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The Breakdown: How to Care for Your Bras

Before my time at La Lingerie, I thought there were many reasons not to hand wash my bras. I don't have enough space. Why waste my time? Is it even worth it? Working at La Lingerie enlightened me. Plus if I’m going to spend $80 dollars on my favorite bra, I’ll wash it whatever way necessary to keep it supportive and long-lasting for 3+ years!

First, let’s talk about what happens when we are wearing our supportive garments. When we wear a garment so close to our bodies, the fabric absorbs our oils, perspiration, and dead skin cells. If left for too long this breaks down the fabrics and stretches it out more quickly. Lovely facts of life. :)

If you rotate wearing your bras and avoid wearing the same bra two days in a row, you allow the elastic in your bras time to breathe and let the oils and perspiration dry out. Having 3 to 5 bras is perfect for a good rotation cycle. Then you only end up needing to wash all your bras about once a month. The more bras you have, the more you can rotate and the longer you can go between washes. Having more bras also means they will last longer because you won’t be wearing them out as often.

The washing process itself is simple:
  1. Fill a bucket or sink with lukewarm water and add a half teaspoon of Forever New.
  2. Let soak for 5 to 10 minutes.
  3. Rinse out bras.
  4. Lay bras flat or hang by the center gore to dry.
It’s that easy! Below is a more detailed process on how I hand wash my bras in my tiny apartment.

You’ll want to use a clean sink, plastic tub, or bucket. I personally use a 3 gallon bucket. Wash your bras with like colors, just in case the fabric dye bleeds. Fill up your bucket or sink with lukewarm water and add only a half teaspoon of Forever New or other detergent. Most detergents tell you to use too much, but you only want to use a small amount. What can happen if there is too much soap is that the fabric becomes stiff or scratchy when it dries.


Only use a half teaspoon of detergent, even if you're washing 4 or 5 bras!

      Having a good soaking detergent is key to hand washing. There are many soaking detergents out there, and other detergents for baby clothes or homemade detergent with hand washing instructions should also work. We recommend using Forever New. I really like Forever New. I use it on anything that has a stain on it and the stain always comes out. Forever New is also a very reasonable price for the amount you get. The 16oz size of Forever New will last about a year or longer and is only $13.

      The most magical thing of all, you only need to let them soak for 5 to 10 minutes! PLUS, if you forget it’s not the end of the world! The detergent is gentle enough that it won’t damage the fabric if you forget.

      Bra washing has become a time for self-care for me. I’ll often do something just for me during the soaking time, like putting on a clay face mask or exercising or eating chocolate. ;)

        There are five bras in the bucket!
          After 30 burpees, playing with my cats, or rinsing clay off my own face, I rinse the bras in my sink. You can use your bathtub if you need more space. I dump out the water and refill the bucket 3 or 4 times with fresh water to rinse the bras in a bulk format. You can also rinse each bra separately under fresh running water.
          If you accidentally used too much soap or if your bra seems to have soap in it after rinsing, rinse it a few more times.

          To rinse, I simply empty and refill my bucket.
              Then I hang each bra over my shower curtain rod by the center of the bra between the cups (known as the center gore). I usually put a towel down to help protect the bras from my shower rod and to help dry the bras. You can also lay bras flat to dry. Let the bras drip dry. I don’t wring them out or squeeze the cups. If they are holding onto a lot of water, sometimes I lightly press the cup between my hands or a towel. I’m also careful to not bend any wires or plastic bones.
                Hanging the bras from the center instead of the band or the straps helps them keep their shape longer.
                    If you have a drying rack, you can dry them as pictured below. I put this in my bathtub! Notice how I put the darker colors at the bottom and light colors on top. This is just in case the fabric dye bleeds. My bras usually dry within a day and some dry within a few hours.
                      I just got this drying rack and I love it. My bras were mostly dry in about 4 hours!
                          Now I'm ready for a month of bra wearing! :)
                            ~ Gloriann & the la lingerie team

                            1 comment

                            • Thank you! I will bookmark this. I have appreciated your advice on bra care when I shopped at your store and I love the care cards. But this article lays out the reasons for the care so clearly, as well as giving me a resource when I forget what I’m doing! (Which is easy to do one a once a month schedule).

                              Vica Steel

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