5 Ways to Keep Bras Looking Good for a Long Time

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braPretty bras are a luxury. They're not the kind of thing that you just run out and pick up every few months like you would a t-shirt or a pair of socks. And if you do, I'm venturing to guess that, unless you're Victoria Beckham, they're from Target or Walmart or somewhere else super un-sexy. So when you finally buy a bra -- hell, be it once a year -- you want it to last. You want it stay fresh and lacy and un-crapped up (and white if that's the color!). But how do you do that?

Funny you should ask ...

Wash them in the sink. I know, you know. But do it. Seriously, it isn't as annoying as it seems. Buy a bottle of Woolite and stow it under your bathroom sink instead of in the laundry room. Once a week, throw your bras in the sink and give them a good soak. (No, you should not put them in a lingerie sack and throw them in the washing machine.) Lay flat to dry, please.

Buy two. Not necessarily easy when you're buying a fancy bra, but if you're going for something less pricey, I say stock up (and that doesn't just go for bras). If you know you're going to wear something basically every day, be prepared for a time when you're going to have to part with it. That parting won't be such sweet sorrow if you know you've got another waiting in the wings.

Store them properly. If you're like me, you probably just shove your bras (and underwear and socks) into a drawer, not bothering to fold them. Don't do that. Designate a special place for your bras -- a place that's not crowded and won't cause underwires to bend. Or better yet, get a clothes rack made for bras. And don't ever invert bra cups into one another!

Keep your white bras white. Here's something annoying: White bras looking dirty after a few weeks of owning them. Hey, it would happen with anything white that you wore daily. There's a way to keep them clean, though: Vinegar. Toss your bras into your sink and fill with cold water. Add some white distilled vinegar and let soak for 20 minutes. Rinse well (very well) afterwards.

Heavy rotation. Look, we all have our favorite bras. "Some" of us may even wear them every damn day. But really, that's not the best way to extend the life of your bra. Make sure you have a few in your rotation -- even though you know which one you're going to wear most.

How do you care for your bras?

Image via The Lingerie Addict/Flickr



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Sonja Holzman

Huh - I store mine by inverting one cup into the other, folding the straps into the cups and then put them vertically into my drawer, wire side up, nesting into one another.  Works okay for me.  

Elisabeth Dale

Woollite isn't the best soap to wash your bras in, either. Try some of the no rise washes like Eucalen or Soak or other delicate wash rinses sold in lingerie departments. Fine lingerie should not be viewed as a luxury but an essential to your wardrobe. It is the foundation for all the beautiful and more expensive items in your wardrobe. Enjoy it!

Joy Li

most of the time I have no patience to wash the bra. how about you?

nonmember avatar F4F

I agree with Elizabeth - Woolite ruined a red silk slip of mine by causing the color to fade, so it no longer matches the matching kimono! I just read about Soak Wash elsewhere, and am getting ready to order some. Meantime, I use a gentle body wash with no oils or perfumes added. Re: inverting one cup into the other, it depends on the type of bra. If it's a smooth, molded-cup bra with any padding or lining, I wouldn't do this, as it'll cause little wrinkles in the inverted cup, destroying that nice smooth look. Unlined bras should be fine stored that way. For me, nearly all of my bras are lightly lined or padded, so I store them in their own drawer the same way bra retailers do: hooked and settled into a long row, all facing the same direction, underwires downward. Not only are they safe from damage that way, I can also easily find the one I want.

nonmember avatar Morganna

I will happily try the vinegar idea to help clean my white bras, but I have been warned by numerous people to NEVER EVER use Woolite for anything and these are all people who have a lot of knowledge in cleaning and caring for things like hand knits and fine delicates.

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