Nobody reads the care labels on their bras. We know, it’s a thing. Lucky for you, pretty much all bras have the same care requirements. They prefer to be hand washed in cold water and drip dried—but not everyone listens to what their bra’s needs. We know bra washing is tedious and time-consuming but it will prolong the life of your bras.
Fair warning: if you don’t follow the instructions on the care label the underwire can pop out from its casing, making your bra unwearable and possibly damaging your washing machine. The hooks (but not the eyes) might rip the fabric of your bra to shreds. Washing machines with agitators are more likely to shred your bras than those without agitators. Should you choose to accept this risk, here is the safest way to wash lingerie in a washing machine:
You’re here because you’re ignoring all of our advice AND your bra’s care label, which forbids you from machine washing your garment. By ignoring the advice on the tag, you’ll likely void any manufacturer’s warranty.
Oh, you’re still here. Okay. So the number one rule for machine washing your bras is to use a delicates or lingerie bag. Before you zip your bras into one of these wash bags, you must minimise the trauma by fastening your bras’ hooks and eyes. (If left undone they can hook onto the fabric or the wires, causing tearing or buckling.) Once your bras are safely zipped inside a good lingerie bag for washing machines, set your machine to delicate cycle on the lowest temperature, and change the spin cycle setting to ‘no spin’. Wash your delicates by themselves, because heavy items with zippers or metal buttons can tear through wash bags and chew up your lingerie. Once the wash cycle finishes, immediately hang your bras to dry (out of direct sunlight please).
I do my bra washing in the shower and hang them on my rail. By the time I come home from work, they're dry and ready to wear again.
No bra deserves to be tumble dried, especially not a bra with wires. Imagine what would happen if you put your bra in a microwave. Eventually the wires would get so hot that their plastic coating would melt onto the fabric and catch fire. The same happens to a bra in the dryer, but at a much slower pace. Even if you tumble dry on low heat, the temperature will break down any elastane in the fabric over time. The quickest way to ruin a smooth moulded bra is in the drier: the foam will wrinkle as the heat makes it shrink.
Bras that are treated with kindness and respect should last one to two years when rotated with three or four other bras. Try not to wear the same bra two days in a row—it will give the fabric time to recover.
Shoving your lingerie haphazardly into drawers can bend your beautiful bras out of shape. If you haven’t clued up on storage solutions yet, then watch Marie Kondo perfectly organise her lingerie drawer in this video. Storing lingerie properly helps it look good for longer.
If Marie Kondo’s method isn't right for you because she doesn't have D+ bras, you can fold each of your bras in the centre and stack them vertically beside each other. For moulded bras, fold them in half with one cup inside the other.