How To Wash Your Bras Without Destroying Them

Although “Basic” has taken on a negative connotation over the years, it’s not a bad idea to seek advice about simple sartorial issues. Our latest column, “Back to Basics”, will help you navigate through the most important (and common) fashion and beauty issues in your life.

Even though it’s lingerie, washing your clothes properly is one of the most difficult aspects of fashion. It doesn’t feel as exciting as clicking “add-to cart” or taking a selfie in the dressing room. Washing your bras correctly can make them last longer, save you money and keep your favorite bras from being thrown away. Proper washing is also good for the environment. It prevents bras from getting too worn out and causes them to end up in a landfill.

How can you ensure your bras last a long time? This is a quick guide.


If you have never been taught how to wash lingerie properly, likely, you’ve just been putting your bras in the washer with your other clothes. The first step in properly caring for bras is to stop doing this. If you plan to machine wash your bras, you should first close them by hooking them closed. Next, could you place them in a lingerie bag? This is a mesh bag you zip or tie closed. This doubles as a protection for your bra straps when they wrap around other laundry items. It also prevents hook closures from snagging loose-knit sweaters or pulling out threads.

After your bras have been zipped in the lingerie wash bags, be sure to use the delicates setting on the washer if you have it. Any cold water cycle should work fine if the bras are not available. You can use mild detergent, but it is better to go with mild detergent. After the load is finished, take the bras out and dry them in the air. Do not dry them in the dryer. Heat can cause elastic to become stiffer and may damage it. You can dry bras by either placing them on a flat surface or hanging them from something else than the straps. For example, draping them over clotheslines or hangers with one cup per side is a good option.


Machine-washing is a good option if you are short on time. Hand-washing your lingerie is gentler, so it’s a good option if you have the time. You will need a large container to hand wash your bras. This can be a bucket, a plastic tub, or a sink basin. Then, fill the basin with warm water (not hot), and add a tablespoon of mild detergent. Next, place your bras inside. To ensure that the detergent and water are well incorporated into the bras, swish them around for about 10 to 15 minutes.

Once you are done, drain or dump the water from the basin and refill it with fresh water. Use your hands to wash the bras. Don’t twist or squeeze too hard. Hand washing should be gentler than washing machines. After the detergent has been dissolved, take the bras out of the water. Gently squeeze the excess liquid from the bras without twisting them. Air-dry the bras as directed.

Here are some bonus tips for those who want to go that extra mile. If you want to go the extra mile, try replacing mild detergent with a specially formulated laundry detergent. To reduce the amount of moisture that can build up in bras, you can rinse them with water once in a while.