How often should you wash your bra?

You'll be surprised

how often wash bra
(Image credit: Anetlanda)

You'll be surprised

Bras... They're a huge part of your life aren't they? Most women wear them every day, but how many wash them regularly? About as many as those who regularly get bra fittings it turns out.

Only last month, a discussion on Mumsnet caused outrage after one mum admitted to washing hers just once a month.

Because even though it may not look dirty, oils and germs do accumulate on the fabric, which can cause bacteria. Ugh.

So, how often should you wash your bra? Every day? Once a week? Once a fortnight? We asked the experts.

How often should I wash my bra?

Sharon Bell, Head of Design and Product at Ultimo explained that it was all to do with how often you wear a specific bra, rather than an actual timeline: 'We recommend washing your bra every two to three wears'.

However, there are some varying factors, which are really down to common sense.

Sharon says, 'this really depends on your daily activities, for example a sports bra should be washed after every wear,' and of course, if you're sweating more than usual (hello hottest tube lines), then you should wash your bra as soon as you take it off.

How to wash your bra

Now that we've established how often you should wash your bra, it's important to nail the laundering technique, especially as we know most of us have been washing our bras wrong our whole life.

The experts at Chantelle lingerie advise, 'We always recommend only handwashing your lingerie. Along with using delicate washing detergent, this is the most gentle and effective way to protect your lingerie and ensure it lasts as long as possible. Rinse for a few minutes in warm water to protect your lingerie’s elasticity, as hot water can cause the material to weaken.'

'If you do use a washing machine, ensure that your lingerie is placed into a mesh lingerie bag to protect it. Ensure that the hooks of your bra are fastened to avoid them getting caught and that you wash on a delicate cycle with similar colours. Do not use fabric conditioner as this can cause damage to the elastic in the lingerie. Always allow your lingerie to air dry, as heat can damage the elasticity. Avoid wringing or twisting the garments to remove excess water as this can damage the wires and shape.'

Bra wearing hacks

And in case you're worried about finding yourself sans bra (which could be quite liberating to be honest), try this hack from Sharon, 'have a few bras on rotation at one time, one for wearing, one in washing and one on stand by, this will prolong the life of your bras.'

We're totally doing this.

Penny Goldstone

Penny Goldstone is the Digital Fashion Editor at Marie Claire, covering everything from catwalk trends to royal fashion and the latest high street and Instagram must-haves.

Penny grew up in France and studied languages and law at the Sorbonne Nouvelle University in Paris before moving to the UK for her MA in multimedia journalism at Bournemouth University. She moved to the UK permanently and has never looked back (though she does go back regularly to stock up on cheese and wine).

Although she's always loved fashion - she used to create scrapbooks of her favourite trends and looks, including Sienna Miller and Kate Moss' boho phase - her first job was at, sourcing the best deals for everything from restaurants to designer sales.

However she quit after two years to follow her true passion, fashion journalism, and after many years of internships and freelance stints at magazines including Red, Cosmopolitan, Stylist and Good Housekeeping, landed her dream job as the Digital Fashion Editor at Marie Claire UK.

Her favourite part of the job is discovering new brands and meeting designers, and travelling the world to attend events and fashion shows. Seeing her first Chanel runway IRL at Paris Fashion Week was a true pinch-me moment.