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Health

How Long Should You Wait Before You Should Clean Your Bra?

By Cristina Margolis·· 5 min read
cleaning your bra medium

With summer quickly approaching, women are going to be sweating a lot more and dealing with dreaded boob sweat. Sorry to gross you out, men, but yeah, it’s a thing.

Do you know how often you should be washing your bras? The answer may surprise you. 

A Brief History of the Bra

Before we get into how frequently we should be washing our bras, let’s dive into some of the history of our beloved brassieres. Concepts and variations of bras have been around for centuries, but the first modern bra was invented in 1914. Using two silk handkerchiefs and a pink ribbon, New York socialite Mary Phelps Jacob invented and patented the first modern bra, which was said to be lightweight, soft, and comfortable. In the 1920s, bras changed to a tight-fitting bandeau style that was actually intended to flatten women’s breasts, believe it or not.

The 1930s is what really changed the shape of bra history—literally. It was then that S.H. Camp and Company introduced the A, B, C, D scale of cup sizes, which allowed for a better fitting bra for women. It wasn’t until 1947 that cleavage really began to be sexy thanks to Frederick Millinger, the man behind Frederick’s of Hollywood. He invented the first padded bra and then about one year later, invented the first push-up bra. 

The A, B, C, D scale of cup sizes wasn’t invented until the 1930s. 

The 1950s brought us the bullet bra, which Hollywood stars like Marilyn Monroe, helped to grow in popularity. Then came more types of bras, such as Wonderbras, sports bras, and even memory foam bras. Many new bra designs and textures have been used throughout the years, all trying their best to cater to a woman’s comfort and confidence.

How Frequently To Wash Bras

Since bras are pressed up against our breasts all day (Lucky them! Ha!), they can quickly accumulate dirt, oil, bacteria, and sweat from our body, and even more so in the summer when the weather can be hot and humid. So how often should we be washing our bras? According to Reader’s Digest, the answer is after just three to four wears.

So how often should we be washing our bras? After just three to four wears.

If you’ve been sweating more than normal, it’s recommended to wash your bras even more frequently, and sports bras should be washed after every workout. Certain types of bras are more prone to holding dirt and bacteria, such as underwire bras. If bras are not washed frequently, it could lead to rashes that could result in an open wound on your body.

How To Properly Wash Your Bra

Hand washing your bra is always highly recommended because it will help preserve the life of your bra. Fill up your sink with lukewarm water and use a gentle alcohol-free detergent, such as Dreft or Ivory Snow, to soak your bra in for up to one hour. Then, gently rub the fabric together with your hands to remove any dirt. Rinse the bra under cool running water until the water runs clear. When you’re done, lay the bra flat on a towel and press another towel on top of it to remove excess water. Finally, hang up your bra to let it dry.

Hand washing your bra is always highly recommended because it will help preserve the life of your bra.

If hand washing isn’t possible, you can use your washing machine if your bra’s tag says that it’s machine washable. Before placing your bra in a mesh garment bag with similarly colored delicate items, hook the back of your bra together. Use a delicate and alcohol-free detergent, cool water, and a gentle cycle to wash your bra. After your bra has been washed, gently use your hands to reshape the bra’s cups and then hang it out to dry. Never wring out or stretch your bra, as doing so could bend your bra out of shape.

How To Properly Store Your Bra

In order to ensure your bra lasts a long time, it’s not only important to wash your bra correctly but store it correctly as well. Many women store their bras by folding one cup into another, but this is actually damaging their bras. That’s because by doing so, the cups become inverted and result in dents, creases, and misshapen cups. Instead, women need to keep both cups puffed up in storage and then keep their bras either stacked up or lined up on top of one another. Keeping the bras unhooked allows them to stack up or line up better. There are even bra organizers you can purchase to help store your bras correctly, like The Container Store’s 5-Section Boobie Trap Bra Organizer.

Many women store their bras by folding one cup into another, but this is actually damaging their bras.

More Bra-vo Tips

Bra specialist Bobbie Smith from Freshpair recommends not wearing a bra two days in a row. According to Smith, bras should be given at least one day to rest so that the elastic has time to regain its strength. By taking proper care of your bra, Smith says it should last a good eight months. Smith also recommends having six or seven bras at a time, so that you can rotate them, making them last longer.

Closing Thoughts

After reading this, you might feel as though you’ll be spending your entire summer washing your bras, so if you don’t already have more than a few bras in your wardrobe, I highly recommend expanding your collection. And when you find the right bra for you, get multiple. Your bra should bring you comfort, support, and confidence — just like a best friend. Maybe not BFF status, but BF8Months will do.

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