Photo via Melissa Maples
How to wash and care for a bra.
I don't care if you paid $10 or $100 for you bra, they should all be treated very delicately if you want them to last. Special care for your bra is important if you want to it to be worth the money you spent and if you want the shape and support that a bra is designed to give. Bras are not meant to last forever, the typical life-span of a bra is about 6 - 12 months. This would depend on the frequency of usage. However, there are a few things you can do to maximize the life.
Washing your bra properly.
The particular store that I work for used to have countless women returning bras that were "defective" and fell apart in the wash. The thing is, it has nothing to do with the bra, but everything to do with how it was washed.
Bras should absolutely NOT be washed in a washing machine.
It doesn't matter if you use the "delicate" cycle or if you use one of those lingerie bags or bra balls. None of those things are going to prevent the washing machine from misshaping your bra. I promise you. I hope to never again hear the words "but I used the delicate cycle!" or "but I used a lingerie bag!"
So, how should you wash your bra?
The obvious answer is to hand wash. Fill your sink up with cold water and use a mild detergent. Let the bra soak for a few minutes before washing. Gently use your hands or a very soft cloth to massage the detergent over the material, then rinse thoroughly. Gently press as much water out of bra as possible, taking care not to misshape the cups. At the lingerie store I work at, I've heard some of the other associates suggesting that you take it in to the shower with you for convenience. If you choose that route, I suggest that you check the ingredients
How do you dry your bra?
Never, ever use the dryer, it will destroy your bra. You may to choose to hang dry your bra, but personally, I would not want to put that sort of stress on the shape and structure of the bra. Lay a towel out on a flat surface and lay the bra out flat on top of the towel. If you have larger cups that need to be supported, roll up a clean sock and put it inside the cup to hold the shape.
It is important to have at least two bras that you can rotate between. After a day's wear, you should make sure to not wear it again for at least 24 hours. A bra will stretch out while it is being worn, you need to allow it to shrink back to it's original shape.
When you're not wearing a bra, be sure to properly store it. Don't smoosh it in the back of a drawer somewhere. Be mindful of the shape of the bra and find somewhere that fits. You may want to take notice of how the bra is sold. You mind find it a bit too much to hang your bras on a hanger, but maybe you have a drawer or box you can carefully lay them in.
I don't necessarily consider myself an expert on this matter, but I have had a lot of experience and this is what that experience has taught me. I hope you've learned something that you can put to use! Please feel free to share any tips that you may have on this matter in the comments.