The answer may surprise you.
As the old saying goes, a good bra is like a best friend: It supports you, lifts you up, and is always there when you need it. And as is the case with friends, we like some more than others, meaning you wear them more often. For those bras you pretty much live in, when do you absolutely have to throw one in the wash? Is it only after particularly sweaty days? Or should you be washing a bra after every single wear? After all, we don’t normally re-wear other underwear items without washing them.
We’ve got a lot of questions around the seemingly simple debate of to wash or not to wash on a daily basis. For example, does the type of bra you wear change how often you should wash it? What about how you should wash different bras? Does material matter? This is as complicated as putting on a corset!
When it comes to washing bras, the long sought-after answer is that it really depends. If you’re an active person or find yourself sweating a lot, you should probably wash your bra if it took in a lot of moisture. If you toss on a bra to run to the bank, come home, and then immediately take it off, chances are you don’t have to toss it in the wash just yet.
How often should you wash your bra?
According to the Cleveland Clinic and dermatologist Alok Vij, MD, there’s no exact science. It really all depends on how many “wears” you get out of a bra, and even then, deciding what a full wear is can be tricky.
Wearing one for a few hours at the office while you’re nice and cool in the air conditioning might not count as a full wear, while being out at the farmers market for one hour and sweating up a storm could be equivalent to two or three.
And even if you want to wear a bra two days in a row, it’s important to let it “rest.” Excessive, constant wear can actually stretch out your straps and band more quickly, meaning your bra won’t be as supportive. Normally, letting your bra rest overnight is long enough, but it’s definitely something to keep in mind if you tend to gravitate toward a specific one.
As a general rule, Thirdlove recommends washing your bra at least once every week or two. Of course this depends on how many bras are in your rotation — if you’re wearing a different bra everyday, you probably don’t have to wash them all once a week.
Of course, if you notice any noticeable stains or funky smells, it’s time to give it a good wash.
How should you wash your bra?
Bras are complicated garments with a lot of delicate components, but that doesn’t mean they have to be hand washed. Take some extra care by placing your bras in a mesh lingerie bag to avoid the hooks from latching onto other clothing or getting stuck on your agitator, and you can easily wash them with the rest of your clothes on a gentle cycle. Just make sure to clasp the hooks on your bras before putting them into the bag to ensure they don’t snag or tangle up with each other in there. Thankfully, there are plenty of washing guides out there that can help you determine the best way to wash your bra if you aren’t sure.
Use a detergent that’s safe for your skin, as everyone’s sensitivities are different. Some people break out in a rash if their clothes are washed in a heavily scented detergent, while others don’t. It’s all about preference.
One thing most bra retailers and experts agree on is you should never throw any bras in the dryer. The high heat can lead to bras shrinking or losing shape more quickly. Using a drying rack is your best option.
Do different kinds of bras need to be laundered differently?
For the most part, no. Putting bras in a lingerie bag (this one has almost 10,000 very satisfied reviews!) and using the gentle cycle is safe for most bras. Cold water is best for delicate fabrics like lace or mesh, as warm water can damage them, but other than that, they can all pretty much be washed the same way.
Cotton bralettes or sports bras can even handle a “rougher” wash outside of a lingerie bag because they have fewer components that can get snagged or damaged in the washing machine. That being said, you should still treat them with care if you want them to last a long time.
The only caveat we’ll mention with sports bras is that you should wash them after every single wear if that wear includes an intense, sweaty workout. Always toss sweaty bras in the wash, even if you only wore them once, as bacteria and dirt can build up and irritate your skin if you put it on again.
If you want to add some new bras to your rotation so you can go longer between laundry days, we’ve gathered our favorite easy-to-wash bras to share with you. This way, you can go a couple of weeks without having to go braless or do laundry.
Knickey Triangle Bralette
Bralettes are often overlooked by people with larger chests because they don’t always offer enough support, but this one from Knickey is the complete opposite. Made with organic cotton, the cups in this bralette are double lined for support, darted at the base for a close fit and a bit of lift, and the straps and band are adjustable. Plus, there are no annoying foam cups in this bra, so you can toss it in the wash with the rest of your clothes without worrying about a lost pad or how you’re supposed to shove it back into the cup.
Thirdlove 24/7 Perfect Coverage Bra
There’s nothing more annoying than seeing obvious, distracting bra lines under your favorite T-shirt. It throws the whole outfit off! This one from Thirdlove has a full-coverage fit that decreases chances of the cup protruding, and it’s made from a smooth material that won’t create any bumps and lumps under your top. It’s made with a high-quality construction, which doesn’t only keep you supported, but it’ll hold up through multiple washes, too.
Parade Cotton Plunge Bralette
Sometimes you can’t be bothered with an underwire. This plunging bralette is great for days you want to throw on a V-neck T-shirt without showing any straps or cups. Not only is it made of super soft material, but it also offers quite a bit of support despite the lack of underwire. Like other bralettes, this one will withstand the washer well.
Cuup Scoop Bra
For a super smooth look, this microfiber bra is perfect. There are no seams on the cups, so you won’t see it under shirts, and the thin material is breathable and feels like butter. This one comes in 10 different colors, too, so you can easily pick a nude, black, and fun one to cover all your wardrobe bases. Because the fabric is so thin (yet supportive), it dries super fast after washing, too!
Uwila Warrior Soft Bra
Blending the comfort of a bralette with the support of a sports bra, Uwila Warrior has created a bra that’s both soft and lifting. It’s made of a double-layered fabric for support, but mesh details increase breathability and add a fun see-through touch. The straps are also convertible, so you can wear them regularly or crossed in the back.
lululemon AirSupport Bra
Doubling up on sports bras for an intense workout isn’t pleasant, but the worst part is trying to get both layers off after you’ve sweat through them (and having to wash two bras after). This high-support bra from lululemon will be the only one you have to wear during an intense sweat sesh, and it’ll ensure you don’t leave the gym without a sore chest because of unnecessary bouncing. Plus, the cups are built-in, so you won’t have to fight to put them back into the bra after washing it.
"The 'rule' is that a bra should be washed after every wear, since it's directly in contact with the body," laundry expert Mary Marlowe Leverette told PureWow. "Body oils, perspiration, and bacteria are transferred to the fabric and if left in the fibers will begin to break down the fabric—especially elastic fibers."Is it OK to not wash your bra? ›
"By not washing bras frequently, body soils like sweat, sebum, and skin cells can build up on bras, which can eventually lead to malodors and even residues and dinginess," Wang warns. And, according to Miller, any bacteria left on the bra can lead to annoying skin problems, such as "irritation or rash."How often does the average person wash their bra? ›
About a third of women surveyed said they wash their bras every two weeks — but nearly half of the women surveyed wash them less often than that. (Sports bras are another story. Nearly all the women surveyed wash those after every workout, which seems like a good idea).What happens when you wear a new bra without washing it? ›
So if you wear your new bra without washing it first, you're exposing yourself to that bacteria — plus dead skin cells from others who tried it on before you. These concerns are clearly not as applicable to bras purchased online, as far fewer people have handled them.Are you supposed to wear the same bra everyday? ›
Unless you're regularly breaking into a sweat, you don't need to change your regular bra every day. A change twice a week (or at least once a week) is a good guideline to aim for. However, breaking into a sweat isn't the only thing that should prompt you to change bras.Should I wash my bra every time I wear it? ›
"The 'rule' is that a bra should be washed after every wear, since it's directly in contact with the body," laundry expert Mary Marlowe Leverette told PureWow. "Body oils, perspiration, and bacteria are transferred to the fabric and if left in the fibers will begin to break down the fabric—especially elastic fibers."What happens if you wear the same bra for a week? ›
It can irritate your skin.
All that sweat, oil and dead skin creates bacteria that can irritate your skin. Exposing your skin to that bacteria may cause acne in the areas your bra touches. It's also possible that wearing the bra daily means it won't fully dry from the previous wear.
How Often You Should Wash Your Sheets (And How to Get Them Really Clean) Experts recommend washing or changing sheets once a week.How long does a bra last if you wear it everyday? ›
Even with gentle usage and care, all bras will lose their shape over time as the elastic fibres in the band and straps begins to deteriorate. It's generally recommended that a bra should last anywhere between 6-9 months, although we think that with good care your bras should last a lot longer.How many bras should you own? ›
As a general rule of thumb, it's important to have a healthy rotation of bras at the ready so that you're never left blindsided — and bare chested. All things considered, we'd suggest owning 11 bras in total in a couple of distinctive styles that range from everyday to on-occasion.
Is it OK to sleep in my bra? There's nothing wrong with wearing a bra while you sleep if that's what you're comfortable with. Sleeping in a bra will not make a girl's breasts perkier or prevent them from getting saggy. And it will not stop breasts from growing or cause breast cancer.How many bras does the average person own? ›
Most people have between one and four special occasion bras, though some may have more depending on their style and what type of clothes they like to wear. You might own anywhere between five and 15 (or even more) bras. It all depends on your lifestyle and your preferences.Can I wear the bra from store without washing? ›
Obviously you don't have to wash a new bra right away. There's no bra police coming to get you if you don't, and it's not going to ruin your life to wear a new bra home from the store. If you don't have particularly sensitive skin, you might not even notice a difference between your bra pre- and post-wash.How many times can you wear a bra before replacing? ›
In fact, experts recommend replacing bras every six months—or after about 180 wears.How many bra should I wear in a day? ›
They go with most of our clothing, and we can rely on our everyday bras to keep us comfortable and supported all day long. But this everyday style doesn't have to be boring. A good rule of thumb is to have three everyday bras on rotation.How often should you throw out bras? ›
As a general rule of thumb, most experts recommend that your bras be replaced every 6-12 months.How often should you wash your towels? ›
How often should I wash my bath towels? Dead skin cells, bacteria, and even sweat can accumulate quickly on your towels, so using a fresh one about every three days is a simple rule of thumb—for all kinds of towels. You can of course change them more often.What is the best way to wash bras? ›
The best way to protect your bras during a wash cycle is to place them inside a mesh laundry bag and wash using mild detergent and cool water on the delicate cycle setting, making sure to air dry afterwards. These precautions can help protect the bra's shape and structure, but it does not guarantee it.Is it bad to wear a bra all day and night? ›
Is it OK to sleep in my bra? There's nothing wrong with wearing a bra while you sleep if that's what you're comfortable with. Sleeping in a bra will not make a girl's breasts perkier or prevent them from getting saggy. And it will not stop breasts from growing or cause breast cancer.What happens if you don't wear a bra for 2 days? ›
"If you don't wear a bra, your breasts will sag," says Dr. Ross. "If there's a lack of proper, long-term support, breast tissue will stretch and become saggy, regardless of breast size." Still, both experts agree that multiple factors play into if and when sagging (technical term: "ptosis") occurs, bra-wearing aside.
There is no scientific evidence to suggest that wearing a correctly fitting bra during the day has any negative effects on health. However, a bra that does not fit properly can cause pain in the neck and the chest muscles. Excessively tight shoulder straps may also affect the shoulders.How often should you change your bed? ›
But when should you replace your mattress? Under normal conditions, mattresses should be replaced every 6 to 8 years. Of course, this is a general guideline and not a one-size-fits-all solution.How often should you wash pillowcase? ›
Wash pillowcases weekly.
According to Gagliardi, a good rule of thumb is to wash your pillowcases every time you wash the rest of your bed sheets, which you should do at least once per week.
Is it okay to change your bed sheets once a month? While your specific sheet changing habits might vary a little bit depending on your lifestyle, your body, and your preferences, most experts agree you should change your sheets every week or every two weeks.Why you shouldn't wear a bra all the time? ›
While it largely depends on the kind of bra you wear (whether it is well-fitted or comfortable), bras can induce pressure on the ribcage, back muscles or even the neck. Coupled with a bad posture, it might be causing pain. Hence, a braless lifestyle can help solve this issue.When should you throw out a bra? ›
For bras, you'll want to think about replacing them once the band is stretched out or when you begin to wear it on the tightest band setting. If the elastic doesn't have much life left, it won't give you the support you need, which can cause back pain and general discomfort.What hook should your bra be on? ›
You should always fasten your new bra on the loosest hook.
In fact, it should be on the loosest when it's brand new. This is because it will stretch as you wash and wear it, so you'll need to fasten tighter when this happens.
Since your everyday bras are the ones you're most likely to wear, well… every day… you'll want to have a few on rotation. A good rule of thumb is three everyday bras: Two in a neutral color or skin tone shade.How important is bra size? ›
Proper-fitting bras can help women feel more confident, reduce premature breast sagging, reduce the deep creases and bulges around the chest, and prevent issues in the future. Research has shown that the majority of women are wearing the wrong bra size, which can lead to a variety of problems.Should you sleep with your hair up or down? ›
It is best to sleep with your hair down if your hair length is short. This also lets the air flow freely through your hair, which makes you sleep more comfortably. On the other hand, if you have long hair, it is recommended to tie your hair loosely to prevent knots and breakage.
Young women usually have dense breasts because their milk systems might be needed for feeding babies. Sometimes this thickness is felt as a lump or a mass of tissue. As women age, their milk systems shrink and are replaced by fat. By menopause, most women's breasts are completely soft.What is the best position to sleep in to increase breast size? ›
What is the best sleeping position to increase breast size? Sleeping on your stomach is bad for your breasts because they are pressed against the bed for hours. The best sleeping positions for your breasts include sleeping on your back or on your side with a pillow under the breasts.What is the most common bra size in the world? ›
Globally, a natural female breast has an average size somewhere between a large "A" and a smaller "B" in the US size system. According to European or Australian classifications, this would be a "B".What is the most commonly sold bra size? ›
When people talk about breast size, they often describe it in terms of bra size. The average bra size in the United States is 34DD.What bra size is most popular? ›
According to a survey conducted between 1992 and 2013, the average bra size in the U.S. has increased from a 34B to a 34DD, and now just six years later, the average has shot up to a DDD — that's the largest compared to any of the other countries studied.Is it better to hand wash or machine wash bras? ›
The best way to wash bras and other delicate clothing is by hand, using a mild detergent. We recommend Soak because you don't have to rinse it out, so it's gentler on some fabric fibers (especially silk or wool) and saves water.Why does my bra still smell after washing? ›
Overuse will lead to detergent buildup, which in turn will lead to the development of a sort of mildew-y smell, because the soap combined with your sweat, oils, and dander creates a perfect environment for bacterial growth.Can you wash bras with Dawn? ›
Can I wash my bra with dish soap? You could, but you definitely shouldn't. Dish soap is made for cleaning grease and grime and the detergents are much harsher than in mild laundry detergent. Harsh cleaners break down the fibers in the fabric and ruin the elastic in the band.Is it OK to wear the same bra 2 days in a row? ›
"You can wear the same bra two days in a row, as long as you take it off for several hours in between to allow the bra to relax," dermatologist Alok Vij, M.D., tells the Cleveland Clinic. "But wearing a 'lucky' bra day in and day out will make it lose its shape more quickly."Why does my bra get tighter as the day goes on? ›
Natural swelling: The breasts naturally swell throughout the day due to increased blood flow and hormonal changes. This can make the bra feel tighter as the day goes on.
“For women planning to lose 20 pounds or less, I recommend purchasing one everyday bra you wear under everything. Healthy weight loss plans allow for two pounds per week, which gives you time to wear and enjoy the bra before it no longer fits. If the weight loss slows, add another bra into your rotation.Is it good to wear the same bra Everyday? ›
Unless you're regularly breaking into a sweat, you don't need to change your regular bra every day. A change twice a week (or at least once a week) is a good guideline to aim for.Does wearing a bra 24 7 prevent sagging? ›
“There are all of these rumors out there that if you sleep in your bra, your breasts won't sag as much,” says Dr. Ma. “That really is a myth. Unfortunately, sagging is a natural consequence of aging.Is it OK to wear the same bra for a week? ›
Surely, it's not time to toss it in the laundry yet!” How often you need to wash your bras isn't an exact science. But dermatologist Alok Vij, MD, says that as a general rule, you should wash them after every two to three wears.Should you wash a bra every time? ›
While it is correct not to overwash your bras, as it can damage the elasticity of the bra, which is crucial for proper support, Pour Moi's Lingerie Technologist, Lois Siciliano, advises washing them every two to three wears.Can your bra get moldy? ›
It's not just about washing either
Meaning that even if you dry your bra well, mould can grow if you're generally a sweaty person and your bra doesn't handle sweat well. Thick materials trap moisture from your sweat and mould can grow from the long hours you spend wearing a bra.
Most people wash their bras in the washing machine, but one bra expert has said this will "ruin" them and they won't last as long. Assistant Manager at lingerie store Bravissimo's, Mercie Smith, says one safe method of washing them is in the shower.How many bras should a woman have? ›
As a general rule of thumb, it's important to have a healthy rotation of bras at the ready so that you're never left blindsided — and bare chested. All things considered, we'd suggest owning 11 bras in total in a couple of distinctive styles that range from everyday to on-occasion.What is the brown stuff on my bra? ›
If you are finding brown stains in your bra, you really need to see your doctor. A number of things could be causing this, such as blocked ducts, changes in some cells, or even an infection. But only a doctor can diagnose the exact cause, so be sure to see yours ASAP.How often should sheets be washed? ›
How Often You Should Wash Your Sheets (And How to Get Them Really Clean) Experts recommend washing or changing sheets once a week.
How often should you shower? While there is no ideal frequency, experts suggest that showering several times per week is plenty for most people (unless you are grimy, sweaty, or have other reasons to shower more often). Short showers (lasting three or four minutes) with a focus on the armpits and groin may suffice.How often should you wash your bedding? ›
Most people should wash their sheets once per week. If you don't sleep on your mattress every day, you may be able to stretch this to once every two weeks or so. Some people should wash their sheets even more often than once a week.How many days can you wear a bra without washing it? ›
How often you need to wash your bras isn't an exact science. But dermatologist Alok Vij, MD, says that as a general rule, you should wash them after every two to three wears.Why does my sweat smell like vinegar under my breasts? ›
Sweat can smell like vinegar because of diseases such as diabetes, trichomycosis, and kidney disease, or because of hormone changes, certain foods, or skin infections. Sweat is released by sweat glands that are found throughout the body.How do you permanently get rid of body odor? ›
- Keep your skin clean by taking a daily bath or shower with antibacterial soap. ...
- Keep your armpits shaved, so sweat evaporates quickly and doesn't have as much time to interact with bacteria. ...
- Regularly wash clothing, and wear clean clothes.
- Wear loose-fitting clothing made of cotton.