How often should you wash your bra? We've asked the experts to find out

Wondering how often should you wash your bra? Don't worry, we have answers.

how often should you wash your bra: bras on washing line
(Image credit: Getty)

C’mon, be honest - how many times do you normally wear your bra before popping it on a spin cycle? Once, twice - more than three times?

The question of how often should you wash your bra is an age-old one, and one with the power to divide a room. On one hand, washing regularly is the best choice when it comes to hygiene, but washing too often can damage the integrity of the wiring and fabric - shortening the lifespan of your undies in the process. Especially annoying when it's your best bra

So, in our quest for a straight answer as to how often you should wash your bra, we’ve poised the question to the experts. 

So, how often should you wash your bra? 

Apparently, how often you should wash your bra depends how often you're wearing it, and how sweaty you get during each wear.

As a general rule, experts seem to agree that every three to six wears is reasonable. Although as Textiles Analyst Lexie Sachs rightly points out, “this timeframe is, of course, subject to climate, sweating, odour, and other factors”.

For Kate Weir, Bra Whisperer at Curvy Kate, it’s not how often you wash your bras but how you wash them that counts.

“Every bra  will have washing guidelines in the label and the biggest sin is to put them in the washing machine. Hand wash your bras as they are so delicate and the underwires can puncture the fabric if they are put inside of the metal drum of a washing machine.”

“So, for the good of your bra, and your purse, hand wash your bras with non-bio detergent after every 4 to 5 wears.”

“Do not use fabric conditioner as this stretches the elastane in the bra, leading to sagging and stretching. And of course, never tumble dry. Simply re-shape moulded or padded bras and dry flat or on a clothing horse.”

Is washing your bra too often bad for the environment? 

stella mccartney

(Image credit: Getty)

Fashion designer Stella McCartney has divided opinion with her view on washing clothes - but do you agree with it?

In an interview with the Observer, the 47-year-old explained that her years of tailoring education have taught her some valuable lessons about caring for her garments.

Having spent years studying at Savile Row in her spare time, Stella revealed that one rule of thumb on the high-end London street was to wash your clothes very rarely.

She said, "the rule on a bespoke suit is you do not clean it. You do not touch it. You let the dirt dry and you brush it off.

"Basically, in life, rule of thumb: if you don’t absolutely have to clean anything, don’t clean it."

Sharing how the rule extends to her underwear, she also said, "I wouldn’t change my bra every day and I don’t just chuck stuff into a washing machine because it’s been worn. I am incredibly hygienic myself, but I’m not a fan of dry cleaning or any cleaning, really.”

Passionate about sustainable fashion, it's no surprise that Stella holds this view. Regular use of a washing machine and often a tumble dryer can create a larger carbon footprint - and overwashing our clothes can wear them out faster, prompting a need to buy more and add to the already-overworked world of clothes production.

So, re wearing that bra just one more time might not be such a bad thing after all.