If you’re like me, you procrastinate laundry like it’s your job (especially if you live in an apartment without an in-unit washer dryer). If doing laundry every week isn’t annoying enough, what about those bras that you spent a ton of money on? Are you just tossing them in with the rest of your laundry? If you are, you’re not only exposing them to possible damage (farewell, investment) but you’re also shortening their life span (meaning, yes, more expenses… y’all know I’m always trying to save you guys some money).
The sad truth is that most women wash their bras this way because 1) it’s easy or 2) they don’t know how to properly wash them. I’ll embarrassingly admit that before I started working in the intimates industry, I was totally guilty of this. But, as I started educating myself on the topic (and started spending more money on quality bras), I quickly learned the right way to wash bras, and visibly saw the change in longevity and quality preservation.
Anyway, I’m done shaming you guys for tossing your bras in the washer/dryer…let’s get to how to wash your bra the RIGHT way!
Here’s what you’ll need:
Mesh Lingerie / Delicates Bag: This is super important to preserve the quality of your bras AND your other clothes in the load. The hooks on your bra can damage your other clothes, and bras can easily get wrapped up and twisted among other clothes, potentially causing damage. I love this delicates bag from Amazon because it’s shaped specifically for large-size padded bras (with 2 separate compartments for each cup), and it’s under $10!
Washing Machine: If hand-washing your bras just isn’t for you (no judgement), you can still use your regular washing machine, just be sure to use a delicates bag (above) and select the “delicates” wash option!
Gentle Laundry Detergent: You could spend money on detergent specifically for lingerie, but in my opinion, it isn’t worth the cost. Drugstore brand detergent is just fine, just make sure it says “gentle,” “mild” or “delicate” somewhere on the bottle.
Sink or Bucket: If you choose to hand wash your bras (this will significantly increase its life span!), all you’ll need is a small bucket for cold water (this one is awesome because its collapsible for storage), but your sink also works just fine.
Drying Rack or Clothing Hangers: Air drying your bras is also super important to avoid damage and increase its lifespan. I like to use a plastic drying rack (this one on Amazon is amazing because you can lay your bras out to dry on the mesh shelf), but hanging your bras on a hanger also works.
How To Hand Wash Bras (The Best Method)
Washing your bras and delicates by hand is the best option because there is less of a chance that your garment will get damaged, meaning the quality will stay better longer. When hand washing your bras, you’ll first want to fill up your wash bucket or sink with cool water and about a tablespoon of gentle/delicate laundry detergent. Next, fully submerge your bra under the water. Let it soak for 10-20 minutes (depending on the thickness of the pads and material). When your bra is done soaking, remove it from the water and slowly and gently squeeze the water out of the material. NEVER wring or pull the garment or apply too much pressure in any direction (this will likely damage your bra). Next, hang to dry on a drying rack or clothing hanger (TBH, your door knob also works…small apartment problems), and you’re done!
How to Wash Bras in the Washing Machine
If hand-washing your bras simply seems like too much, machine washing your bras is fine as long as you are doing it correctly! First, you’ll want to put your bra into a delicate laundry bag. If you’re using a simple bag, be sure to secure the hooks on your bra beforehand (most laundry bags are mesh, and the hooks can get caught and pull on the bag). If you are using a double-compartment lingerie bag like this one, no need to secure the hooks! If you are washing your bra with other clothes, keep the load as small as possible, and use the DELICATE setting on your washer! If your machine doesn’t have a “gentle” or “delicate” cycle option, just use cold water. Once the cycle is done, hang or lay out your bra to dry just like I described above.
Whatever you do, don’t dry your bras in the dryer! This is going to damage your bras and also change the fit and shape of your bra. If your bra doesn’t fit like it did when it was brand new, then what’s the point?
I may be biased (in a huge way), but bras are delicate works of art (and feats of engineering, honestly) and should be treated that way! If you are full busted like me, you know that the right bra can be totally life changing. If you’re spending any amount of money on your bras, you’ll want to follow these washing guidelines every time to significantly increase your bra’s lifespan!
Other Lingerie Posts:
Bra Fit 101: 6 Signs Your Bra Doesn’t Fit Your Body Correctly
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