Bra Care Guide

For many of us, our bras are one of the most essential items of clothing we own, so it's important to know how to take care of them properly. Figuring out how to wash bras can be confusing, but if you use this guide you'll be able to keep your bras looking and feeling their best for as long as possible.

How often should you wash your bras?

The first step in caring for your bras is knowing how often you actually need to wash them. How often to wash your bras depends on how many bras you regularly wear and how much you sweat. In general, you should be washing your bras after 3-5 wears, but you'll want to wash them more frequently if they get excessively sweaty or dirty. You should also avoid wearing the same bra two days in a row. Giving your bras a break between wears helps maintain the elastic in the band.

Before Washing

  1. Spot treat any stains by gently dabbing with a mild detergent.
  2. Make sure your bra isn't tangled and fasten any hook and eye closures.

Washing by Hand

If you have the time and want to keep your bras in the best condition possible, you should be washing your bras by hand. Bras are delicate garments, and washing by hand will help prevent any warping of the underwire or excess stretching of the band and straps.

  1. Fill a clean sink or bucket with a gallon of lukewarm water.
  2. Add a tablespoon of mild detergent and swirl to mix.
  3. Submerge your bra and let it soak for 10-15 minutes.
  4. Gently rub the fabric to work in the detergent and 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 the bra flat on a towel and then lay another towel over it. Press down gently to soak up excess water.
  7. Lay your bra flat to dry or hang dry.

Machine Washing

We understand not everyone has the time or ability to always wash their bras by hand. While using a washing machine will always be more damaging than hand washing, there are steps you can take to make machine washing as gentle as possible.

  1. Place your bras in a mesh laundry bag. This will help prevent excess stretching from your bras from getting tangled with the rest of your clothes.
  2. Wash on a cold and delicate cycle. Too much exposure to heat will weaken the elastic leading to a worse-fitting and less supportive bra.
  3. 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.
  4. Gently pat out any excess water with a towel.
  5. 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 a minimum of 45 minutes or longer to dry so make sure you have another reliable bra for the day.  
  6. If you're in a pinch and must put your bra in the dryer, keep it in the laundry bag and use the lowest heat setting for the shortest time possible. You should avoid doing this unless absolutely necessary.

How to store your bras

Never store padded bra cups inverted within each other. Instead, dedicate an entire shallow drawer to your bra collection, closing the clasps and 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 the 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?

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, it's 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 worn. 

Goodbyes can be tough, especially when it is time to let go of that trustee bra that you turn to for all occasions. 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 friend. 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!