Washing your bra can be a massive pain. There are no two ways about it. They’re called “delicates” for a reason. If you’ve ever been in a rush and thrown your bra in the regular cycle, you know the disappointment of taking your stretched out bra out of the washing machine or dryer. Wash machines are exceedingly tough on your delicates, so the best way to get a clean undergarment is by washing them by hand.
According to InStyle, the heat from a dryer breaks down the elastic and stretches it out, making your once-perfect-fitting undergarment anything but. Plus, that means you’ll have to replace it rather frequently. When you hand wash and air dry, you avoid these pitfalls and keep your favorite bras intact.
Check the label first to make sure that your bra doesn’t require any specific washing instructions — otherwise, into the sink it goes. Fill it with cold water and gentle detergent, then spin it around slowly, as explained by Insider. You can use a basin, bucket, or tub of some sort if you would prefer to avoid the sink.
Hand-washing your bra may be easier than you think
In the time it takes to get your laundry sorted and placed in the machine, you can have a filled sink and a bra getting cleaned with ease. Once you’ve placed your bra in the water, make sure that it’s completely wet, then use your hands to work the detergent into the fabric — gently, of course!
You can either leave your bra to soak in the water or rinse right away. Just drain the tub or sink and rinse with cool water to remove any excess soap or detergent, as explained by InStyle. Just ensure that your garment is fully rinsed by the time you’re ready to let it dry. Simply hang it up in the middle of the bra with a cup on each side of the rack to make sure that the strap fabric doesn’t stretch (via InStyle).
When it comes to how often you should be washing your bra, it’s likely more frequently than you think. Mary Marlowe Leverette, laundry expert, told PureWow that, “A bra should be washed after every wear, since it’s directly in contact with the body. Body oils, perspiration, and bacteria are transferred to the fabric and if left in the fibers will begin to break down the fabric — especially elastic fibers.”
If that seems like a lot, you can have a few garments on hand and rotate them to avoid stretching them out. Just remember to be as gentle as possible!
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