How to Wash Bras (By Hand or Machine Wash)

Keep Your Bras in Prime Shape with this Uplifting Guide. 

Bra washing is a delicate matter, but we’re here to (lift and) support you. Finding a bra that fits just right can be a tiring and expensive task. Don’t fall into the booby trap of washing your bras with your regular laundry and potentially ruining them. Bras require special attention if you want them to last. So let’s give those bras, and other delicates, that TLC (Tender Lingerie Care) they deserve.

You don’t need to wash your bra after every wear. If you’ve worn your bra 3-4 times, give it a wash. Sports bras or sweaty day bras may require more frequent washing. 

Check the label on each bra for any special care instructions.

Hand Washing Bras

Hand washing is the preferred way to clean bras. It only takes a few minutes out of your day.

What you’ll need:

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  • 1 tsp Powdered Tide® (USA) (Canada) or a mild detergent for delicates (USA) (Canada)
  • Sink full of lukewarm water 

How to Hand Wash Your Bras:

  1. Submerge your bras in the water with the detergent and gently agitate them by hand.
  2. Soak for 10-15 minutes. 
  3. Rinse the bra thoroughly under cold water and avoid twisting or wringing it out. 
  4. Roll in a towel to squeeze out any excess water. 
  5. Reshape the cups and lay the bra flat to dry. Be sure to let them dry with cups open and not collapsed, particularly if they are molded. 

Machine Washing Bras 

While handwashing is the recommended way to clean bras, washing them in the machine is also just fine if you are busy. The most important thing to remember is to avoid throwing them loosely in a regular laundry cycle with many other items.

What you’ll need:

How to Machine Wash Your Bras:

  1. Fasten the hooks and straps.
  2. Place your bra in a mesh washing bag. 
  3. Set your machine to a delicate setting and wash in cold water.
    Note: For best results wash with a small load of other delicates.
  4. Remove your bra from the machine and mesh bag, reshape it, and lay it flat to air dry.

Warning: Tossing bras loosely in your regular wash can do a lot of damage to them. This can stretch out the material, ruin the elastic, twist the underwire, and affect the cup shaping. 

Air Dry Only

Bras should not be dried in a dryer. Ever. The tumbling motion and heat will wreck a bra much quicker and it will lose its shape and support. It’s best to lay them flat, rather than hang to dry. This prevents any stretching of the straps or material.

Top Drawer Treatment 

Your bras and other intimates are ‘top drawer’ items that deserve delicate treatment to make them last.

  • Store bras laid out open and upright. Stack them together with the cups inside the other or lay them out flat. Avoid folding bras which can affect their shape.
  • Consider drawer organizers (USA) (Canada) or shoe organizers (USA) (Canada) that hang in your closet – they are a great size and are deep enough to stack and lay the bras out in. 
  • If you have a selection of bras, put them on rotation. It’s best not to wear the same one day after day as it will lose its elasticity and support quicker. (But we all have that one favorite bra that gets worn every day, don’t we?)
  • Use your mesh washing bags or a travel case (USA) (Canada) for your intimates to help protect them while you’re traveling. 

For more laundry support, check out the  Stains and Fabric Care and  Laundry Room sections of our blog, or download our Laundry Guide here.

For a list of our favorite products, click here

– Denise @GoCleanCo

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