In writing about our personal experiences, we sometimes mention products & services that we use or recommend. This page may contain affiliate links for which we receive a commission.
Replace your bras after 6 months?
Not me! Even though that’s what your supposed to do, I replace ’em when they’re worn out. Period.
For me, that’s about every two years — depending on how much I wear each one. (I have 8 bras that I rotate regularly, so that helps.)
Here are my best tips for making your bras last longer…
How To Wash Bras To Make Them Last Longer
If you want to make them last longer, then don’t wash your bras after every wearing.
You really don’t need to wash them until after you’ve perspired in them. Especially during the winter months, I sometimes go a long time before washing my bras.
There’s no need to wash in between each use. You can wear a bra up to 7 or 8 times before cleaning it. — Linda Becker, aka The Bra Lady
What about hand washing them?
Many lingerie manufacturers say that you should hand wash only.
Honestly, I don’t have the time and patience required to hand wash anything.
Instead, I use these perfectly-shaped mesh bra wash bags and just toss them in the washing machine. You may als0 want to choose the delicate wash cycle — but I typically only use that for things with lace, embroidery, or open loops on them.
- Always use cold water. Hot water may shrink some undergarments. And you spent enough time finding bras that fit you perfectly — so why would you want to negatively impact the fit?
- Always air dry bras and underwear. Items with elastic, spandex, and lycra in them won’t last long if heat is applied to them. That’s why I always hang my undergarments on clothes drying racks. I never put them in the dryer.
- Always hang bras by the center gore (the part that attaches the 2 cups). If you hang bras to dry by their straps, the weight of the wet bra will cause the straps to stretch out.
- Always wash bras by themselves. Or at least put them in mesh lingerie bags when washing with other garments. The reason? Zippers, velcro, and other items commonly found on clothing can snag (even ruin!) the delicate material that bras are made of.
Other Ways To Prolong The Life Of Your Bras
#1 – DON’T put your bra on backwards and then flip it around.
This how some women put on a bra backwards then spin it around to the front:
- First, you place the bra against your body, upside down (with the hooks in front and the cups in back) and then hook the bra in front.
- Next, rotate the bra all the way around until the bra cups are in the front.
- Finally, flip the bra up to meet your breasts and pull the bra straps up into place.
If you do ‘the flip’ mentioned in that last step, your bras won’t last very long. The underwires will start to poke out, the bra cups will become dented and flimsy, and the bra band will become stretched out in no time.
#2 – DO buy several bras and rotate them frequently.
The more you wear the same bra over and over again, the faster it will wear out.
However, if you own several bras (I’ve got 8 that I rotate through), your bras will last much longer.
#3 – DON’T wear a regular bra when working out.
Instead, you should wear a sports bra.
In addition to the extra support and better fit while exercising, sports bras usually hold up better in the washing machine. And they tend to last longer (about twice as long — up to 12 months) since most people wear them less often than regular bras.
So if you’re going to do something that makes you perspire a lot (even if it’s a really hot day and you’re just going to spend time outdoors), opt for the sports bra since it will need to be washed right away.
#4 – DO store your bras in a way that preserves their natural shape.
I usually hang my bras long-ways (from a bra strap) from hooks on the closet door or on the doorknob itself. I used to store them flat with the cups nested inside one another.
The method you choose isn’t all that important, but treating your bras with care — over time — is important!
Ideally, if you want your bras to last a long time, here’s how to store bras: securely, separated, sorted, and scented!
- Here’s a DIY hanging bra storage system that you can make yourself.
- Here are lots of bra storage & organization systems that you can buy.
#5 – DON’T wear the same bra 2 days in a row.
This shouldn’t be a problem if you have several bras on hand that fit you properly.
But the reason for this makes sense…
If you give a bra at least 1 day off in between wearings, you’re giving it a chance to breathe and bounce back to its natural shape.
You’re also helping to restore the elasticity that is the foundation of a bra (in the bra band, sides, and bra straps).
#6 – DO use each of the 3 sets of hooks on the back of your bra.
Since your bra stretches out each time you wear it (and wash it), you need to move to a different set of bra clasps over time.
- When you first buy a new bra, start on the loosest (closest) of the 3 bra clasps in the middle of your back.
- Then, every few months, as the bra stretches out a bit, move in and use the middle clasp for awhile.
- Finally, use the tightest (farthest) clasp until the bra no longer fits you well.
How To Know When You Need A New Bra
If you’ve done any of these things recently, then you probably need to adjust your bra size:
- Lost or gained 5 to 7 pounds
- Experienced childbirth or menopause
- Changed your diet or exercise regime
And if your bra shows any of these characteristics, then you probably need to toss it and buy a new bra:
- Keeps riding up in back, even though it’s on the tightest hook
- Elastic bra band is stretched out and doesn’t hug you firmly anymore
- Underwire is poking through the cup or the sides
- Molded bra cups have lost their shape
- No longer supports your breasts like it once did
I like to help people find clever ways to do things that will save time & money — so I write about "outside the box" Beauty Tips and Beauty Hacks that most people wouldn't think of. With beauty products (like hair care, skincare, and makeup) and personal care items (like teeth issues, body odor, undergarments, and <em>other</em> topics that very few people enjoy talking about)… I share my own honest firsthand experiences that I think others would appreciate hearing about and find helpful. Especially for topics that are usually very "private" and most people don't like to talk about publicly! When I'm not trying new beauty products and organizing all my "stuff", you'll find me at the corner of Good News & Fun Times as publisher of The Fun Times Guide (32 fun & helpful websites).