Bras get dirty even if they are worn under a dress or top, and they are not directly exposed to the elements (air, dust, etc.). The reason is because they absorb the sweat and oil from your body when you wear them. It is important that bras be washed after each time you wear them. (Washing them after every second wear is also permissible, according to some bra experts). Contrary to some opinions, washing your bras frequently will help retain their shape and extend their life.
Because bras are so delicate, care should be exercised when washing them so as not to damage their shape and form and the other materials. The best method of washing bras is by hand using mild soap. After rinsing, squeeze them dry in a towel and let them air dry. This method will prevent your undergarments from being deformed and discolored. But, if you still insist in using your washing machine, here are some basic tips.
Use the delicate cycle only rather than the rough wash routine. Always put your bra in a lingerie bag before putting it in the machine, but prior to that, you must first close the clasps. The majority of bras have either front or back clasps which can catch on other items when not put inside a mesh bag. For sports bras, this is not an issue. IF you put your bra in a mesh bag, make sure that you close the bag tightly to prevent the bra from escaping while being washed. This bag reduces agitation and the tendency to wrap around some other garments.
If you want to brighten your bras, use baking soda instead of the bleach. Baking soda is a natural cleaner, it is also not expensive and does not cause damage to your bras. It helps remove residues on your undergarment. Just add a half cup of this to your wash. Use a delicate laundry detergent.
Another cost-effective material that you can use in washing your bras is the white vinegar. Add also a half cup to your wash load to remove the bra odor and kill the bacteria. Using harsh detergents is not advisable because they will only damage the quality and appearance of the bras overall. Bleach can also be damaging to sensitive skin and the washing machine as well.
Never put the bras in the dryer. The heat of the dryer can damage their elastic. Air drying them is the most gentle way. Hang them up on a rack or a clothesline and they will dry quickly.