As the most delicate of delicates, bras require special care to keep their shape. But let's be reasonable here: Who has the time to hand-wash their bras after every wearing? Here are a few tips for keeping the convenience of machine washing, without stretching and distorting any of your undergarments.
- When you're separating your clothes for laundry day, hook the back of each bra, so the hooks don't snag any fabric.
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- Be sure to wash your bras in a lingerie bag. This should minimize stress on the garment during the wash cycle. Follow the instructions on the label to make sure that you've selected the correct water temperature for the cycle, too.
- Be sure to use a mild detergent when you wash bras. (Our Cleaning Products Lab recommends a detergent like Woolite that's designed for delicate fabrics.) Stronger detergents can deteriorate the fabric (so your bras will look less pretty the more that you wash them) and degrade the Lycra or Spandex in the band (meaning that your bras will stretch over time).
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- When you remove the bras from the wash, remold the cups with your hands to help maintain their shape.
- Always air-dry your bras after washing. The high temperatures of the dryer will prematurely deteriorate the bra's fabric and can lead to stretching.
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- Set aside a drawer (or a portion of a drawer) in your dresser and stack bras together. This will help the bras to maintain their shape. Throwing bras into a drawer haphazardly or inverting cups can deteriorate bras' shape more quickly.
- If you spot puckering, pleating, or pilling in the inner lining of your bra, it's time to get a new one. Wearing a bra like this all day can irritate your breasts over time.
Related: How We Tested Bras
Do you have any secrets for laundering delicates? Share your laundry tips in the comments.
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