Does anyone really know?


Image credit: Figleaves

So how often should you wash your bra? Every woman has a different answer. (Every day? Once a week? Once a month?) We consulted the experts for the truth.

One Mumsnet user sparked debate by telling the forum that she only washes her bra around once a month. The mum said she has four bras, which she wears for ten days at a time, then washes them all in one go.

One user said: “That’s really gross. Ten days of the same fabric rubbing against your skin is objectively dirty, even if you aren’t very sweaty, and most women will sweat round their breasts.”

Another added: “Ew… that’s quite grim. I change mine daily. I wash them once a week.”

While another said: “I never understand this. Surely bras are like knickers! They need changing everyday.”

So how often should you wash your bra? Not as often as you might think!

Textiles analyst Lexie Sachs from the Good Housekeeping Institute says: “Over-washing can damage the elasticity, which is essential for providing the proper support,”

Experts at the custom online bra shop True & Co agree: “Over-washing can lead to fibre breakdown, loss of elasticity, and faster wear and tear.”

The general rule is, wash every three to six wears.

The bottom line of bra washing is that you should be doing it every three to six wears. But True & Co remind us that “this timeframe is, of course, subject to climate, sweating, odour, and other factors”. If there are any visible sweat stains, or smells, its best to give that bra a wash.

Your sports bra should definitely be washed after every use to avoid any nastiness! However, your fancy lacy bras that you only break out for a special occasion can go up to six wears before needing a clean.

Wash them in cold water!

Who knew that this would make any difference? According to Nicola Kivitz, of French lingerie brand Chantelle, it’s best to hand-wash your bra in cold water for a delicate wash, in order to ensure it maintain’s its shape.

If washed in too warm a water, the bra could lose it’s shape and elasticity faster.

You don’t have to hand wash your bras!

You might have to wash your bra more frequently than you have been doing. But here’s the good news: you really don’t have to hand wash your bras.

Only very delicate or expensive bras really require hand washing. Your everyday t-shirt bras can just about manage the machine. As long as you don’t tumble dry them (do not do this—it will kill your bras), you can just chuck them in the washing machine and lay them out flat to dry.

Keep bras on a rotation.

One last tip to keep your bras in good condition is to alternate between bras so that you’re not wearing the same one on consecutive days. This will give the bra a chance to reshape and regain its elasticity after wear. As a result your bras won’t get as stretched out and will hopefully last longer!