How-to wash a bra

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The best way to wash lingerie is by hand.[1]

How-to wash a bra the best way is a simple, yet often misunderstood process. The recommend option is to hand wash bras and lay them out to dry.

The bra will last longest if you hand wash it with gentle detergent-free lingerie wash, such as Forever New.[2] Although detergent harms undergarment elasticity, if a proper wash is not available, a mild, non-biological detergent will comparatively do the least harm, though some use a mild baby shampoo (if hand washing in the shower). Always avoid fabric softener on bras.

Washing methodEdit

How To Wash Bras and Panties01:20

How To Wash Bras and Panties

This video summarizes how to hand wash a bra.[3]

Hand washEdit

Hand washing a bra is the preferred method, as it is the gentlest and makes them last the longest by hurting shape, elasticity, and color the least.[4]

  1. Fill a large basin or sink with lukewarm water, and add a little lingerie wash (about a third of the amount used for a regular laundry load).
  2. Add the bra to the soapy water.
  3. Let the bra soak for a few minutes; make sure they it is completely wet.
  4. After soaking, gently pump it up and down in the water a few times to loosen dirt.
  5. To remove spots, rub them gently with your hands. Pay special attention to the underwire, straps, and the portion of the panel near the armpit, as these locations accumulate more sweat and dirt. This should only take a few minutes.
  6. Empty the sink of dirty water and refill with clean, lukewarm or cool water.
  7. Rinse the bra in the running water.
  8. Pump the bra in the water once more to wash away any residual lingerie wash.
  9. Remove the bra from the water.[5]

Salad spinnerEdit

A variant of hand washing is the salad spinner method, which was first discussed by Carathebug[6] on Busty Girl Comics.[7] This method is gentle on bras and may decrease time spent washing, although the amount of water and soap used is greater.

  • Detergent-free lingerie wash
  • Salad spinner large enough to fit your bra
  1. Fill the salad spinner with lukewarm water.
  2. Add a little lingerie wash.
  3. Add the bra to the soapy water.
  4. Let the bra soak for a few minutes; make sure that it is completely wet.
  5. After soaking, spin the salad spinner six to eight times.
  6. To remove spots, rub them gently with your hands for a few minutes. Pay special attention to the underwire, straps, and the portion of the panel near the armpit, as these locations accumulate more sweat and dirt.
  7. Remove the bra from the water.
  8. Rinse the bra under cool or lukewarm water to remove excess soap.

Washing machineEdit

Machine washing is rough on lingerie, and it will greatly reduce their lifespans.[4] We do not recommend using such, but we will explain the best way to do so, if it is your only option.

  1. Put the bras in a garment bag.
  2. Put garment bag in the washing machine.
  3. Add the lingerie wash, but do not use fabric softener, as this will reduce elasticity.
  4. Set the machine for a cool wash on the delicates cycle.
  5. When the cycle is complete, remove the entire garment bag.
  6. Take the bra out of the bag.[5]

Drying methodEdit

Before drying one, never wring out a bra, as this will ruin its elasticity and shape.[5]

Lay outEdit

Laying a bra out is the recommended way for a bra to dry, as it will keep its shape best.[8]

  • Towel
  • Flat surface
  1. Lay a towel flat next on a solid surface.
  2. Gently reshape the cups of a molded bra.
  3. Lay it entirely flat on the towel, trying to keep the straps and panels loose and uncrumpled.
  4. Allow the bra to fully dry before storage.[5]


Hanging a bra out to dry beats using a tumble dryer, but it will still affect the bra's elasticity over time, especially in the straps. The cups will not be kept in their ideal shape either, compared to laying out the bra.

  • Non-rusty hanger
  • Hanging rod, drying rack, or something similar
  1. Gently reshape the cups of a molded bra.
  2. Hang it on a non-rusty hanger, trying to keep the straps and panels loose and separated.
  3. Allow the bra to fully dry before storage.[9]

Tumble dryerEdit

In general, do not use a tumble dryer to dry bras, as it will ruin elasticity, shape, and shorten bra life.[5] If you absolutely have to do so under time constraints, we will document the best way.

  • Tumble dryer
  1. Place a wet bra in the dryer.
  2. Put the dryer on the gentle, cold setting.
  3. Dry it for as short of a time as possible.
  4. Follow the directions for lay out the bra to dry the rest of the way.

Extend bra lifespanEdit

Main article: How-to prolong bra life

There are several tips one can use to extend bra lifespan for its maximum level. Firstly, store bras with with their cups shaped correctly, not crushed. In addition, let each bra rest at least one full day between wearings,[10] and ideally wash it after every one. As a bra is worn, sweat and dead skin cells become embedded in the fabric and elastic. The longer a bra is worn without washing it, the more sweat and dirt will build up and the harder it will be to clean. Over time, this wears away at the bra, decreasing its life.

See alsoEdit


  1. GoodHousekeeping: "How to Wash Delicates"
  2. Forever New
  3. Howcast
  4. 4.0 4.1 Good Housekeeping: "How to Buy a Bra"
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 Invest in Your Chest: "How to: hand-wash your bras"
  6. Tumblr: "Caraphasia"
  7. Busty Girl Comics: "Here's an awesome bit of advice"
  8. HerRoom: "Lingerie Washing Guidelines"
  9. Facebook: "Elomi Post #478366008886112"
  10. The Lingerie Addict: "How Often Should You Wash Your Bra?"

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