A Genius Trick for Washing Your Bra

All you need is a little soap and a salad spinner

Be honest: When was the last time you hand washed your bras? We're going to guess that it’s sometime between “Never” and “Wait, I’m supposed to hand wash them?”

(Even if you are a smarty pants and have been running them under the faucet this whole time, are you really so sure they’re actually clean?)

Well, we’ve discovered a crazy-clever method that will help both camps--and it involves your salad spinner.

What Do I Need?

Baby shampoo or gentle detergent, a terry-cloth towel and a salad spinner. (Think of it as a handheld washing machine.)

What Do I Do?

Fill the spinner with warm water and add 2 teaspoons baby shampoo. Submerge your bra in the water and gently smoosh the cups up and down a few times to get them good and saturated.

Let the bra soak for ten minutes, then start spinning. Give it a few solid spins, and then dump out the soapy water. (See all that gray? That’s dirt and grime leaving your lingerie. Ew.) Rinse the spinner clean, refill it with cold water, put the bra back in and spin again.

Continue rinsing with clean cold water until it runs clear to ensure that all the detergent and dirt have been rinsed out. Finally, pour out the water, place the bra back into the dry spinner and give it several more spins to remove as much water as possible.


Great. Now What About Drying?

Gently squeeze and press the damp bra with a towel to remove more water. (Never wring or twist the cups.)

Hang-dry your delicates (always!) over a drying rack or lay flat on a clean, dry towel. Pro tip: Don’t hang the bra by its straps, as this will cause the elastic to stretch out. (Ta-da! That’s how to avoid annoying shoulder slippage.)

What If My Bra Still Looks Old And Sad?

If your white- or nude-colored undergarments still look dingy, discolored or (gasp) yellow, add this step before doing the above routine: Fill the spinner with cold water and add 2 teaspoons white distilled vinegar. Soak your bra for 20 minutes and then start spinning. Proceed with the rest of the process, but be sure to thoroughly rinse out the vinegar solution.


And What If My Straps Still Look Gray And Pilled?

Mix a few tablespoons of baking soda with water to create a paste, gently massage it into the elastic straps and then spin the bra in cold water. You can also use the baking-soda paste as a prewash treatment to spot-treat sweat and deodorant stains.

If the straps still have pills, simply “shave” them away. Here’s how: Once the bra is completely dry, lay it out on a flat surface and lightly run a disposable razor over the fuzzies to remove them.

Super-helpful. How Often Should I Be Doing This?

While there’s no hard-and-fast rule, consider washing your bra after every four to seven wears. Take into account the season (hello, summer under-boob sweat) and how often you are wearing it on a weekly rotation. Try not to wear the same bra more than two days in a row; letting the garment “rest” between wears helps preserve its shape and elasticity.

A note about padded bras: Generally, you should wash them less frequently. The padding holds on to detergent and creates buildup, plus the foamlike material tends to get lumpy and break down when it’s washed too much. Treat these undergarments with extra care.

susan waits

Lousy baker, stellar shopping buddy

You can find Susan either blissfully buried in a pile of clothes or on a plane between L.A. and NYC.