The subject of bra cleaning is lately very popular in British press. The reason of the discussion is a recent discovery that an average British woman washes her bra once every 2 month period, after wearing for about seven times. Women prefer to buy a new bra, rather than taking special care of the ones they already have. What about the bras you already have? And more important – you already have and LOVE?
The magic of maintaining your miraculous bra in a good shape starts from the crucial beginning – what you do after you stop wearing it!
In order to prevent permanent staining or unpleasant odor on your bra, you should find an ultimate place for keeping your lingerie before washing it. The best option is to keep dirty lingerie in an airy wicker basket or linen bag for a very short time. It is very helpful to wash your lingerie right after wearing it, even if you are not going to wear it the following day. Your bra will be in better condition if you let it rest in a clean, fragrant drawer rather than let it lie in a laundry bag together with sweaty shirts and stinky socks. Especially you ought to soak your bra after every wear if it is made of spandex (elastane) – fabric that is commonly used for making bras.
There is a general rule – the more often you clean your bra, the less it is dirty. Therefore, you don’t have to put too much effort in keeping it clean and fresh, gentle soaking will be just fine most of the times.
If you have a bra made of cotton, polyester or synthetic silk, you can freely wash it in a washing machine. But you don’t want to murder your favorite lace or satin bra, which are better off in your hands. Bras with wires absolutely shouldn’t be tortured in a machine, as they may lose their shape or even break (and it is not because of manufacturer’s fault!).
The most cruel killer of your bra is a rubbing process that takes place in a crime scene – machine drum. You need to prepare well and get a protecting bag to put it into. There is a choice – you can just use any pillowcase that you tie tight with the bra inside. You can also put a bra in a special lingerie bag (mesh wash bag) before popping it into the machine. Another choice – washing net for individual bra. The latest hit is a special ball for bra washing called Bra Baby. Your bra will not rub against anything and won’t change its shape (an option for washing wire bras – if you really have to).
Don’t forget to clasp a bra before the laundry to prevent from tearing the lace or other delicate fabric!
Cotton used for making bras is a gentle fabric and can also reshape (stretch). For that reason you will prolong its life by paying attention to a few details. In order to prevent detergent-related damage, always dissolve the detergent in water first, then add your cotton or polyester lingerie.
Set low temperature (30C) and very gentle cycle with low spin.
Always hand wash in cold to lukewarm water. This will protect the fabric as well as the metal hooks that tend to get damaged in high temperatures. Use little detergent intended for delicate fabrics. Soak your bra in the solution and swish it around. Make sure you don’t rub, twist or wring the bra! Rinse with clean water until you can’t see anymore bubbles. Instead of wringing or squeezing your bra, gently press the water from the fabric and remove remaining water with absorbent cloth. Dry on a flat surface, don’t hang!
Either you hand wash or machine wash your bra, make sure you rinse it well and don’t let any traces of detergent stay on your lingerie’s surface. This could irritate your sensitive skin or, what’s worse, turn the fabric yellow. It is essential to use a detergent made especially for delicate fabrics.
You could use Soyelle – the detergent especially designed to wash the delicate textiles, lingerie in particular. It helps prevent from yellowing as well.
My favorite detergent for washing bras is Woolite – gently treats silk and other “delicates”.
Don’t be afraid to use detergent intended for washing baby cloths (like Dreft). Its ingredients are extra gentle and you don’t risk damaging the fabric or skin allergies.
Old and good way of washing your bra is using soap flakes or solution for hand wash of synthetic fabric.
Adding a softener will prevent turning whites into grey, but will cause yellowing of elastic bands.
KEEPING WHITE LINGERIE WHITE
Either you hand wash or machine wash, never wash white and color lingerie together! This also relates to very light pastel tones.
White bras have a tendency to become dull. There is really nothing you can do to make them stay white forever, but you can prolong their color in a few ways. Wear white bra only under white clothes. Try to hand wash your white bra in cold or lukewarm water. You can add OXY – a non-chlorine bleach. Some people also suggest to add Dove body soap to help maintain the white color. Avoid to put your white lingerie in direct sun or direct heat.
Stains on bras caused by perfume and deodorants are particularly difficult to remove. You can do your best and apply them before you get dressed.
Famous designer Vivienne Westwood admitted that she doesn’t wash her bras at all. In order to get rid of sweat and perfume stains, she just sprinkles them with talc. Well… Clean bra is a part of your hygiene and it is supposed to be refreshed regularly.