How to Wash Bras and Store Your Lingerie

ThirdLove's image graphic on how to wash bras by hand.

Bra Care 101

If you wear it, you’ve got to wash it – but are you washing your bras correctly? Is hand washing the only way to wash? Is it okay to throw bras in the washing machine? Don’t worry, as your breasties, we’re here for support – and to deliver the answers you need!


Washing bras

Washing bras correctly is key to their longevity. Even if you get well-crafted styles made from premium materials - like ours, wink wink - if they’re cared for improperly, bras won’t last as long as they should. Keeping your must-have styles in great shape is easy with a few tips from our care experts. No matter which care approach suits you best, follow our lead and you can ensure your  favorite bras keep their shape wear after wear.

If you’ve ever pulled a jumbled knot of bras hooked onto one another (and everything else) out of your washing machine, you should definitely keep reading for more on how to wash bras.


How to hand wash bras

The ideal way to clean your bras is to hand wash. It might sound like a messy, time-consuming, and dare we say old-timey process for everyday needs, but don’t skip this part: it comes in super handy when traveling, too. Master it at home and you will never look at hotel sinks the same again.

Washing bras by hand is also the best way to preserve their shape and fit, keeping you and your boobs comfy and happy wear after wear. Think it’s hard? Think again!

  • Step One: Spot clean if needed. Dab out any stains or spots with mild detergent and warm water. Have an especially stubborn spot? (We know, spaghetti night always happens when you’re wearing the good stuff.) Instead of using an abrasive material, try gently rubbing the fabric against itself.

  • Step Two: Do a quick soak in the sink. Work the suds into the fabric and let it do its thing! Don’t wander off, we’re almost done.

  • Step Three: Rinse thoroughly. Once the water’s all clear, lay the bra out to dry. On a towel is best, unless you really love having wet countertops.

ThirdLove's graphic on how to wash bras by hand in 3 easy steps.



How to machine wash bras

Did you jump to this section? That’s okay, we’re realistic about laundry, too – so here’s how to safely machine-wash your bras. And if you’ve ever pulled a mangled ball of bras hooked onto one another out of the washer (or the dryer, yikes!) read on. We wrote this section just for you.

First things first, did you bring protection? Yes, we mean for your bras!

It’s rough in the wash, so make sure you have a lingerie bag or wash bag for delicates on hand before you start. It protects your favorite bras while also keeping other items in the wash from getting hooked. (Bonus tip: having a few bags on hand makes it quick and easy to wash other items like underwear or swimwear.)

  • Step One: Hook ’em and bag ’em. Clasp the bras to prevent snagging, and zip them securely ito a lingerie bag. Most lingerie bags fit 2-3 bras comfortably, depending on the bra and bag size. Make sure they fit comfortably, no smushing or squishing.

  • Step Two: Keep it cold, babe, but be gentle. Use a mild detergent, cold water, and a gentle or delicate machine wash cycle. 

  • Step Three: To dry your bras, lay flat on a towel to absorb excess water or place on a drying rack.


ThirdLove's image graphic on how to wash bras in a washing machine in 3 steps.


Can you put bras in the dryer?

The short answer is NO… unless you’re trying to kill them.

Deny the dryer. Remember how we said it’s rough in the wash? It’s even worse in the dryer! The heat from the dryer can break down elastic and spandex quickly, causing your favorite finery to age before their time.


How to wash lingerie

But how do you wash lace bras? You could use this laundry machine method as well, but for best results (and bonus points from us, your breasties,) we’d recommend hand washing your most delicate undergarments.



How should I store my bras?

Spoiler alert: smashed into a drawer of doom or kicked under the bed are not the best ways or places to store your bras. We don’t expect your bra assortment to look like a department store display - if it does, more power to you - but we do hope you’re treating your literal supporters with the care they deserve.

For happier bras, let ’em lounge. Stack them in your drawer - never folded in half - with cups inside of each other to help them hold their shape. 

As for underwear, we encourage everyone to wad them up and toss them. Kidding! Believe it or not they like room to breathe (yes, underwear,) so store them laying flat. Lingerie drawer dividers and boxes can also be great to help bras stand tall and underwear lay flat when they don’t want to on their own.

And, to make it easier to find the perfect bras and underwear each morning, color coordinate both your lingerie from lightest to darkest. Take it one step further by assorting your basic colors and styles to the front, followed by your own rainbow of fun fashion colors.


To learn more about bra care, including how often to wash a bra, when to replace your bra, styling, and fit, read more of our How To’s here!