How to Hand Wash a Bra

Jul 12 2022 0 Comments

Nothing is like that amazing first feeling of wearing a new, squeaky-clean bra! Let us help you restore your bra to it's former glory by teaching you all of our tips and tricks for washing bras.

Looking for more information? Check out our cumulative Lingerie Care Guide for information about washing, storing, and much much more on the topic of lingerie care!

Should I Machine Or Hand Wash My Bras?

Although machine washing can seem like a much easier and quicker alternative, you will be much happier in the long run by hand washing your bras!

Machine washing is very hard on the underwiring and elastic in the bra. It often leads to underwire poking out, premature bra ageing, and cup sagging.

Machine washing can come in handy for quick pinches but should be considered a last resort.

Bra in machine wash sleeve

How to Hand Wash Bras

1. Dab any stains with a mild (preferably alcohol free) detergent and gently rub. Some detergents we recommend are Dreft, Forever New, Le Blanc Silk & Lingerie Wash, or Eucalan.

2. Fill your sink with cold to lukewarm water. Avoid using hot water as it can accelerate bra loosening and break down elastics.

3. Add a small amount of delicate detergent to the sik. You only need a little bit, any more than just enough to work up a lather will leave a residue.

4. Soak your lingerie in the sink for 10-15 minutes. Then in a new tub of water, gently rub the fabric to remove dirt. Pay extra special attention to the band and armpits where the most dirt accumulates.

5. Rinse in cool water until the water runs clear. Do not wring out the water, as it will stretch the fabric of the bra.

6. Lay garment flat on a towel and then lay another towel over. Press down gently to soak up excess water.

7. Always hang dry your bra (see why below!)

How to Machine Wash Bras

1. Hook all the back of your bras together to avoid tangling or snagging.

2. Put similar colored items into a lingerie bag. A lingerie bag works best to separate bras from other clothing items and reduce potential damage.

3. Wash on a delicate cycle in cool water using a delicate detergent. Check out our favorite detergent recommendations above.

4. After the wash, take any molded cup bras and reshape the cups gently. Try not to wring out or stretch the bra as best as possible.

5. NEVER put your bra into the dryer! You should always allow bras to draw flat on a towel to dry out (check often to make sure the towel isn't over-saturated) or hang to dry by parts other than the straps. Most bras can take at minimum 45 minutes or longer to dry so make sure you have another reliable bra for the day.  

various bras hanging on string

How to Dry Bras

You should always avoid the dryer with your delicates. Machine dryers will damage the shape and elasticity of your bra, permanently affecting the fit.

After washing, your bra should always air dry. This can be done by hanging the bra on a hanger or over a rack, preferably somewhere with good airflow.

They will likely need a day or two to dry completely, so always keep a few spares handy to wear while the clean ones dry!

How to Storage Bras

Bras in container storage

Never store padded bra cups inverted within each other. Instead, dedicate an entire shallow drawer to your bra collection, stacking each one into another. It not only protects the integrity of your bra, but it also creates great organization!

You can also make your life even easier by color coordinating your organization of bras. This means stacking your lingerie from lightest to darkest colored items.

For storage tips post-dry, check out our entire guide on How to Store Bras!

How Often Should You Get a New Bra?

bras hanging, woman putting bra on

A new bra should fit you perfectly on the loosest clasp. As you wear in your bra, you can move to the middle and highest clasps. Once your bra no longer fits snugly on the tightest clasp, its time for a new bra! 

You should replace your well-fitted bra every 6-12 months. This timeframe is also dependent upon how often your entire wardrobe collection of bras is wore. 

Goodbyes can be tough, especially when it is time to let go of that trustee bra that you turn to for all occassions. However, when one door closes, another one opens! There are lots of great bras to choose from that can offer the same, if not better, support and comfort than your old freind. Just give our Size Guide a try to find your new fitted bra. Or, if you would rather have the perfect fit without the hassle of research, call and schedule your free, personalized fitting with an Hourglass Lingerie fit specialist. We would love to help you feel confident and comfortable!


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