Searching for the perfect undergarments sometimes feels like looking for a needle in a haystack. So when you finally find that seamless sports bra that’s both comfy and cute or lay your hands on a strapless bra for big busts that boosts without pinching, you want it to last. Here’s how to properly hand-wash your bras to extend their lifespans and keep your treasured finds looking sharp longer.

(Related: 10 Affordable Places To Buy Underwear That Aren’t Victoria’s Secret).

Use Cool Water

While some bra labels may state they’re machine-washable in any temperature, most hold their shapes much longer when washed by hand in cool water. That’s because warm or hot temperatures break down elasticity and can even change the shape of any padding or lining, as can machine agitation. Filling your sink with water that’s cool to the touch is the smartest first step when washing bras.

Let Them Soak in Detergent

Your next move is to add a mild detergent to your sink of cold water. Choose a low-suds soap designed for hand-washing, so that each bra gets completely clean with minimum rinsing and handling.

Evenly distribute the detergent by gently agitating it in the water, add your bras to the sink, and then let them soak for up to an hour. This allows the soap the time it needs to break down and release the stains, sweat, and dirt that have built up on them. When you return to the sink, use your hands to gently work the detergent further through each bra’s fabric to ensure all of them are thoroughly cleaned.

Rinse and Dry Them Gently

Rinse and Dry Your Bras Gently
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After the washing is complete, drain and rinse any remaining soap residue from the sink. Then run a gentle spray or stream of water through your bras until you no longer see traces of detergent. Take your time with this, as any lingering detergent may irritate your skin.

Once rinsed, give your bras a light squeeze to remove excess water. Avoid wringing them out, as this may harm delicate fabrics and break down elasticity. Press your bras between two towels to soak up any remaining water, and then lay them flat with cups facing up on a fresh towel to air dry. Alternately, place your bras on a drying rack or hanger, but never hang them from their straps or backs as this leads to stretching. Instead, attach them from the area between the two cups so the cups and straps hang down loosely from each side.

Now that you’ve learned how to properly hand-wash the next great bras you find, it’s time to get shopping. Start by visiting the website of a top undergarment retailer, and then browse through their terrific options for bras, sleepwear, activewear, and panties for women. The best resources feature complete fabric and care details, so you won’t be left guessing how to wash what you purchase. Just complete your sale, unbox your goodies when they arrive, and wear them confidently each day, knowing you’ve got all the tips you need to take excellent care of your newfound treasures!

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