We all have bras for different occasions in our lives - bras for the gym; bras for comfort around the house; bras for feeling glamorous; go-to bras that are simply more comfortable than others and get pulled out of the underwear drawer more regularly. However, one constant for them all is that they need to be washed properly to ensure they stay in perfect condition. So how should you wash your bra?
Our mission is to provide perfectly fitting lingerie, and in order to keep it in excellent condition it's necessary to wash your garments properly so they continue to fit well and feel fabulous, and for longer. Here’s our guide to washing your bra, to help you do just that.
How Often Should You Wash Your Bra?
Contrary to popular belief, and unlike other items of clothing, you don’t actually need to wash your bra after each time you wear it.
Bras can easily be worn 2 or 3 times before they need to be washed. However, we don’t recommend wearing your bra for 3 days in a row and then washing it. Overwearing your bras can also stretch them out, so we recommend rotating through four or five different bras and washing them together after a couple of weeks.
Rotate through the bras - this gives them rest days in between wearing to give the structure a chance to regain its shape. If you have more bras to wear and in rotation, there will be less strain on each of them and you can hold off on washing them for a bit longer.
With that said, of course some people sweat more or have more physical lifestyles, so there is an element of common sense here - if the garment is dirty or is developing an odour, then it’s time for a wash. But our general advice remains that you don't have to wash it after every wear - it’s actually bad for the bra, as we’ll discuss later.
How To Wash Your Bra By Hand
We understand, hand-washing may sound like a lot of work, but trust us - it really doesn’t have to be, and we recommend hand-washing as the best way to preserve your bra’s shape and fit, and as the best way of washing your bra without damaging it. If you’ve followed our advice about how often you should wash your bra, you should be in a position where you’ve had several bras in rotation for a couple of weeks and now it’s time to clean them.
All you need to do is fill your sink with warm water and add some of our Soak wash - its gentle, no-rinse formula is perfect for hand washing everything from your laciest lingerie to your sports bra. It’s eco-friendly, a large bottle will cater for 75 washes, and it’s available in 4 scents.
Once you’ve added Soak to your warm water, dunk your bras in, swish them around (paying attention to the band and armpits), and as the name suggests, leave them to soak for around 15 minutes. There’s no need to rinse - to get rid of any excess water, gently lay your bras against a towel then just hang them up and let them drip dry. It’s as easy as that.
How To Wash Your Bra In The Washing Machine
Ok, you’ve read the section about washing bras by hand and the fact it’s our recommendation as the best approach to preserve the bra’s shape and fit, but you’ve carried on reading because you’re still wondering if, on the odd occasion where you just don’t have time to hand wash, it’s ok to wash your bra in the washing machine.
We’ll reiterate again that we’re big fans of the hand wash method as the best way to wash your bra without damaging it, but it is possible to wash your bras in the washing machine as well. We have some tips on how you can more safely machine-wash your bras.
We recommend checking the individual item first of all: if it’s a very lacy or delicate item, hand washing may be better. This also applies to underwired bras - the wires can easily get bent in a washing machine. T-shirt bras, wireless or sports bras tend to fare better in the washing machine.
Firstly, hook your bras closed so they don’t snag on other items. Put your bras in a mesh lingerie bag to protect them, and make sure to wash on a gentle cool wash. The good news is that our Soak wash is also perfect for machine-washing your bras, so be sure to add some of that to the drum for an eco-friendly, wonderfully scented wash cycle.
While it’s always tempting to speed up the drying process with a tumble dryer, we really recommend not doing this. The heat is not good for your clothes in general, and it’s particularly true for bras - the heat can break down the elastic and even shrink the sizing, reducing their ability to fit and reducing their lifespan. All you need to do is lie the bras on a towel to remove the excess water before hanging up to dry fully.
To summarise, here’s our guide to washing your bra:
- Don’t wash your bras every time you wear them
Establish a rotation of bras and wear a different one each day. After a couple of weeks, wash them all together. If you wash them after each wear, you’re likely to reduce their lifespan.
- Hand wash bras, don’t machine-wash them
Hand washing is better for the bra and will help it last longer and retain its shape. Put warm water in a bowl or the sink; add some gentle detergent, leave the bras to soak and finally hang up to drip dry.
- If you do decide to machine-wash, use a gentle cleaner
Soak wash from Caroline Randell has been developed to keep your bras in good condition and doesn’t require any rinsing once you’ve swished your bras in the warm water solution.
- Use a mesh lingerie bag in the washing machine
This will stop your bras catching on the rest of the wash so will protect your other clothes as well as making sure the hooks or underwire on your bras don’t get bent out of shape.
- Definitely don’t put your bras in the dryer
The extreme heat is not good for your bra; it can break down the materials, ruin the underwire and will reduce the lifespan of the garment. Resist the temptation!
At our luxury boutique and online store, Caroline Randell sells a huge range of high-quality bras - from padded, sports and half-cup, to plunge and push-up, maternity and balcony. Our guide to washing your bras will keep them in perfect condition for longer and ensure that they continue to fit well and feel fabulous. Please do get in touch if you have any questions about your lingerie needs.