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How to Wash Bras + Bra Care FAQs

Let’s talk candidly. We all know the importance of washing our bras and have been doing so since we began wearing them. Well at least some of us have. Either way, we don’t always do it right. In a perfect world, we could simply toss our bras into the washing machine with the rest of our laundry (and still can) however for any of those who've done so, can share that machine washed bras commonly come out tangled, misshapen and break down faster.

Learning how to wash bras correctly might take some extra time however doing so will ensure they stay supportive, comfortable and clean! Plus, how and how often you should wash bras can impact how long they stay in tip top shape (saving you money in the end).

Whether you're washing a newly purchased bra or a supportive sister you’ve had for years, there is no difference in bra care. To help you get started and avoid common bra washing mistakes, we’re going to explain everything you need to know about how to wash your bras, delicates and lingerie as well as answer any other “how-to” questions when it comes to caring for your bras. We’ve listed our tips in order of best practice so follow along for the best tips and tricks on how to wash bras. 

How to Hand Wash Bras 

workflow instructing how to wash bras by hand with illustrations of a sink a bra soaking in the sink and a bra air drying

Due to the delicate fabric and nature of bras, hand washing them is the best technique to extend their lifespan. If you think learning how to hand wash bras is tedious, you’re not alone, however don’t let that stop you from using the method recommended by experts. Here’s a step by step guide on how to hand wash bras. 

What You’ll Need to Hand Wash Bras:

  1. Sink or Tub 
  2. Cold Water 
  3. Mild Laundry Detergent
  4. Two Clean Towels 
  5. Hangers or Drying Rack

    Step 1: Clean and Fill Your Sink with Cold Water + Detergent

    The first step in hand washing your bras is finding a clean sink that is large enough for your bras to fit and soak in. You can also use a clean container or bath tub. Begin by filling your sink with water and add a penny size amount of detergent (just enough to work up a light lather) as too much can leave residue on your bras. 

    Tip: Never use hot water to wash your bras as it can break down the elastics in the fabric and loosen your bras fit.

    Step 2: Add Bras to Sink + Allow Them to Soak

    Add your bras and let them sit in the soapy water for 10 to 15 minutes. This allows the detergent to dissolve any oils or dirt. For particularly dirty bras, leave them in the water for one hour. Watch a show, listen to some music or do a quick workout but whatever you do don’t forget to set a timer for your bras! When your time goes off, gently rub your bras through your fingers cleaning away any visible sweat spots or dirt. 

    Step 3: Rinse Your Bras

    Once you’re ready to remove your bras from the sink, take them out one by one and rinse them with cold water. Continue rinsing until all the soap is off your bra and the water runs clear. 

    Tip: Never ring out your bra or else it will stretch the fabric.

    Step 4: Towel Dry + Hang

    In order to dry your bras, place them down on a clean towel and use your second towel to remove any water by pressing down on the cups. Then, they can either lay flat on a towel, hang dry from their straps or by the gore (that’s the part where the two cups meet in the front). Allow them to air dry for one to two days.

    Tip: Never use a machine dryer to dry your bras as it will cause damage and decrease your bras lifespan. Instead air-dry on a drying rack or hangers away from direct heat and out of direct sunlight.

    Once your bras are dry they are ready to wear! Make sure you have enough extra bras so you won’t go braless on laundry day! 

    How to Wash Bras in the Washing Machine

    workflow instructing how to wash bras in a washing machine with illustrations of a washing machine a wash bag and bra

    Life gets busy and sometimes we can’t wash our bras by hand. For a quick alternative, learn how to wash bras in the washing machine by following our guide below. 

    Please note that Tommy John bras should not be machine washed. For hand washing instructions, refer to our section above.

    What You’ll Need to Wash Bras in the Washing Machine:

    1. Washing Machine 
    2. Mild Detergent 
    3. Lingerie Bag
    4. 2 Clean Towels
    5. Hangers or Drying Rack

      Step 1: Put Bras Into a Mesh or Lingerie Bag

      Whether you’re washing bras alone or with a full load of other laundry, you always want to put your bras into a mesh or lingerie bag to ensure they don’t get tangled or snagged. Make sure to clasp all bras so they don’t tangle with each other in the bag. 

      Step 2: Adjust Your Washing Settings 

      Set your washer machine to a delicate cycle, and use cold water with a gentle detergent. Add your bag of bras to the wash and press start to run the delicate cycle. 

      Step 3: Fix Cups + Air Dry 

      When your load is done, check if any of your bras with molded cups have misshapen in the wash. Simply reshape them with your hands before letting them air dry. Follow the drying steps above by placing your bras down on a clean towel and using your second towel to remove any water. Allow them to lay dry flat on a towel, hang dry by their straps or by their gore for one to two days!

      How to Store Bras

      pink chart listing bra storage tips and an image of different colored bras stored together

      Surprisingly, the way you store your bras can impact their lifespan, support level and fit as well! 

      The best way to store bras is to separate them by style. Store padded bras and bras with molded cups together to prevent them from puckering when folded. Store your bras in a deep enough drawer that they won’t be pinched when you open and close it, and make sure to not shove bras in and to the back of your drawer. 

      How to Keep Bras in Good Shape

      The key to keeping bras in good shape is hand washing them and allowing them to air dry in a safe space away from sunlight or damage. Use mild detergent and wash gently with fingers in a massaging motion. For more information, explore our guide above. 

      Bras & Delicates Cleaning Care: FAQs

      behind view of a women unlatching a black bra in a pink chart with accompany icons of a bra sun and clouds

      Bras and our favorite delicates are designed to make us look and feel our best. To maintain and protect our bras, we’ve answered frequently asked “how tos” when it comes to bra care below.

      How often should you wash your bra?

      Bras don’t need cleaning with every wear. If it’s summer, you’ll probably want to wash them after three wears, but in mild weather, they can sometimes get six uses before it’s time for a clean.

      How to get sweat stains out of bras?

      Spot clean your bras by using a towel and detergent to massage dirt and oil out such as in sweat and deodorant stains. If the stain remains try mixing a few tablespoons of baking soda with water to create a paste and gently try to massage the stain out before soaking in water.

      How often do you need to replace your bras? 

      We recommend replacing your bra every four to six months, depending on how many bras you own and how often you wear them. If your bra just isn’t working for you, we always recommend swapping it for one created for comfort. 

      Can you machine wash your bras in a wash bag?

      As explained above, you can machine wash your bras in a lingerie or wash bag, however washing them by hand is highly recommended to increase their lifespan. To ensure your bras don’t get tangled or snagged in the washing machine, put them into a lingerie bag before washing. Make sure to clasp all bras so they don’t tangle in the bag. 

      Avoid machine washing Tommy John bras. For hand washing instructions, refer to our section above.

      What detergent should you use to wash bras?

      The best detergent to use for washing bras is a mild (not wool) detergent. Some experts even recommend baby shampoo or Castile soap for its gently cleaning power. 

      Can you put your bra in the dryer? 

      Never use a machine dryer to dry your bras as it will cause damage and decrease your bras lifespan. Instead air-dry on a drying rack or hangers away from direct heat and out of direct sunlight.

      We’ve covered the top tips for bra care from how to hand wash bras to the most frequently asked “how tos” for dealing with delicates. If you find yourself on laundry day with a lack of clean bras, peruse our collection of the most comfortable bras on the planet. Our soft, breathable, supportive and stretchy fabrics ensure comfort all day.