Fed up of shrunken or saggy bras with torn lace or lost underwires? A few changes to your laundry routine will help to keep your delicates in tip-top condition.
Whether you’ve invested in a lacy designer number or you’ve found that uber-rare gem – a comfy bra that you want to last as long as possible needs correct washing and a lot of care.
How to wash bras by hand
- Soak your bras: Before you start, separate your bras into three piles: lights, darks and colours. Fill a sink with warm (not hot) water. Add a mild laundry detergent, ideally one for delicates or hand washing. Fasten the clasp on each bra in one of your piles, pop them in the water and leave to soak for up to an hour.
- Wash your bras: Gently wash each bra. Repeatedly push the bra down into the water and let it rise up again – this creates air bubbles, which will do a lot of the work for you. You can also gently massage or rub your bras, but be careful not to bend the underwire. Pay particular attention to the bottom of the cups and the areas that sit by your armpits.
- Rinse your bras thoroughly: Empty the water out of the sink and refill with clean, cool water. Push the bras to the bottom of the bowl and let them rise to the top. Repeat several times. You might need to change the water a few times to remove all the detergent.
- Squeeze excess water out: Gently squeeze each bra to get the water out. Don’t wring (twist) them or scrunch them up as that risks damaging the underwire or stretching the bras out of shape. When you’re done, you’ll need to reshape and dry them.
How to wash bras in a washing machine
- Prepare your bras for washing: Check the care label before you start. Make sure you wash different colours separately. Fasten the clasps. Ideally, pop your bras into a mesh laundry bag. Alternatively, a pillowcase can work if you knot it closed, but not too tightly.
- Load your washing machine: We recommend using a laundry detergent that’s designed for delicates, or a mild non-bio. Add fabric conditioner if you like. You can wash your bras with other clothing, but don’t overfill the machine. Just put a few light garments in with your bras – avoid adding heavy towels, bedding or jeans.
- Choose the setting: If your machine has a delicate or hand wash setting, that’s the one to go for. Otherwise, choose a lower spin setting (around 600) and cooler temperature (30 degrees).
How to dry your bras
As soon as your bra comes out of the washing machine or sink, use your hands to gently reshape, paying particular attention to the cups.
You may also need to untwist the straps. Don’t worry if you can’t get it looking completely right – any minor changes in shape should naturally work themselves out as you wear the bra.
Never dry a bra in a tumble dryer. The vigorous motion of the machine could cause the bra to become misshapen, and the heat will set the bra into that new shape.
Instead, hang each bra over a clotheshorse or the washing line, and allow it to dry naturally. It’s best to drape them over the line, rather than hanging them by a strap, unless you’re a fan of the saggy bra look.
For more expert cleaning tips, visit www.cleanipedia.com.