it a priority to return them to this spot at the end of every day.
6. You’re wearing the same bra every day
The Problem: Wearing the same bra every day puts stress on the straps and band. Do that seven times a week and you’re bound to cut the life of your bra in half.
The Solution: By giving your breast-huggers a break and avoiding wearing the same bra too often, you can make them last a lot longer. This means having more than one bra in your inventory, but if you don’t, that just means it’s time to go shopping!
We know it’s difficult to care about your bra when there are a million assignments and test dates running through your head, but following these steps will totally make your life more enjoyable in the long run. Trust us.