Recently, a mom in The CafeMom Newcomers Club asked how to wash bras so that they don't stretch, tear, or lose their shape. My sister, the lingerie expert, weighs in about how to care for your favorite bras to ensure they last a long, long time.
My sister, Kristin, has worked in the lingerie industry for several years and has written previous posts about how to know if you are wearing the wrong bra size, how to find a bra if your breasts are different sizes, and how to find a good nursing bra. In response to questions about how to care for bras, she offers this advice:
Caring for your bras may seem like a tedious and time-consuming task, but it will actually save you money in the long run. Failure to care for your bras gently and properly can result in a stretched-out bra that lacks the support it once provided or—even worse!—annoying and painful wires that poke out from the sides of the bra. Follow these tips to make your bras last as long as possible:
- When storing your bras, either hang them up by the straps, or, if placing them in a drawer, do NOT fold the cups into one another. It is a good idea to plump up the cups with socks while they are in your drawer to help the cups retain their shape. (This can also be done if you are traveling. You can put socks in the cups so that the cups will not flatten in your suitcase!)
- Rotate your bras, wearing one bra one day, another the next, etc. This way you are letting your bras "rest" so that they will be more likely to retain their shape and support.
- Do not wash your bras after each and every wear. Rather wear at least two if not three times before washing.
- When washing your bras, take care to clasp your bras and then place in a lingerie bag (or some sort of mesh bag separate and protected from the rest of your laundry).
- I recommend that you do not use Woolite to wash your bras. While Woolite is usually recommended for delicate items, it is actually bad for bras because it wears away at the elasticity and depletes the support. A gentle detergent such as Forever New will help to maintain the integrity of your lingerie items.
- Finally, whatever you do, refrain from throwing your bras in the dryer. I can not even begin to describe the catastrophic outcomes of such an action. Rather line-dry your unmentionables and in the long run your efforts will pay off!
How do you care for your favorite bras?