Did you know the lifetime of a bra is only about six months if you wear it several times a week? And if bras are machine washed, folded up, or squished in a drawer or suitcase, they will wear out even faster! A little extra time in care and keeping of your bras can expand their lifetimes to twice as long. Read on to find out our top tips for caring for your delicate lingerie.
As our Bra Doctor Celine says on her blog about Lingerie Care, bras best retain their shape, color, and fit when they are hand-washed. It’s best to do separate “loads” for different colored bras; I do darks and lights in two separate washes. If you really don’t have time to handwash, there’s another option: you can put them in a mesh wash bag like Fashion Essentials Bra Saver Wash Bags, and send them through the delicate cycle on the machine. Make sure you hook the bra back together so that the hooks don’t get caught and tangled in any lace on the bra or other pieces you’re washing.
Another issue to consider when washing bras is detergent. Many have chemicals that break down the elastic bands, making bras lose elasticity and permanently stretch out. So it’s best to get a specialty lingerie wash or try using Woolite or a delicate lingerie washing powder. It’s worth the investment, as you only need a small capful per wash, and they get stains out of silk clothing too!
Most of these detergents require soaking bras in a sink or basin for only 20 minutes, making the process of hand-washing much easier.
Again, our Bra Doctor recommends air drying bras, and I completely agree. Throwing bras into a hot, spinning dryer is the quickest way to wear them out – especially their elasticity. Lay them flat on a drying rack or off of a doorknob, out of direct sunlight. This will prevent stretching and helps a bra maintain its shape.
Bras can just get stuffed in the underwear drawer under everything else, right? WRONG. Bras with moulded cups should be stacked in a pile in a drawer or on a shelf and not folded in any way, shape or form. Turning one cup inside out and folding it inside the other cup is a huge mistake many women make. This can leave permanent creases in the cups that can even show through clothing and make breasts look oddly lumpy. You have some extra leeway with lacy bras that don’t have molded cups, which can be folded if necessary. But since you’re already making enough room in a drawer to stack your other bras, might as well stack those too, right?
So now that we all know not to fold the cups into each other, how can we fit these bras into our suitcases? One option is a bra bag, which are hard-cover cases that hold two to three molded cup bras. They come in two different sizes to accommodate bras of any shape and size, and are quirky and cute! You can also lay your bras flat on top of other clothing and stuff the cups with socks or panties. Never stack clothing on top of your bras, and really try not to stretch or squish them. This aspect of traveling can sometimes be a challenge, so good luck!
Bras are the foundation of your wardrobe and are a big influence on how you look and feel each day. They are an investment, which means we sometimes spend extra time and money to make them fit perfectly and last as long as possible. When you come home at the end of the day feeling comfortable, supported and feminine, it’s definitely worth the investment!
This blog was updated June 5, 2013 (originally published October 17, 2011)
Photo Credits & Sources:
Bra Doctor’s Blog on Lingerie Care:
Fashion Essentials Forever New Wash Bags:
Incorrect Storage Picture: