Bras can be expensive, and even more so if you’re frequently having to replace or repair them due to inadequate care.
Below are the top 5 mistakes we see that will send your favourite bras to an early grave.
1. Throwing your bras into the WASHING MACHINE. While we know it may be tempting (and let’s face it, who really has time to hand wash these days?), using a washing machine to launder bras is a huge no-no.Machine washing creates friction which can lead to bras becoming misshapen, bent or stretched and can cause the delicate fibres to disintegrate or shrink. Even in a lingerie bag on a delicate cycle, the wires of your bras experience undue stress which can cause them to snap prematurely and render them completely useless. Not to mention that machine washing under any circumstance will void most garments manufacturer’s warranty! Now that’s literally money down the drain!! We suggest taking your bra into the shower with you and giving it a quick rinse with a mild, cheap shampoo (if its delicate enough for your scalp, it should be mild enough for your delicates). Just remember a little shampoo goes a long way, and the water temperature should be luke-warm for best results.
2. Using a DRYER. This really should go without saying but you’d be amazed how many bras we see coming back to our store looking much worse for wear after the dryer was through with them. The combination of high heat and tumbling motion can cause the wire casing to melt leading to irreversible damage.While some damage like wires popping out, snapped wires and stretched out bands can be inexpensively repaired, damage from a dryer has no cure. Once the polyester in the wire casing melts, it transforms into a hard, brittle plastic causing pain and chaffing. At this point, your bra will be about as useful as a paper cup with no bottom in it. We recommend gently wringing out your bras to remove excess water and then hanging them over a towel rail, drying rack or even over the shower door to air dry. If you’re in a hurry to wear them, you can blast them from a minimum 30cm distance with a hair dryer on a low setting for a few minutes to help speed things along.
3. OVERWEARING your bras. Yes, it’s really a thing. Wearing the same bra day in, day out without washing or resting in between can cause just as much damage as machine washing. The oils from your skin, combined with perspiration and dead skin cells can degrade the delicate elastic of your bras over time.Furthermore, the heat from your body combined with the weight of your bust can cause the wires to bend out of shape slightly, leading to discomfort. We recommend not wearing the same bra over consecutive days to allow the fabric to air out and to give the wires time to return to shape. We all have a favourite bra, that one bra that just seems to mould into you, the one that’s super comfortable, gives the best shape under a range of clothing and does not accentuate backfat or create the dreaded double boob. Even if you have a drawer full of well-fitting bras, when you have these favourites, it can be hard to part with them while they’re in the wash. If this is the case for you, we suggest buying a couple of the same bra in the same size so you can rotate them while washing, so you never have to go without. To preserve the shape and elasticity of your bras we suggest washing them every 2-5 wears.
4. OVERWASHING your bras. Now this is a tricky one because in some cases it’s an absolute necessity to wash your bras after just one use. This is particularly true if your prone to excessive sweating or skin conditions such as eczema, in which case you should definitely wash your bras as often as possible with hypoallergenic detergents to avoid exacerbating the situation. However, for the rest of us, washing your bras after 2-5 wear should be more than sufficient, providing you are rotating them between uses. Another thing to note is that over scrubbing, or vigorously rubbing the fabric against itself while hand washing can also ruin your bras as it creates friction which can damage the delicate fibres. Soak bras in lukewarm water for 5-15 minutes using only a minimal amount of mild laundry detergent or shampoo, then gently lather and rinse clean under running water. If you really can’t stand the thought of waiting 2-5 wears between washes, you can rinse your bras under running water (with no rubbing or detergents) to freshen them up between wears.
5. MANHANDLING your bras. Yep, you read that right. Manhandling, or being overly rough with your bras, can prematurely send them to lingerie heaven. So what constitutes rough handling? Things, like doing up the band in the front and twisting/pulling them around, or pulling from the top of the cups (particularly on lacey, stretchy bras) to eliminate double boob, can lead to all sorts of damage and can significantly reduce your bra’s lifespan. Fastening your bras from the back is the best practice, however, we realise not everyone possesses the manual dexterity required to do so. If possible, ask a partner or relative to fasten your bras for you, if you are unable to do so yourself, and if you must fasten them in the front, make sure to take your time and hold onto the wires as you gently and carefully pull the bra into position to minimise damage.If your bust is spilling out of the top of the cups once the back is fastened, you may need to move your bust into position to eliminate the double boob. Never pull from the top of the cup to accomplish this as its easy to put holes in the delicate fabric with your fingers. Instead hold the bra from the apex (the point where the cup meets the strap – this is the strongest part) and gently shake to allow your bust to drop into the bottom of the cups. Long nails are the enemy of the lace/mesh bra, and can easily catch on the delicate fabric creating pulls and holes. If you have long nails, take extra care, particularly if you wear a firm band fit to avoid damaging your bra.