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How to Correctly Wash Your Bra, Because You’re Probably Still Doing It Wrong

A well-fitting bra is basically the precious gem of intimates; it’s hard enough to find that perfect bra but once you do, you’ll want to keep it as pristine and long-lasting as possible. Washing bras can seem pretty tricky when you want to keep its shape, texture and design intact, and there’s also the question about how long you should be wearing it before throwing that thing in the wash. Luckily, we’ve got the full scoop on how to properly wash your bra so that it stays just as fresh as when you bought it home from the store. 

Don’t wash them after every wear. 

Since most of us wear bras every single day (or not––shoutout to our free spirits), we’d assume we have to wash them that often, right? The reality is that bras tend to lose their shape and integrity the more we wash them, so the longer you can go without washing while still being hygienic, the better. Whether you wear the same bra every day or you alternate, a good practice is to let your bra air out before shoving it back in your musty underwear drawer. This will keep them fresh longer! Sports bras are the only exception to this rule––definitely consider washing them after every workout given the excessive sweat and oil buildup that accumulates around your chest.

Not every bra should be cared for the same. 

We’re all tempted to just throw our bras in the laundry and be done with it. However, wires, hooks and straps are all delicate pieces that can get ruined (or ruin other items) in the washer, plus the delicate material of some bras are especially be prone to wearing down in a washing machine. Check the labels on your bra to see if there are specific washing instructions for it. If there aren’t any instructions, consider the type of bra you have and how it will fare in a rough machine. Bras with no wires, padding or extra embellishments hold up fine in the washer, but lace bras or ones with extensive wiring typically need more care. The more decoration, complicated structure and delicate material present makes that bra all the more likely to get ruined in a washer or dryer. 

Carefully prep your bra for the washing machine.

Once you figure out which bras are good to go in the washer, still take some extra care prepping them for laundry day. Make sure the bra hooks are all clasped close to prevent them from snagging onto other items, and keep the bra unfolded and open for the best wash. Mesh or lingerie bags are also great for keeping your bra separate from other clothing items, and they actually let your bra breathe better in the wash. Finally, wash your bra on a gentle setting to minimize wear and tear in the washer.

Or handwash your bra if it’s delicate. 

For the most delicate of the delicates, handwashing is the way to go. If you need to save time, wash your bra with you in the shower. Invest in detergent soap bars, or keep a bottle of detergent with you in the shower, then simply wash your bra while you’re letting your conditioner set. If you’re not into lazy girl hacks, handwash your bra in the sink and let it soak while you do homework. Whatever method you choose, handwashing your bra works just as well as a washing machine for removing oil and sweat buildup. 

Skip the dryer. 

After you’ve washed your bra, make sure to air dry it for the best results! Dryers add extra heat, plus more rumble and tumble which can hurt your bras. Instead, hang up your bra or leave it open, facing up and lying flat––do not keep it folded in any way, or it will end up drying in that folded shape.

The bottom line is that if you have to pay extra attention to the way you care for an article of clothing, it should definitely be your bra. The more careful you are about how you maintain your bra, the longer it will last and the less you need to spend on replacing it. Support your bras the way they always support you, ladies.  

Iesha Ismail studied as a double major in English and Women's Studies at the University of Florida. Iesha is the High School/Her Future editor, a Feature Writer, and Style Blogger for Her Campus National. She was also the senior editor for Her Campus UFL and senior content editor for UF's Sparks Magazine. She is currently working in editorial for a financial research publication firm, and a guest contributor for Muslim Women Professionals. Iesha loves to observe nature and fashion as inspiration for all kinds writing she's into. Fashion, culture, drawing, and animation are just a few of the passions she plays with on the daily. Whether it's writing colorful stories or sketching in her worn out sketchbooks, Iesha always dabbles in anything art.
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