If you’re a bra wearer you’re probably quite familiar with the process of deterioration all bras go through, one that is sped up each time you wear the bra. How often should you change your bra, then, to expand its lifespan? Well, I’ve got all the tips for you here!
There isn’t really a definitive answer to the question “how long do bras last?” because it all depends on the bra. Your fave triangle bralette may last longer than your favorite wired bra or even your best wireless bra just based on what it’s made of, and how it’s made. In the end, a lot of it comes down to how you care for your bras.
Learning how to extend the life of your bras starts with asking questions like “how often should you wash your bra?” and “how many times should you wear each bra per week?” and “how often to change bra?” I’ve got ALL the answers, so join me as we gain the skills to make the most of our pricey boulder holders!
HOW MANY WEARS CAN YOU GET OUT OF A BRA?
The commonly agreed upon time frame for a bra’s existence is 6-9 months or 180 wears. That’s a pretty vague way to look at it though. How often you wear your bra and the circumstances in which you wear it will affect the answer to this question.
Consider that you have a special bra that you wear only once or twice a month. That bra can probably last you for several years. Alternatively, if you’re similar to me and imprint on a single bra every once in a while and wear it 4 times a week, well, that bra might be ready for the graveyard closer to the 6-month mark.
The whole “wear” thing also depends on the materials your bra is made of and how much structural support it initially offers you. When it comes to a bralette vs bra, for example, a bralette can usually withstand more wear because it gives you less support to begin with, so those first signs of wear and tear are harder to identify.
WHAT COUNTS AS A WEAR?
For the above info to make sense, we should address what actually defines a “wear.” Is every time you put on a bra enough to count as wear? Not exactly. Say you wake up in the morning and throw on a bra to do some light errands. When you come home, you shower, change, and put on a different bra. That would not count as a wear for the original bra.
However, say you wake up in the morning, throw on a bra, and then head out for a hike. Even if you’re only wearing the bra for two hours, if you’ve poured a significant amount of sweat into it or subjected it to a lot of movement, that would count as a full wear.
WHEN TO SWITCH YOUR BRA
Okay so, how often should you change your bra, really? Everyday. That’s the simplest way to look at it. You want to give your bras some time to rest because repeated use will cause them to lose their shape more rapidly.
You should first ask yourself, how many bras should I own? The answer is around 7 (at least). That gives you enough options to wear a new bra every day of the week which will lessen the load each of them has to bear.
Now, if we’re talking about how often you should replace your bra completely, here are some signs that signify retirement time:
- The band is loose around your ribs even on the tightest setting.
- The cups are stretched and saggy.
- The cups are too tight because your breasts have changed.
- There are rips, tears or stains (or all of the above!).
- You keep dealing with your bra strap falling down.
WHEN TO WASH YOUR BRAS
One of the easiest ways to run through a bra quickly is by washing it improperly. Harsh chemicals in detergents, paired with the intensity of a regular wash cycle, will eat away at the fabric of your bra! This will cause it to weaken and lose shape.
How often should you wash your bra? Well, you shouldn’t wash your bra after each wear. There isn’t any need. Your bra is an undergarment and it’s protected by layers of your outer clothing so it’s not as affected by the grime your clothing absorbs. The only thing it comes into close contact with is your skin, so if you’re staying clean (and not sweating too much), you should be able to give your bra around 3-4 wears before washing.
Of course, this is different for sports bras. Those should be washed according to how much action they get and how much moisture they absorb. Oh, and also how stinky they are! Not sure if it needs to be said, but a good rule of thumb? If it smells, it’s time to wash (and this goes for regular bras, too).
HOW TO WASH YOUR BRAS
You can certainly machine wash your bras but it should be done separately from the rest of your laundry. If you opt for running your bras through a cycle, put them into a lingerie bag and set the cycle to delicate. When that’s done, I recommend air drying your bras if you have the space.
The best way to preserve your bras is by learning how to hand wash bras. It’s the most delicate approach and one that’s actually quite easy. It also saves a bit of water as opposed to running a cycle specifically for your bras!
Here’s a brief run-through on how to do it:
1. What you need:
- A sink you can plug
- A delicate laundry detergent (preferably eco-friendly)
- A towel
- A drying rack/line
- Your dirty bras, of course!
2. Fill your sink with warm water. Don’t use extra hot water because it will be tougher on your bras! You also don’t want to dip your hands into boiling water, duh! Choose a comfortable temperature. If you don’t have a sink that plugs, use a large bowl or bucket.
3. Add some soap. Swish it around until it dissolves and the water becomes a bit bubbly or milky. Play around with the amount based on how much water you’ve poured and how many bras need washing.
4. Soak your bras. Drop those girlies in there and let them enjoy their bath for 15 minutes to an hour. Apply any stain treatments before this step!
5. Rinse your bras. Drain the soapy water and give your bras a clean cool rinse until they are no longer slippery and bubbly. Once they are fully rinsed, gently squeeze the excess water out. Do not wring out your bras because that will stretch them!
6. Dry your bras. Hang those babies up on a drying rack or line and let them dry out. You’re done, that’s it! Repeat the process as needed!
WHAT TO LOOK FOR IN A BRA
The easiest way to extend the lifespan of your bras? Buy ones that are built to last longer. This usually means throwing in a few extra bucks to get a better quality bra, but if it lasts you twice as long then it’s worth it in the long run! Here are some bra shopping tips:
- Opt for natural fabrics: Hemp and other natural fabrics make for the most durable bras. Not to mention they’re great for the environment and let your boobies breathe.
- Pick a style that complements your body and your unique breast shapes.
- Make sure you know how should a bra fit:
- When you first buy a bra the band should fit snugly on the last hook without digging into your ribs.
- The cups should comfortably hold your breasts without any overflow at the front of the sides.
- The straps should rest flat against your shoulders without digging in.
CONCLUSION: HOW OFTEN SHOULD YOU CHANGE YOUR BRA?
There you have it! Now that you know how often should you change your bra, you can rest assured that your bras will have happier, longer lifespans! How you treat your clothes matters! Even if you buy the best quality things made of natural fabrics, every item of clothing experiences wear and tear—But that doesn’t mean you have to have a hand in speeding up the process.
What is your opinion on how often to change bra? Do you try to give your bras a rest each day or do you run through them by wearing them every day? No shame in either direction! It’s hard to find a good bra, so I totally understand wanting to live in one once you’ve found it!