I’m very happy to announce the first in a new series of Braducational Videos: How to Hand Wash Your Bras! My Bra Diva Kim has years of experience as a fitter, manager, and lingerie expert and now, she’s here to help me “bradcuate” you. Watch the video and keep reading to get Kim’s tips – including how often to wash your bras, which soap to use, and more! They’re pretty awesome because, hey, she learned from the best 😉 Yours truly! Take it away, Kim!
Hi everyone! I’m Kim from Linda’s. I’ve worked in the lingerie and bra fitting business for about 8 years. Linda is a great teacher! I also gained a lot of experience in the luxury and high end lingerie business. But when it comes down to it, bra fitting and proper bra care are my true passions. And let’s be honest, whether you spend $50 or $500 on a bra, it has to fit right, and you have to take care of it. I’m so thrilled with this new Braducational Video series. It’s a project that I feel very strongly will help women learn more about their bras, and their boobs!
I started the video series with simple how-to steps for hand washing your bras. I’ve seen so many women come in for a fitting, leave with amazing bras that fit them perfectly, and then totally ruin those awesome bras. Don’t throw your money out! I think a lot of women think hand washing is really difficult or time consuming, but it’s actually easier than you think, and totally worth it. Take a peek at the video above. And be sure to subscribe to Linda the Bra Lady’s YouTube channel so you get updates on every Braducational Video (the topics are really great, I promise!) I’ve also included the how-to below, along with a few extra anecdotes, just for Linda Unhooked readers! xoxo Kim
How to Hand Wash Your Bras: Braducational Video
You will need:
- A clean sink, bucket or basin
- Gentle silk or lingerie wash (LeBlanc is by far my favorite! It’s really concentrated so I only need to use one capful in the bucket, which means a 16 oz. bottle lasts a long time. Very economical! Plus, I was my tights, swimsuits, silk blouses, sweaters, and dresses in this stuff. It’s awesome!)
- A place or device to hang your bras (I use the rack with clips shown in the video)
- A water faucet (I use the tub faucet because it’s bigger)
- A towel (I use this under the bras to let them drip. If you hang them in the shower, you won’t need one)
Step 1: Sort Bras by Color
Just like clothing, bras can bleed. Ever washed a nude bra with a new black bra? Did your nude bra turn grey? Ugh. Avoid color bleeding and wash light and dark bras separately. You can even wash one color in the sink and the other in a bucket!
Tip: You don’t need to wash your bras after every single wear. In fact, over washing can cause them to wear out too fast. Usually every 4-5 wears is good enough. If you have a 100-degree-omg-I’m-sweating-like-crazy-day or it’s a sports bra used for actual sweaty exercise, you can wash them more often.
Step 2: Use the right soap
I can not stress the importance of this. Many women say, “You’d be proud of me! I hand wash with my [insert harsh, basic detergent name here]!” Sorry ladies, hand washing is a great start, but using the soap you use to wash your clothing is harmful. Basic detergents, and even some “delicate” washes are too harsh on lace and elastic. It will cause the fibers to become brittle and lose their elasticity. And once your bra band stretches out, that bra is dead. Protect elastic and lace with a soap made specifically for lace or lingerie. I’ve tried a few, and LeBlanc is my favorite.
Tip: If you have sensitive skin (like me) wash your bras before you wear them. Within a minute or so of trying on a new bra, my skin is red and I’m itchy. It’s not the bra. It’s what’s ON the bra. Many manufacturers starch their bras to help them keep their shape during shipping or while hanging on a hanger. Just wash your bras before you wear them and you can avoid itchy, red splotches.
Step 3: Fill a container with water and soap
Be sure that the container you’re using is clean. I use a bucket that I picked up for $1. I place it in the tub so that my husband and I can still use the bathroom sink, and I can avoid toothpaste residue. Use lukewarm water. Anything too hot is too harsh on delicate fabrics. If you are washing larger bras (ex: a a 44H molded bra), it may make sense to fill the tub. That way you’ll have enough room to submerge your bras without crushing them. If you’re using a larger container, you’ll need to use a little bit more water and soap, maybe 2-3 capfulls. In a small sink or bucket, you only need 1 capfull.
Step 4: Submerge and soak your bras
I love this step. It’s so easy! All you do is let your bras sit. Go for a walk, go watch your favorite TV show, go have dinner… whatever! Soaking your bras is by far the most gentle way to wash bras. And yes, it cleans them. In fact, the next step is part of the cleaning process. Read on!
Step 5: Rinse
Drain the sink or bucket and rinse each bra. No need to get out a wash board or use your hands to scrub-scrub-scrub. All you need to do is gently rub the fabric between your fingers, paying close attention to the band and inside of the underwires where bras tend to be the most soiled. Run the bras a few times under the water to rinse out any excess wash. And be careful not to invert or dent the cups of your molded bras. You can even use your hands to reshape molded bras.
Step 6: Pat and hang dry
We’re almost done! After rinsing each bra, pat out any excess water. Do not wring or twist your bras! Then hang them to dry.You can dry them outside in the fresh air, but avoid the sun. A shaded area is best so the sun doesn’t bleach your bras. Also, I avoid drying my bras in my bathroom since it tends to be very humid in there. Too much humidity will cause your bras to take too long to dry and get that musty smell. I usually hang my in my bedroom (my husband is used to it – hehe). Also, try putting down a towel under your bras to avoid a puddle. Here are a few of the best ways to dry your bras:
- hang bras over a shower curtain rod
- hang bras over or on a hanger
- hang bras on a tall dry rack (I use this for my blouses and dresses, too!)
- hang bras by clips (I use this most often. I clip them at the base of the wire where it meets the band. Be careful – if your bras are much larger or very heavy when wet, this could stretch out your wire or band)
Let your bras dry overnight and you’re good to go!
Tip: NEVER put your bras in the dryer. Seriously. The high heat and tumbling will ruin the elastic, and cause underwires to break. Might as well just throw out your bras!
Besides helping your bras last longer, hand washing is very environment friendly (using just a little bit of water and no energy to air dry) and economical (that 16 oz. Le Blanc wash is only $16 and since you’re only using a capfull at a time, lasts for months and months!). I hope this video and these tips help you take great care of your bras – enjoy!