A quick Google search on “bra washing” will instantly bring you to article upon article about how to care for your undergarments. But do any of these well-meaning posts really have the best interest of you and your investments in mind? Yes, your bras should be an investment; and one that should be cared for accordingly.
If you’re anything like me though, laundry day is probably your least favourite time of the week. As an example, my daughter once made a sweet, but misguided, public declaration for Mother’s Day claiming that I was the best at doing laundry. All the other parents who knew me well laughed at the irony because getting clothes washed, dried, folded and put away is quite literally my arch nemesis.
However, when it comes to my properly fitting bras and precious matching panties, wash day has become something I look forward to. Knowing that I am doing my best to care for my bras (instead of just throwing them in like a load of bleach and hair dye stained towels), makes me feel glamourous and savvy. By following these simple steps when washing your bras, you too can extend the life of your delicates and save money in the long run.
1. Hand Wash, Hand Wash, Hand Wash!
Taking the time to hand wash is the number one way to extend the fit, shape and overall wearability of your bras. The alternative to washing by hand is machine washing. And if you machine-wash your bras, you may notice some of these tell-tale signs that the machine is doing some damage:
- the elastic beginning to warp and lose its stretch, leading to an uncomfortable or looser band
- misshapen cups or underwire, possibly leading to a wire popping out
- snags in the lace or other delicate, handmade details from rogue hooks or other loose items
- material beginning to pill or wrinkle, preventing it from looking as luxurious as it once did
Even in a delicates bag on a delicate cycle, you bra was never meant to withstand the beating that a washing machine can offer. Instead, choose your sink or a small wash basin to wash your bras and elegant panties in.
2. Always Use Cold or Cool Water
Hot water is the culprit that is damaging the fibres and elastic in your bras. The heat will loosen the fabric and the once perfect fit you walked away from the store with will no longer exist. Fill the basin with cold water. It will do just as well as hot water because you’re going to…
3. Use A Detergent Made Specifically for Delicates
There are many great brands that have laundry soaps made just for your undergarments. Without the use of heavy and synthetic chemicals that can break down the fibres in your bra over time, two such options are Forever New and Eucalan. Gentle, clean-rinsing soaps or detergents that are made just for your bras will allow them to hold their shape longer.
4. Hang or Lay Flat to Dry
Again, your bra should be kept far away from intense heat when cleaning it. (However, turning up the heat on the dance floor? That’s up to you!).
If your bra is made of heavier fabrics, such as a moulded bra, be sure to lay it flat to dry so it can better retain its original shape. Hanging a sturdier bra could pull on or stretch the fabric leading to a distorted fit. Lighter fabrics like lace should be safe to hang so long as there’s nothing pulling on them that could change their shape.
Because of these easy steps, and how beautiful my bras are, I now look forward to washing them. I know that I’m doing myself and my bras a favour by properly caring for them. And in turn, am extending their life and my comfort for as long as possible.
The rest of the laundry, however? That’s still going to take some effort…