It's Official: This Is How to Wash a Bra—Without Damaging It
Michelle Ferrara/Trunk Archive
From everyday basics to your latest La Perla splurge, knowing how to wash bras is a piece of practical wisdom no woman should be without. Of course, navigating your lingerie drawer can feel like a bit of a minefield, especially when you’re faced with the wildly different tasks of keeping your laciest underthings intact and your hardest working sports bra at its cleanest. To help you get started, we’ve put together a few of the most essential tips for how to wash bras, including the basics on machine washing delicates and the best types of detergent to use.
Read on for a few simple tips on how to wash your bras easily and without causing them any damage in the process.
1. If You Can, Hand Wash
There’s a good reason many experts (and care instruction labels) recommend hand washing for bras. When it comes to your most delicate items, the more gentle the laundering technique, the better.
For this method, add a small amount of delicate detergent or alcohol-free hand soap to a tub of warm water. Submerge and massage your bras clean, then rinse in cold water and lie flat on a towel to dry. Of course, if you don’t have the time or patience for this method, with a few simple precautions, machine washing can also be used to get your bras clean.
2. Opt for Gentle Everything
In addition to the gentlest detergent, it’s also important to use the gentlest cycle when machine washing delicates. Only use cold water since hot water can cause colors to bleed and can affect the shape of your bras.
3. Use a Lingerie Bag
Make sure the hooks are fastened on each of your bras to avoid snagging or tearing, then place each bra inside a mesh delicates bag. It’s perfectly acceptable to place more than one bra inside the same bag, but be sure to stick to similar fabrics and like colors.
4. Separate Your Delicates
Even with the protection of a lingerie bag, separating your delicates is essential. Rougher materials such as denim and even heavier-grade cottons can be abrasive and may shorten the lifespan and quality of your bras over time.
5. Only Air Dry
While it may be tempting to toss your bras in the dryer after laundering, it’s important to always allow your bras to air dry, even if they’re wire-free. The best way to do this is to gently remold the cups by hand immediately after washing, then lay the bras flat on a clean towel. If you choose to line dry, hang the bras from the center between the cups in order to avoid stretching the straps.
Now that you know how to wash bras, it’s time to find the perfect one. Up next, keep reading to learn the trick for finding the perfect bra every time.