How To Wash Your Bras

Posted 9 February, 2015 by Lucy in Tips / 0 Comments


You buy a new bra that you absolutely love it, but find after a few times in the machine it just does not stay in the same condition for as long as you would hope for. I never used to pay attention to how to take care of my bras. I remember my mum mentioning to me when I was younger how you should always hand wash your delicates, but it was never something I was too fussed about. That was the case until I started to buy nice underwear and now I knew my husband would be seeing it.

Obviously a lot of convenience comes with just flinging it in the washing machine, I will be the first to admit. If there is a shortcut to doing something I am all for it girls. Especially if you are a mum as well, finding the time to hand wash your delicate can be a bit straining.

I have found that hand washing prolongs the life of your bra, but if you are okay with the fact that you may need to replace your bras more often, then machine wash them. Now I need to stress here that if you are going to do this please do not just chuck your undies in with all of your other clothes. For one it will ruin the quality faster, plus it can distort the shape and damage them. The worst, is when you feel a stabbing from your wire breaking out of your bra.

Just before decided whether or not to machine wash or hand wash, please read the care label to see if it specifies anything in particular!


Cool wash using a mild detergent (if you can use special lingerie and delicates detergent) on the delicate cycle. A nifty little trick I came across is to use a laundry bag.You can get hold of some cheap ones here.


For me the only way forward is to hand wash, my husband even said any bras I buy you, make sure you only hand wash them. It is the best way to keep the shape, colour and life of your bras. I do not tend to do anything special, just hand wash my bras like you would hand wash anything else, but if you are not to sure, here is how I do it…

I generally use a little regular detergent but it is better to use a hand wash detergent or a gentle detergent at least. If you going to use the regular then I would suggest using a mild non-bio soap. Ultimately whatever detergent you have it will do the job of cleaning your bras, the only thing is the quality may lessen over time. There are special lingerie and delicate detergents which I mentioned earlier available. I have even heard mild baby shampoo can be a cost effective alternative, but I have never used it myself, so approach with caution!

I fill a clean washing up bowl (some prefer to use the sink) with warm, not hot, water. Use roughly about a third of your usual amount of washing powder that you would use in the washing machine. Put your bras into the water and leave them to soak in there for a few minutes.

In the past I have added a little fabric conditioner to make them feel nicer but I have been advised not to use it when washing your bras as it may reduce the elasticity of your bra over time.

(If you have sensitive hands or want to protect them pop on some gloves for the next step).

Now GENTLY ‘pump’ you bras in the water, pushing them up and through the water to just loosen any dirt to them clean. Carefully rub the under-wires (under the bust) and straps as that is were most of the dirt and sweat builds up. This should only take a few minutes. So once you satisfied that your bras are clean empty the bowl of the dirty water. Just rinse your bras under the tap and refill the bowl with water and proceed to ‘pump’ them a little just to get rid of any leftover detergent.


With molded bras, put them back into their original shape with your hands and dry them flat. Non-molded can be hung to dry but preferably dried flat as well. A simple way to do this is just lay down a clean towel and place the bras on there.

If you are going to hang them to dry, do so by hanging them from the center of the bra and not from the straps, to avoid causing less damage to the shape of the bra. See the picture below…
Hang To Dry
A final note NEVER, NEVER, EVER dry any kind of lingerie in the tumble dryer, one blogger described this as ‘bra suicide’, so make sure you avoid this!

Let me know if you have found this helpful and if there are any other tips that you have discovered over the years ladies. Happy washing!


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