When you have a fuller bust, there are so many things that you must take into consideration, from buying the right fitting clothes to what sort of exercise you participate in. When it comes to looking after your bras, there are a few things that you should know, so that your bras last the distance. This means that you don’t have to go bra shopping as often, more money in your pocket and more time to do something more interesting.
Did you know that bra shopping when you are fuller busted might sometimes increase your stress levels? Here’s how to take care of your bras and your stress levels.
Read the instructions: This is easier said than done when the label has washed off or you’ve cut it off when you purchased it (most likely the latter). If you do still have the instructions, they could only be in the form of symbols. To make life a bit easier, here is a reference chart of the symbols. They do sometime look like hieroglyphics, so we can decipher them a bit easier here.
If in doubt a general rule of thumb for all bras is: Hand wash in cool water with a mild detergent – dry in the shade.
If you have preformed moulded cups, these are meant to be washed within a ‘preformed moulded cup bag’ to retain their shape. There is one problem; they don’t make the bags big enough usually to fit the larger sized bras in.
Solution: It’s a good idea to hand wash these so they don’t get too damaged in a usual wash and remember to always use a mild detergent without any bleaching agents.
Wires are another big problem for the larger cup sized bras as they are a lot longer too. When they are washed within a washing machine, one end can sometimes get caught in the perforated drum and the rest of the bra becomes twisted and tangled. The result could pass for a prize piece at the Modern Art Gallery, but will unfortunately never be the same again. The wires could end up breaking, develop a weak spot where they have been flexed or just be a completely different shape. This can cause problems if you try and wear the bra, as it will be uncomfortable and you may appear lopsided.
Solution: Best idea is to hand wash them but you could pop them in washing bag and wash on a gentle cycle. Remember to always do up the hooks and eyes so that these don’t get caught on anything. If you are a size that is small in the back and larger in the cups, and you find that doing up the hooks and eyes means the bra is a funny triangular shape, then just leave them undone.
Washing in cool or cold water is always a good idea. This is better for the environment and better for your bras. Here’s why:
- Colour saturation can become diluted when heated. Basically, your bra will look more faded and possibly transfer onto other clothes.
- If you have a white bra, it will be more likely to absorb the other colours of the wash and look dirty.
- The wire channel could shrink when heated (these sometime have cotton content – just like when your jeans after a wash) and can shrink. If the channel shrinks too much, the wire (that does not shrink) can be forced to pop out.
- The elastane fibers in the elastic and fabric will deteriorate more quickly (aka the fuzzy elastic band like fibers) and break. This will mean the recovery of the fabric will not work as well, and therefore not fit as well.
- Washing in warm or hot water uses over 75% more energy for a usual wash compared to that of cold water.
Q and A:
Q) How often should I wash my bra?
A) If you have worn it for a full day, then it will most likely need a wash. You have perspired and this will be absorbed into the fibers of your bra. If left unwashed, this can discolour and also deteriorate your bra more quickly.
If this is a sports bra, then after each session of exercise especially if you have sweated even a little.
If you only wear your bra for a few hours, then this should be ok to wear again.
Q) How do I store my bras?
A) You can pair the cups if they aren’t moulded with foam or spacer. If they have preformed moulded foam cups or spacer cups, then don’t pair the cups as this would mean one is inside out. Lay flat and then you can stack other bras behind this one a row. You can keep your briefs folded in the cups to ensure they don’t collapse and will keep their shape better.
Q) How long should a bra last?
A) A usual bra should last about 6 months if normal care is taken. If extraordinary care is taken, this can be longer. This also all depends on how many bras you have, how often it is worn and how often it is washed.
Q) How should I dry my bras?
A) Heat is a big no no, this will dame the fibers like warm and hot water and actual make them deteriorate quicker. Avoid direct sunlight, avoid tumble dryers and avoid lava. All of these things are very bad for your bras.
Please note that a bra that is too small for you, it will not last as long as a well fitting bra. This is because the elastics and fabrics will be at their maximum extension when being worn and these stresses will mean the bra will break down quicker. Think of a taught rope on a dock. When you are shopping for you ideal bra, remember to choose a size that fits so that it will last longer too.