Those bras — whether they’re basic beige cotton or silky satin and lace — aren’t cheap, so you should protect your investment!
Here are a few bra care tips you can use when washing, drying and storing the lingerie for your top half, to help them last longer and to stay in shape.
by Adeline Beckett
How to wash your bras
Wash your bras by hand in cold water, or in your washing machine — inside a lingerie bag, using cold (or warm) water, and on the delicate cycle.
Bra manufacturer Wacoal says that, ideally, you should hand wash your lingerie in a delicate detergent specially formulated for bras and fine clothes. “Also, as with other clothes, you should wash light and dark colored bras separately, as synthetic fibers tend to pick dye from the wash water.” One more tip: Don’t soak your bras.
How to dry your bras
First, luxury Italian lingerie company La Perla says not to wring, rub, or spin dry your lingerie to remove excess water.
After washing your bras, drip dry/air-dry them, either by laying them flat (with the cups pointing up) or by hanging each one by both shoulder straps. This will help avoid stretching the fabric, straps and/or band.
Never put your bras (or your other lingerie) in the dryer. Not only will the heat of the dryer damage the elastic over time, it might cause shrinking and otherwise harm lace, silk, elastic and other delicate fabrics.
If you have unlined, lace or thin bra cups (not padded or molded), your bra can be folded in half. Tuck the straps inside the cup, and store as usual.
If you have padded or molded cups (including balcony/balconette cups, lined cups, push-up cups, etc), don’t fold your bra in half and invert one of the cups. This can stretch, dent or otherwise damage the cups and the underwire. Instead, lay them flat in your drawer or hang them — much like you will see at Victoria’s Secret or other lingerie stores — to help them keep their shape.
It’s recommended that you fasten the hooks on each of your bras before storing them, to keep the hooks from accidentally getting caught in the lace or trim on your lingerie.
More bra tips
A well-fitting bra will not only be a lot more comfortable and supportive, it will also last longer. Your bra size can change yearly — and more often if your weight has changed, or if you’ve had a baby — so periodic bra fittings are a good idea.
Bras can get worn out. When your lingerie stops holding your breasts snugly and in a flattering fashion, or it gets stretched out, it’s time to get a new bra.
Finally, the experts at Victoria’s Secret have one tip to add: “Bras need a break! For every day on, give them a few off. They’ll last longer.”