How you choose to wash your bras really depends on you and what you want from your underwear. There is no right or wrong way of doing it, but there are definitely better ways of doing it. I know some people like to hand wash as it is meant to prolong the life of your bra, but for some, the convenience of machine washing outweighs the benefits of this.
If you are perfectly happy to accept that you may need to replace your bras more regularly, go ahead and machine wash. DO NOT, however, just sling your undercrackers in with your regular laundry, as it will not only shorten their life-span, but can distort the shape and damage them. You do not want wires escaping or misshapen straps.
How to machine wash bras effectively:
Wash on a cool wash using mild detergent (preferably special lingerie and delicates detergent) on the delicates cycle. Use a laundry bag… they can be inexpensive – I bought mine in the pound shop! But totally worth the extra effort.
I try to hand wash my bras whenever possible… I might make it a late new-years resolution to do it much more often as it really does help keep the shape, colour and life of your bras. The way I hand wash is fairly traditional, but I have been asked a few times how to do it so for those of you who don’t know here is a simple step-by-step guide.
Preferably use a hand-wash detergent. If I’m in a pinch I use a little regular detergent as I try to buy gentle detergent anyway. If you want to use regular, I suggest a mild non-bio soap. Whatever you have will be sufficient, but you might not see such great results over time. You can buy special lingerie and delicates detergent, but I have heard mild baby shampoo makes a great cheap alternative!
I fill a clean sink with warm (not hot!) water , a third of your usual amount of detergent that you would use in a regular washing machine (it should work out as the same about half a capful to 5 litres of water). Throw your bras into the water and leave to soak for a few minutes.
It is advised to not use fabric softener when washing bras, however if you try washing without it and you really don’t like the feel you can use it, but just be aware it may reduce the elasticity of your bra over time.
Next start ‘pumping’ the bras in the water, pushing them up and down through the water to loosen dirt and get them really clean. Be gentle! Knead and gently rub the under-wires and straps as this is where sweat and dirt can deposit most! You may want to use gloves when cleaning to protect your hands.
When you are satisfied that they are clean – it should only take a few minutes – empty the sink of the dirty water. rinse the bras in the stream of water, Refill the sink with clean water and again pump the bras a little bit to get rid of any excess detergent.
Finally, take your clean wet bras and proceed to dry. Moulded cups should be put back into shape and allowed to dry flat, regular bras can be hung to dry but preferably dried flat. Easiest way I have found to do this is lie a clean towel on the floor and lie bras to dry on that.
If hanging to dry, rather than hanging from the straps, try hanging from the central gore. This will cause less distortion to the bra’s shape.
Do not ever EVER dry any kind of lingerie in the tumble drier. It is bra suicide! And remember – always read the care label!