Are You Caring for Your Lingerie Properly: What to Know

woman wearing lingerie

Many women neglect their lingerie or do not know how to care for them properly, which shouldn’t be the case. Bras and other undergarments are sturdy and can withstand repeated use and washing, but they eventually wear down. Keep reading for tips on caring for these undergarments and extending their lifecycle.

Wash Bras by Hand Only

When hand washing your bras, use lukewarm water and a mild detergent, and rinse everything with cold water. It’s also best to wash after two to three wears, not after each one. Manufacturers recommend washing bras by hand because using a machine can damage your lingerie significantly. 

For example, the straps can get tangled in with other clothes, which causes them to stretch and lose shape. If you’ve ever had to wear a bra, you know how much of a nuisance loose straps can be! Even if you use a lingerie bag, the components could still catch on the machine’s inner drum, causing them to break or bend.

Another reason to hand wash your bras is because bra wires can damage your washing machine. You’ll have to spend quite a bit repairing and replacing the dryer or the washtub when this happens.

Don’t Even Think of Tumble Drying

The tumble dryer is even more brutal on lingerie than the washing machine. Bras are delicate, and the heat from the dryer could break down and melt the elastic portions of lingerie. What’s more, tumble drying causes the underwire to twist and the cloth’s color to fade. 

If you want to dry your bras, press the excess water on a towel and lay it out to air dry. Don’t hang them by the straps or wring the fabric—both of these will cause the bra to warp.

Lay Lingerie Flat in the Drawer

Many women fold bras in half when storing them. While this can save space in the drawer or closet, it compromises the bra’s structure and fit. A bra is supposed to mold over the bust, and if you fold it in storage, it can get misshapen over time. Give them space in your drawer—lay them flat so they can retain their shape.

Keep Your Bras in Rotation

The more bras you have, the better. Besides having more designs and colors to match your clothes, having more lingerie means less likelihood of stressing the support systems and elastic. 

Don’t wear bras more than two times in a row—at any given time, you should have one bra ready to wear, one in the wash, and one in storage. If you rotate the wearing of your lingerie, all of the pieces will last longer.

Know When to Retire Lingerie

All women have favorite bras. You know the one—it’s probably more than ten years old, has loose straps and malformed cups. Hate to break it to you, but you have to let this one go. 

If the bra is over a year old, it’s time to dispose of it. Beyond a year, the bra’s support breaks down, and the elastic loosens, so take note of when you buy your lingerie so you can prepare to replace it when the time comes.


Undergarments provide the structure for an outfit. A bra can enhance the shape of a blouse or destroy it. As such, you must wear one which suits your proportions. Caring for your bras will also help you extend their life cycle.

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