How To Wash Bras

How To Wash Bras [Personally Tried]

I’ll admit.

Washing a bra is the least sexy thing for me

In fact:

I was mortified when a repairman found a pad of my bra blocking my LG washer from draining. To avoid future embarrassment, I promised myself to always wash my bras. 

And I found a way of washing my bras in a manner that will increase their lifespan. Let’s dive right in.

How to Hand Wash Bras

Hand-washing bras are not complicated as many people like to think. 

In fact, it’s the best expect-recommend way of increasing the longevity of a bra. The delicate nature of bras means tender care and washing. 

So here’s a tried and true process that you have to follow:

What Do You need?

Laundry detergent: The best detergent for bras are two. I use SOAK wash for all my bras and lingeries. 

With SOAK wash, I can skip the annoying steps of washing out the remaining soap sud and save my bra from damage caused by over-handling. 

Soak wash is an excellent evaporating formula for wool, cashmere, and silk bras. Second, you can use any alcohol-free mild detergent to wash your bras.

Towel: You will need a towel to dry your bras

Hangers: They are affordable, and you can use them to hang your favorite bra outside for drying. 

Now that we know what we need let’s start the cleaning process.

Step 1: Fill the sink/basin with lukewarm water. Fill your bathroom sink/basin with lukewarm water. Don’t use hot water because it breaks down the elastic fabric and accelerates loosening.

Step 2: Add Soak Wash. Add one tablespoon of sock wash, enough to generate a light lather. Too much detergent will leave a residue on your bra. 

Let the bra soak for an hour before gently rubbing it on your hands. Next, gently dap the bra, especially when you sweat the most. 

A warning: 

We have bras sharpened with heat, so you mustn’t twist them to move the water out because it will destroy the shape of the cup.

Step 3: Rinse the bra. Rinse the bra in lukewarm water until it’s clean and free from sud. You can squeeze excess water out of the bra. Don’t wring out water because it stretches the bra’s fabric.

Step 4: Dry the bra. Lay the bra on a flat towel and press another towel to eliminate excess water.

Step 5: Air dry the bra. It’s recommended you hang the bra to dry. And here’s why heat from the dryer will damage the bra (which depends on the weather). 

Even if you can’t always like cleaning the bra like me, it helps to increase its lifespan if you do it often.

Also Read:

Best Large Capacity Top Load Washer: The Only Purchase I Can Guarantee Won’t Leave You With Buyer’s Regret

How To Wash Bra in the Washing Machine?

Washing bras in a machine makes them wear out faster than when you hand wash them. However, if you decide to do so, you’ll have to be careful so that you don’t ruin them. 

The good news is that we have steps that you can follow to clean your bras in a washer (whether Maytag or speed queen). 


Determine if the bra can be machine-washed or not. Here are a few instructions for you to follow:

  • The care instructions: When you buy a brand new bra, it always comes with the instructions. Find out if the care instructions require you to wash using a machine or hand.
  • Underwired or wireless: If you have underwired bras like me, you’ll need to hand wash them. Otherwise, they’ll be bent in the washer. Wireless or sports bras can be washed in a machine.
  • Silk, lace, delicate fabrics: Bras of this nature will need you to hand wash them.

What You Need.

Laundry detergent: I recommend SOAK wash or laundress. You may have noticed that most lingerie stores sell specialty detergent. 

However, you can’t go wrong with the two I mentioned or any alcohol-free mild detergent.

Best Bra Washing Bag: I would recommend this one from Laundry science. A fine laundry bag helps bras retain their shape and keep straps from getting caught in the washer.

You can wash one bra per bag so the cups lay face-down on the plastic protectors or put two bras in one bag, inverting one of the cups. 

Washing machines have agitators or impeller mechanisms that can be rough on bras or other fine washable.


Here are the steps to follow to wash bras in a washer.

Step 1: Fasten the bra hooks. Hooks and clasps get caught up with other items, which causes stretching, pulling, and wear of the bras. So fastening the hooks/clasps reduces the chance of that happening.

Step 2: Put the bras in a mesh bag. The bag keeps the bra contained during the washing process and protected from tangling with the washer’s parts.

Step 3: Separate the colors. With laundry, you’ll always want to separate bright from dull colors. Remember to put bras with light items like socks underwire than heavier items like jeans.

Step 4: Select a delicate cycle. Use cold/lukewarm water with soak wash detergent.

Step 5: Don’t dry them in a drier. Never put your bras on a dryer. You can towel press and hang them using a hanger like we did when hand washing. A drying machine can ruin your bra. Here are more drying tips for bras:

  • Hang bras like you would wear them with both shoulders over hangers.
  • Molded cup bra will have to be reshaped while damp. That ensures it dries in its standard shape.
  • If you stay in a humid climate, put the bra near the fan for them to dry quickly without a bad smell.

How Often Should I Wash Bras?

Wash a bra after every two or three weeks. Having a bra for a few hours with minimal sweating may not count as wear. 

However, a few hours of heavy sweating will count as double wear. Remember to rotate the cups and strap to retain the shape and elasticity of the bra. Washing a bra is vital. 


Dead skin cells, oils, and sweat trapped under the bra can harbor a cesspool of bacteria which leads to skin irritation, rashes, or skin infections. With excellent care, your bra can last for years.

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