How Often Do You Need to Wash Your Bras?

We have all peered into our dresser, wondering if we can get away with wearing our last clean T-shirt bra just one more day. I did some research and found the final word on all your burning bra-related laundry questions.

YOU SHOULD NOT WASH A BRA AFTER EACH WEAR.  Back away from the detergent, clean freaks. Washing your bra too often can do more harm than good. Over-washing can damage the elasticity, which is essential for providing the proper support.

UNLESS YOU ARE REALLY SWEATY, WASH EVERY THREE OR FOUR DAYS. Every few wears should be sufficient, but it does depend on your activity level.  For instance, if you are outside on a humid day and end up sweating a lot, you will want to wash your bra sooner. On the other hand, if you throw a bra on for a couple hours, that might not count as a ‘wear’. Washing gets rid of the oils and germs that accumulate, so the more oil you are producing, the more frequently you will need to launder your bra. So, that lacy bra you break out for dressy occasions? It can probably live in your drawer for awhile. But your sports bra after spin class? Wash it after every use.

DO NOT WORRY TOO MUCH ABOUT YOUR “ROTATION”.  Good news for those of us who just cannot keep track of one more thing…I give you full permission to forget which bra you wore yesterday. You should have several bras to rotate through to avoid stressing elastic over time, but wearing the same bra two days in a row is not an issue. Taking it off at night should allow plenty of time for it to recover its shape and elasticity. If it cannot do that in eight to twelve hours, waiting an extra day will not make a big difference.

ALWAYS READ THE CARE LABEL.  In general, bras like a gentler bath to keep them in good shape, but check the labels for the best instructions.  If you decide to wash a bra in the machine instead of the sink, select the most delicate cycle your washer offers.  And I would recommend a special mesh bra bag. They cushion the bra and keep it from twisting and tangling.

AVOID THE DRYER.  I suggest laying bras flat to dry. The heat and agitation of a dryer can damage the bra’s elasticity and shape, and hanging it can cause stretching. Before you lay your bra out, make sure the cups are not misshapen or folded, and use a towel to blot up excess water (do not wring or twist the bra).

DO NOT CANCEL YOUR GOOD INTENTIONS WITH BAD STORAGE.  Line them up in a drawer, like they would do in the store. Crumples, creases, and haphazard piles can cause the bras to become misshapen.

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