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What You Need to Know About How to Wash & Care for your Bras}

What You Need to Know About How to Wash & Care for your Bras

Posted on September 10, 2019
How to do, Product and Care

Bras are a wardrobe investment, and they can be expensive to replace. It makes sense that you should know how to wash your bras and take care of them to help them last. Why is taking care of your bras so important? Washing bras incorrectly can damage and significantly reduce their lifespan.

By choosing to wash your bras gently and regularly, you’ll be able to enjoy your favourite bras for longer. So, where do we get it wrong? We asked Triumph’s lingerie expert, Kate Minin to share her wealth of knowledge, to help you properly wash and care for your bras.

How to wash and care for your bras

Follow these expert tips from Kate, to prolong the life of your bras.

How often should you wash your bra?

Unless you’ve been sweating at the gym or wearing super-strong scents, there’s no need to wash your bra after every wear. It is generally recommended to wash your bras after every 3-4 wears. This allows you to maintain the elasticity and shape of the bra while keeping it relatively clean. If you’re very active or you sweat a lot, you will need to wash it after every wear.

What is the best way to wash bras?

Expert tip from Kate: Hand wash whenever possible

Bras are a delicate clothing item and need your attentive, loving care. When possible, hand washing is the best way to preserve your bras.

To further protect your bras, use gentle detergents like soap flakes or liquid detergents. Avoid products with optical brighteners, as these can break down the elastane in your bra. If you use a granular detergent, fully dissolve it prior to using.

(Always double check the laundry care label in your bra before washing).

How to hand wash bras?

Follow these steps from Kate to hand wash your bras:

1. Separate Colours - avoid washing bright or dark coloured bras with white or skin tone bras

2. Hook the Clasps - before washing, hook the clasps of your bras to prevent them snagging on other garments, as this can lead to frayed or torn fabric

3. Soak and gently agitate - using your hands to create gentle agitation of the water on the fabric helps to lift and remove sweat and dirt

4. Spot clean if necessary - if your bra has a small stain but is not yet ready to be washed, you can spot clean it using a clean washcloth and soapy water (with a mild detergent).

5. Rinse thoroughly

6. Press, don’t wring when drying - never wring out your bras as twisting or squeezing can damage the fibres and elastic. Instead, press gently into the cups and strings between two clean towels to remove excess moisture

7. Hang your bra from the centre front to avoid any stretching to the band or straps

BONUS TIP: You can also wash your bras in the shower if you choose to – just use a gentle soap, wash gently by hand, ensure to rinse well, and hang your bra over the shower head to dry.

Can I machine wash bras? (If I don’t have time to hand wash?)

Kate emphasises that hand washing a bra is the ideal way to clean these delicate garments. While you can machine wash if you choose, it’s not the ideal method. The agitation process of any washing machine (even on the gentlest of cycles) can damage your bra. It can cause wires to distort or even poke out of their casing, which can lead to an expensive callout to your washing machine repair company.

Washing Machine

If you choose to machine wash, follow these steps:

1. Separate Colours

2. Hook the Clasps (before washing, hook the clasps of your bras to prevent snagging on other garments which could lead to frayed or torn fabric)

3. Place Bras into a wash bag

4. the delicate cycle to wash. Be mindful not to add any clothing to the cycle as this can also distort wires

5. Hang your bra from the centre front to avoid any stretching to the band or straps.

Should I use a lingerie bag when machine washing bras?

Expert insight from Kate: Yes, you should definitely use a wash bag if you choose to machine wash. Mesh lingerie washbags help prevent bras from getting tangled, and reduce the risk of distortion and broken underwire. Make sure you always close the hooks first, whether there are other items in the washbag or not, to prevent the straps from getting tangled. And never overfill your bra washbags, as this stops bras from getting properly cleaned.

Is it ok to use bleach on white bras?

Unfortunately, bleach is your bra's enemy. Bleach causes the elastane components of your bra to break down,. and can also erode the metal components of your bra, including the hook and eye. It’s best to avoid bleach all-together.

Can I use fabric softener when washing?

It is best to avoid fabric softeners, as they add a waxy coating to your bra, which can damage your bra and may be uncomfortable for sensitive skin.

Do I need to take out bra pads when washing?

If your bra has removable padding, it is recommended to remove them prior to washing. The foam in the padding is very delicate and can distort when left in the cup - especially if you machine wash.

How to dry bras

What is the best way to dry bras?

Kate’s recommendation: Air drying is the best way to dry your bras, as this method maintains the structure and integrity of the material and shape.

Can you put bras in the tumble dryer?

Never use a tumble dryer, as excessive heat can damage the elastic and fibres of your bra. Additionally, the agitation can also cause wired bras to break.

What about a hair dryer? It is not recommended to use a hair dryer or heater to try to speed up the drying process. Similarly to a tumble dryer, the excessive heat from a hair dryer can damage the elastic and fibres of your bra.

Should you reshape bra cups?

While your bras are damp, you can gently reshape the cups with your hands to maintain their original shape and form.

How to care for bras

What is the best way to store bras?

To store your bras, Kate recommends:
- Using a dedicated lingerie drawer or organiser
- Hooking the clasps together to prevent the hooks catching other fabrics
- Stacking your bras vertically with one cup inside the other.
Following these storage tips will avoid damage to your bras when you’re not wearing them, helping them to last as long as possible.

How can I prevent underwire from sticking out through the fabric?

The number one tip here is to ensure your bra is correctly fitted. If a bra is too tight, it will cause strain on the band and underwires – they can snap and poke out of their casing.

And, of course, hand washing will also prevent any issues with wires poking out of their casing.

How long can I wear one bra for?

Kate’s advice: Avoid wearing the same bra two days in a row. Giving your bras a day to rest allows the elastic to recover its shape.

Are your bras showing signs of wear, like saggy straps and out-of-shape cups? Get professionally fitted by the experts and find some new favourites for your lingerie drawer.