How to Properly Care for Your Bras

A woman’s bra is one piece of clothing that needs to be comfortable and correctly fitted. An incorrectly fitted or overworn bra is very uncomfortable, will not offer enough support, and can cause back neck, and shoulder discomfort. Good quality bras can be quite expensive to buy. Considering that many bra manufacturers recommend bras should be replaced every two years, it is a good idea to understand how to properly care for them to keep them in great condition for as long as possible. Properly caring for bras includes washing, drying, and storing them correctly.

To ensure a bra lasts longer than two years, bras should be rotated regularly. Many clothing stores, department stores, and even supermarkets sell bras. For top quality bras, buyers can choose to purchase their new bra at a specialty lingerie store. Here, shop assistants will usually offer a professional bra fitting service, to ensure buyers spend their money buying the most appropriate, properly fitted bra that offers the greatest amount of support and comfort. eBay also offers buyers a useful place to search for their desired bra.

Wash Bras Properly

Many women do not understand the importance of washing their bras properly. Bras are made from the delicate material. They feature a specific amount of elasticity in their materials, especially within the straps, to ensure maximum comfort and support. Throwing bras into the washing machine without taking proper care can end up leaving bras stretched, out of shape, and prematurely worn out.

Hand Wash

Bras are extremely delicate pieces of clothing. Ideally, they should be washed by hand, in cold water, with a small amount of laundry liquid added. Bras are allowed to soak for several minutes and are then gently washed by hand, removing any perspiration marks or other stains by rubbing the material with soapy fingers. Don’t forget to wash the straps and the material around the clasp. Once washed, the bra is then rinsed in clean, cold water, allowing it to soak for several minutes. After rinsing the bra, the excess water is squeezed out of it, taking care not to stretch the material. It is then allowed to dry. For very expensive bras or delicate lace bras, hand washing is the best option.

Gentle Machine Wash

Although it is recommended to wash bras by hand, not everyone has the time to do this every few days. A useful and time-saving alternative is to wash bras in the washing machine on a gentle wash cycle. However, before tossing them into the machine, it is strongly advised to use a bra bag. Bra bags are small mesh bags, with a zipper or draw string closure. The bras are placed inside the bag and the bag is then put into the washing machine. Bra bags keep bras from stretching. Not using a bra bag will lead bra straps to become stretched and caught around other washed items, and the clasps can catch on other items and bend or break off. When washing bras in a machine, it is important to use a cold water cycle. Warm or hot water can shrink materials, damage the elasticity within the materials, or damage the clasps. Always ensure the clasps are fastened so they don’t get hooked onto anything. In addition, remember to wash delicate bras with other delicate items. Don’t put bras into a wash cycle with towels or jeans.

Dry Bras Properly

Probably the most damaging thing for delicate bras is to machine dry them. Bras should never be machined dried. Machine drying a bra will destroy the elastic in the material, leading bras to stretch and wear out very quickly. Instead, bras should be left to drip dry at room temperature, away from any direct heat source, or outside in the fresh air. Delicate lace bras are best dried by laying flat on a clean towel. If hanging bras on a washing line to dry, hang by the center piece, between each cup, not by the straps or chest band.

Store Bras Properly

Part of caring for bras properly means storing them correctly. Ideally, bras should be stored separately from other lingerie, in a lingerie drawer. They should also be stored flat, not folded so that one cup is pushed into the other. Storing bras flat will ensure they keep their shape and will reduce any risk of clasps becoming snagged on delicate materials. It also pays to ensure drawers are not cramped and over stuffed. Each bra needs space to be stored correctly.

Rotate Bras Regularly

It is advisable that women rotate their bras regularly. Bras should be worn for no more than two days in a row before being washed. The body’s natural oils and perspiration can break down the materials if they are not washed regularly. Ideally, a woman needs at least three bras, one for wearing, one for washing, and one ready to wear in the drawer. Regularly rotating bras will help them last longer, and gives the elastic material time to retract back, and retain its elasticity. Bras that are overworn lose their shape, support, and elasticity. Signs of an overworn bra include, stretched straps that keep falling off the shoulders, the back clasp rides up, and the bra cup develops wrinkles.

Different Types of Bras

There are many different types of bras one can choose to purchase. Each type of bra offers different features, levels of comfort, and creates a different effect. The following table lists some of the most common bra types, as well as their features and uses.