Most women are faced with the dilemma of whether to wash expensive undergarments in the washing machine. The laces, the underwires, the padded and all the other lovely varieties, gets one to think if a quick spin in the washing machine is well worth it. Why the thought? Because bras like we all know are delicate, high-maintenance pieces of work and they need requisite care.
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. If hand washing isn’t your cup of tea, it is fine to machine wash your bras, as long as you select the right settings on your washing machine.
Slow down the spin
If you decide to machine wash, then it is very important to wash bras and other lingerie on the gentle cycle in cool water: never use hot water. Just keep in mind that the gentler cycle, the better with little to no spin. For extra protection, ensure that the hooks are clasped in the back to avoid snagging.
Put your bras in a bag
One of the problems with machine washing bras is that the straps and hooks can easily become tangled or snagged on other garments during the wash and spin cycles. Putting bras into zip-up mesh bags will protect the straps from winding around larger items and becoming stretched out. They will also help to keep hooks from snagging materials like fine cottons. Just be sure not to overstuff the bags, which will prevent the bras from getting fully clean. If you have ever purchased a bra bag and used it, you will probably know that they are not very durable. The seams come off easily, the cloth begins to show signs of piling and most often the zipper falls off. When you wash with a bra bag, what you do is put the bras together in the bag, seal it and place them in the washing machine to wash them. Bra bags avoid all the tangling up and automatic removal of underwires. Your washing machine will also have less problems if underwires can’t escape into the drum. You can make your own bra bag using an old pillow cover available at home. Look out for DIY videos.
Avoid Using Bleach
Using harsh ingredients will harm a bra’s elasticity and fabric, so it is best to avoid using bleach. If bleach is used the end result is that the bra won’t last as long as it could. This is important to note for both hand washing and machine washing. If you do hand wash and use a commercial detergent, be sure to look at the components, as some do contain bleach.
Ditch the Dryer
Even if your bras are protected inside a lingerie bag, the heat will break down any elastics and can cause dimpling in your padding. We suggest that you shape and lay your bras flat or hang them (not by the Straps, but either over a shower rod or clipped upside down from the Band) to dry.
Proper care of bras and lingerie will ensure the garments will hold their shape and the fibers will not break down over time. In addition to these tips on how to wash your bra, it’s a good idea to set aside a drawer or portion of a drawer just for your bras. Stack them together to help maintain their shape. If you toss a bra into an already cluttered drawer, you run the risk of deteriorating the bra’s shape more quickly, and clasps and clips may snag on other articles of clothing. Should you see that your bra is beginning to pucker, pleat, or pill, it is time to go bra shopping. Wearing bras with any of these issues may irritate the breasts over time.