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Article: The Importance of Hand Washing Your Bras

Angry washing machine with pink bras in the foreground

The Importance of Hand Washing Your Bras

Sometimes we just need to go back to basics - especially when it comes to bra washing. It’s so disheartening to hear the oh so common story whenever a customer comes back to our store only a few weeks later telling us how their underwire has popped out of their bra because they put it in the wash. And that’s why I’m here today to remind everyone not only how to wash bras properly, debunk some common bra washing myths and in turn, maintain their shape, structure and increase the longevity of your bras too.

Common Myths About Washing Bras 

"Oh, but I use a washing bag"

Using a washing bag can certainly provide some protection for your bras, but it's not foolproof. Washing bags can sometimes open up during the wash cycle, exposing your bras to the harsh environment of the washing machine. Even if the bag stays closed, the bras inside are still subjected to the machine's agitation, which can lead to stretching, tangling, and damage to delicate fabrics and structures.

“I use a gentle cycle"

While using a gentle cycle is better than a regular wash cycle, it’s still not ideal for bras. Even on a gentle cycle, the washing machine throws the bras around, causing friction burn and potential damage to the fabric, underwires, and elastic. This rough treatment can wear out your bras much faster than hand washing would.

“It takes too long”

Hand washing bras might seem time-consuming, but it can be quick and easy. You can wash your bras by hand in the shower, incorporating it into your routine. This way, you're not only taking care of your lingerie but also treating yourself to a little extra self-care time. A few minutes spent on hand washing can save you money and prolong the life of your bras significantly.

"It’s only been a year"

It's a common misconception that bras can last for years without issue. In reality, bras typically have a lifespan of 6-12 months, depending on factors such as your size, structure, and how many bras you have in rotation. Larger cup sizes and more structured bras, in particular, can wear out faster due to the additional strain - ensuring you have the correct fitting bra will avoid excess strain. If you're wearing the same few bras regularly, their lifespan can be even shorter.


The Consequences of Machine Washing

bras that have been ruined by a washing machine

Lets talk about the washing machine… dun, dun, DUN!
Machine washing bras is like sending them on a rollercoaster ride they never signed up for. The agitator in washing machines is notorious for stretching and tearing delicate fabrics, causing friction burn that leaves your bras looking worse for wear. It’s like throwing your favourite lace into a mosh pit! The gentle cycle is no better, often misshaping cups and distorting underwires, leaving you with a bra that looks like it's been through a whirlwind. Frequent machine washing means you'll be saying goodbye to your favourite bras much sooner, which can add up to a hefty expense. So, save your bras from this chaotic adventure and hand wash them instead – they’ll last longer, look better, and save you money in the long run. Plus, it’s a great way to show your lingerie some extra love!


How to Properly Wash Your Bras

Person washing a bra in soapy water

Taking the time to hand wash your bras ensures they maintain their shape, elasticity, and longevity. Here’s a simple guide to help you through the process, whether you choose to wash them in the sink or incorporate the task into your shower routine. All you’ll need is your bra and a gentle detergent. 

Step-by-Step Process - In the Sink

Fill the basin with cold water and add a small amount of gentle detergent.

Gently submerge the bras and swish them around to loosen any dirt.

Let the bras soak for about 10-15 minutes.

Rinse with cool water until all the detergent is removed.

Gently press out excess water without wringing or twisting to avoid damaging the fabric.

Lay the bras flat on a towel or a clothes rack to air dry, reshaping the cups if necessary.


Step-by-Step Process - In the Shower

Add a small amount of gentle detergent to the bra while in the shower.

Gently scrub the bra with your hands to clean it.

Rinse out the detergent thoroughly with the running shower water.

Gently press out excess water without wringing or twisting.

Lay the bras flat on a towel or a clothes rack to air dry, reshaping the cups if necessary.

By following these steps, you can easily incorporate bra care into your routine, ensuring your everyday bras, sports bras and delicates stays in great shape for longer.

Please note that bras cannot be exchanged if they have been machine washed. While we strive to ensure complete customer satisfaction, bras damaged by a washing machine are not considered faulty and cannot be returned to the manufacturer.

Woman in lingerie smiling in field

It's a familiar tale: the dreaded underwire popping out after a few rounds in the washing machine. At Illusions Lingerie we hear these stories all too often. That's why it's crucial to revisit the basics of bra care. By taking a few extra moments to wash your bras by hand, you're not just preserving their shape and structure; you're extending their lifespan and saving yourself the hassle of premature replacements. Machine washing might seem like a convenient shortcut, but it's a gamble with your lingerie's longevity. Embracing proper bra care isn't just about maintenance; it's about cherishing the pieces that support you every day and making a sustainable choice for both your comfort and your wardrobe's health.

About The Author
Lingerie Specialist
Famously known throughout Moonee Ponds and Greater Melbourne as the "Bra Fairy", Tracey has been helping women feel comfortable and confident through stress-free bra fittings for over 38 years.

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