Monday, June 8, 2015

The Lingerie Libra's Lazy Girl Guide to Bra Cleaning

I have made mention of cleaning your bras by hand in the past (Cup Shapes - Molded), so I figured I could go a bit further in depth for the subject. I'm also cleaning a TON of my bras now after moving, so this blog post is real time!

Hand washing one bra usually requires a sink or a bucket. Reminder: clean sink!

Why does hand-laundering your bras matter? There are a few perks to hand washing your bra:

1) Delicate details (lace, bows, etc.) won't be destroyed with high friction.
2) Moulded cups can be damaged irreparably by machine-washing.
3) You can spot clean more easily by hand vs. a machine.
4) You use more water using the "delicate spin" portion of your washer so thus... more $$.

I'm going to guess that you will look at the list, think about the perks and then discard it as too much effort! That's what bra laundry bags are for, right? So how did I get over machine washing and jump into hand washing? Because my money matters!

There are currently six bras in this tub. Bulk cleaning!
According to Redbook, the average woman owns 9 bras! You should be refitted about twice a year (the usual time women are told to be re-fitted). Now imagine you buy 9 new bras each time you go in (humor me, please). I tend to see my size of bra priced around $68, so that's... $1224 (damn!) a year JUST on bras. You should wash your bra every 4 to 5 wearings or if you sweat/live in a muggy environment, more often! In that six month period of owning 9 bras, I will wear each of them 20 times (9 bras/182 days = 20.22 wears), washing them every 4 to 5 wearings means... A lot of washing. But that also means the longer I can keep my bras intact, the less money I'll spend over the course of a year (oh gawd, I've spent so much money on bras!!).


Think about how crazy that is!

$3.35 FOR A DAY! (Sales tax not included)

And that doesn't include the money I use to clean them!

So how do I wash my bras? In bulk! I hear some women clean their bras while they're in the shower, but that seems incredibly wasteful of water (roughly 2 gallons of water a minute). So I either fill a sink (such as at the top of this post) or a tub (above). My cleaners of choice? OxyClean or Tide Free & Gentle. I use the unscented version because fragrances can irritate the skin and, if powerful enough, can mask perfume.
Free your bras of grime and stink!
I always clean bras with similar colors. Dye can bleed into other material! Even bras I have owned and washed repeatedly still leach color (especially black).

After using a gloop (technical term) of Tide or a TINY amount of OxyClean, I let my bras soak for 15 minutes in lukewarm water (not hot or cold), pour the water out, and then refill with clean water (no cleaner) unless I'm washing sports bras that REALLY need it. After they soak for 15 more minutes (and no longer smell like detergent/cleaner or... body), I will hang them to dry.
Clothing lines and 90 degree weather are perfect for my lifestyle.
There are other bra drying tips (lying flat, hanging, etc.) so do whatever works best for your space. For me, I have a handy line to dry mine on. NEVER dry your bras in the dryer. The heat can damage moulded bras, possibly shrink material, or just damage fabric.

Now you know how I do it. I don't tend to buy SUPER expensive bras or ones with a lot of delicate details (lace, especially) so what works for me might not work for you. But keep in mind: bras are an investment and should be treated with care!

On to the next load...
No bras were harmed in the making of this post.

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