We all know how expensive a well-fitting bra can be, which is why it’s so important to learn how to make your underwear last longer.
While most of us have been washing bras for decades, it can often be hard to figure out if you’re doing it right with each piece. In addition to the classic materials such as satin, lace and elastic that women have been wearing for years, bras can be made from a variety of more complex materials now too.
Mesh bras tend to be more tightly woven and with light fabric, giving them a more airy and cool feeling. Meanwhile, synthetic microfibre bras are typically made of a cotton and polyester blend, providing the wearer a smoother feeling than many other bras on the market. On the flip-side, dri-fit bras are more absorbent and usually worn by women who are athletic and more active.
There are even bras with inserts or ‘chicken fillets’ as they’re also known, which enhance the size of the breasts.
It’s always important to take note of the instructions of the label of your bra, as it may have some vital information as to how best keep it in good condition.
Most people already know that a bra doesn’t need to be washed daily like knickers or socks, but the correct time length to leave between washes is somewhat of a grey area for most women. Cleaning website Persil states that washing bras shouldn’t be a daily thing and that frequent washing can actually damage the elastic and distort the shape of the bra.
They suggest washing a regular bra every three or four wears, however, more regular washing may be needed if your bra begins to smell or look dirty.
If you wear a sports bra, for example, and you find that you’ve been sweating quite a lot, it’s best for you to wash it as soon as possible. If you wear a bra to a lovely dinner, you can probably re-wear that again without a wash.
While it can be hard to dry bras in the cooler months or when the weather is wet outside, Cosmopolitan suggests that using a dryer to dry a bra should never been considered. In addition to potentially burning the bra, the heat can change the shape, making it uncomfortable to wear.
The heat also has the potential to break down materials such as elastic and spandex. Instead, they suggest laying a bra flat and to avoid hanging it as that can also cause disfigurement and stretching.
A lot of people opt to wash their bras by hand, but what they don’t realise is that washing them too hard can be just as bad as washing them in a washing machine. Huffington Post suggests soaking the bra in warm, soapy water for around 20 minutes before gently scrubbing. This will ensure you’re not damaging the bra and that it stays in shape for longer. They recommend a toothbrush or soft washcloth for the best results.
While it can be easy to think that soaking your bra in a lot of detergent will get rid of stains and smells, it could actually be doing the opposite. Instead, opt for mild detergents and gentle soaps to ensure you don’t unknowingly break down the bra’s material.
There is a myth that bras should never be washed in a washing machine, but this simply isn’t true. Website Helpling suggests that if you are going to wash your bras in the washing machine, you shouldn’t be washing it with any other item of clothing. Try and stick to the same kinds of materials and be sure to hook up your bra where possible. Be sure to wash on a delicate cycle and don’t wash in temperatures over 30 degrees. When you can, try and put bras in an underwear bag or pillow case to avoid them latching on to the machine and becoming damaged. Silk and lace bras should always be put in an underwear bag if you are washing them in a machine.
Finding a good and comfortable bra can be hard to come across, but Good House Keeping writes that it’s important to rotate the bras you wear. Not only will this essentially make the bra last longer because you’re not wearing it every day, but it will also give your bra a chance to air out – even if you are wearing it multiple times. They also note that storing a bra after a wash is just as important when it comes to keeping them in good condition.
Rather than folding them, their advice is to line them up as you’d see in a store. This ensures they stay in shape longer and prevents the risk of padding becoming uneven.