How Often You Should Wash Your Bra

by Debbie Niidor on April 19, 2019

Bras are one of those items that women easily forget on the laundry day as it lies mostly next or under the pillowcases. The simple thought is ‘what’s the harm’; no one will come to know. However, remember that it is not just right to wear dirty bras. There is a need to pay attention to your bras, and it should be treated with care and gently if you have spent on buying quality bras.

Washing jeans can be delayed, and it is applicable, but the same does not go right with bras to wear without washing. There is a need to clean or wash your bra regularly. In winter it is acceptable if you wash your bra after 2-3 wears; in summer, it is recommended to wash your bra after each wear. The washing of your bra frequency depends on season and how regularly you wear bras.

bra in washing machine

Why wash bras?

Your bra is a garment worn touching your body directly and so keeping it healthy matters. It is relating to balancing the care for the bra fabric in association with the skin debris, sweat, and oil removal.

The oils, dead skin cells, and sweat trapped under your bra invite bacteria and yeast. If you refrain from washing your bra frequently, it may lead to persistent odours and stains on the bra. In addition to this, the wearer may experience local skin infections, rashes, or skin irritation and this is due to the bacteria or yeast.

A plain and simple fact is that the more frequently you wash your bra, the more is the stress you add to the bra fabric. The cups lose their shape, and you may notice the straps losing elasticity.

There is a need for gentle care so that quality bras last for years. Frequent washing or not enough frequent washing of your bra can mar your skin and destroy your bra.

Best way to clean your bras

The ideal way of cleaning your bra is by hands. There is no doubt that bras are delicate pieces of garment and it has more than 30 technical components. In case you lack time to wash your bras clean with hands, you may consider machine-wash but placing them inside a garment mesh bag, hook the clasps, use gentle mode and cold water, no dryer and lay out to dry.

Washing your bra once a week is not a bad idea if you have several bras to fulfil your requirement for the entire week. It means you must have not less than three to five bras so that the versatility of the wardrobe is safe and it is also favorable for the wash load.

bra in washing water

Washing bras by hands

Step 1: Soak bras for 10 minutes.

  • If you use soap, put soap on palm and gently stroke the bra.
  • If you use detergent (better to be neutral or special bra detergent), pour detergent into clean water first. Then you may put bras in it after detergent totally dissolves. Remember to soak for 10 minutes.

Note: Cool water or warm water less than 104℉ is recommeneded.

Step 2: Clean cup surface

  • Rub 2 bra cups together or use fingers to rub the bra cups to clean surface.
  • If the bra cup is made of lace, then you just need to press.
  • For the underwire part, also use your hands to stroke gently.

 

Step 3: Clean inside cup

  • Use 2 bra cups to rub together. Do not use regular brush to rub, instead, you can use the back side of the hook area as a cleaning brush to wash.
  • For the underwire part, also use your hands to stroke gently.

 

bras hook and eye

Step 4: Clean bra straps

  • Use hands to gently stroke.

 

Step 5: Squeeze water out of the bra

① Left hand in a wrist
② Put the “wrist” under bra cup
③ Use right hand to press water out

Note: Do not twist bra randomly, which may deform the wire and damage the bra.

how to dry bras

 

Step 6: Hang bra in dry, ventilated place

There are two correct hanging postures for hanging bras, like what it shows in the photo below.

Do not expose bras under hot sun, or they would turn yellow and fade. Instead, hang bras in dry, ventilated place, then put them under sun to kill any bacteria. (Too much exposure under sun is not recommeneded.)

how to hang a bra

Note:

An essential part of washing your bra is in drying the bra. It should be left on a towel flat to dry and say No to the dryer. The agitation and heat of the dryer are sure to damage your bra’s shape and elasticity. 

Please do not use straps to hang since water may drag straps to become long. Gradually straps would lose their elasticity.

Say no to the dryer. The vibration and heat ruin the fit of your bra and the stretch properties in your bra get reduced.

While drying, lay on a towel your bra such that it lies flat and ensure the cups are in the natural shape.

Step 7: Store bras in an organized way

Store them flat after drying, as well. Twisting or rolling may change your bra shape permanently.

Make sure the bra cup does not lose shape, and you can ascertain the cups are intact only if you do not fold them. Do not twist or wring your bra. Stack in your drawer your bra after drying so that the shape is retained.

store bras in an organized way

Washing bras by machine

In case you lack time to wash your bras clean with hands, you may consider machine-wash but placing them inside a garment mesh bag, hook the clasps, use gentle mode and cold water, no dryer and lay out to dry.


Using a mesh garment bag before putting to wash is to cushion your bra and to avoid it from tangling or twisting in your washing machine. There is a need to hook the bra before putting into the bag to avert your bra from snagging other garments. Also, note that it is a must to select the delicate cycle in your washer and to use a mild detergent. Generally, bras require a gentler treatment, yet it is best to check for the instructions mentioned in the care label.


Most importantly, know the common washing mistakes that sabotage your hard work and avoid these misshape.

Common mistakes while washing your bra

  • Cleaning after every wear: Washing your bra after every wear may also harm as this may result in over-washing and it damages the elasticity in the bra. Losing elasticity implies proper support is not provided.  There is acceptability of washing the bras if you are sweaty and even then you may wear it three to four times prior to washing. It is sufficient to wash your bra with few wears, though it depends on the level of your activity.
  • A new angle to wear: You may be on a humid day outside and eventually end up sweating that you may consider washing your bra immediately. All you have to do is keep the bra on for a few hours outside on your bed or some table. Washing gets out the germs and oils accumulating. It means the more oil you produce; you have to wash your bra frequently. However, remember to keep the lacy bra in your drawer for dressy occasions, and you can consider a new angle by washing the everyday use sports bra.
  • Worried about rotation: Are you one of them who cannot track of when you washed your bra? Do not worry; you are not alone. You can forget the bra you wore the day before. But, remember to have several bras to that you get to rotate it and you can also avoid the stressing caused over the elastic over time. There is no issue in wearing continuously for two days the same bra. At night, taking it off gives enough time for your bra to recover its elasticity and shape. In case you bra is unable to recover in 8 to 12 hours; you can keep it for another extra day, by wearing another in rotation.
  • Storing carelessly:  Creases, crumples, and haphazard piles cause bras to lose its shape. You may line them and place it as they keep it in the stores. Folding your bras with one cup over the other causes the shape to change and the padding also shifts.

bra hanging

Important facts about washing your bra

Speaking about washing your bra it means your concern is to maintain the integrity of your bra to the best possible time. However, the fact stays that wearing it for the entire day that is almost every day for 10 to 12 hours means the garment collects oils and deodorant from your skin and this makes the elastic to stretch resulting in losing the form. As you invest in buying a bra of top quality in the ranges $50 to $100, there is a need for you to give consistent care as an integral part to maximize your investment.

Washing your bra as your routine cleaning over time becomes second nature. The safest method is to consider hand washing. Unlike other clothing washing, bras seem a small garment piece. However, bras have 35 to 40 pieces, metal, that weathers quickly in the washing machine. There is also a need for people considering machine-wash to use low-suds detergent. You can just soak it and wash for 4 to 5 minutes in the bathroom sink, and it can be hung on a towel rack or shower rod to dry overnight.

Rotation is the only word with bras. There is a need to have a few extra bras so that you can rotate it conveniently and avoid washing each bra after wear. Frequent washing is not required, and rotating bras allows the bra to stay in shape, and the elastic also gets to breathe between wearing.

Finally, store your bra cushioned and protected. Just fold the cups and place it in your storage drawer. Ensure there is proper cushioning such as a layer of soft clothes placed.

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