How to Wash BRA in Washing Machine? (Bra Washing Tips)

A bra, formally known as a brassiere, and we all know that it is an undergarment that covers and supports the breasts.

They come in various sizes and styles to suit different body types and needs.

Just like any other clothing that covers your body, a bra needs regular cleaning too. 

This article will help you with some easy tips for washing your bra using your washer.

Let’s get started.

What is a Bra made up of?

A bra is typically designed to offer sufficient support. They are made using various components including cups, bands, straps, and hooks. Together they are constructed for better hold and support.

The cups are made from a variety of materials including foam, padding, underwire, and fabric.

different types of bras

Similarly, a band is usually made from a stretchy material like elastic.

elastic bra

Likewise, straps are typically made from thinner pieces of elastic or fabric, whereas Hooks and eye closures are designed to lock them to your body and are usually made using plastic or metal. 

Bra with hooks

Hooks prevent your bra from falling off your body.

They are attached to the stretchable elastic bands for compact locking.

When it comes to fabric there are different fabric materials used in manufacturing a bra. The most common fabric includes cotton, nylon, and spandex.

They have their own benefits and drawbacks, so it’s important to choose the right material for your needs.

Let us look below into these common fabric types to understand what they offer


Cotton is a natural fabric that is breathable and quite comfortable to wear.

However, like other materials cotton doesn’t stretch much, so one may need to choose the correct size for the support needed.

Cotton as a fabric is mostly preferred due to comfort, especially, during hot weather.


Nylon is a synthetic fabric and it is very strong and durable.

It offers a lot of stretches, so it can provide good support. However, it is not as breathable as cotton and might not be as comfortable to wear in warm weather.


Spandex is a synthetic fabric that is stretchy and provides great support. It is a breathable material and quite comfortable to wear.

However, it may not be as durable or long-lasting as nylon.

What is the preferred method to wash a bra?

Washing a bra completely depends on its type and how often you wear them. 

For instance, if you have a delicate bra or one with intricate straps or embellishments, then it’s best to opt for the hand wash option. 

hand wash bra

Likewise, if you have a basic, everyday bra that you wear often, then washing it in the machine should be fine. 

Simply, be sure to use a gentle wash cycle, and do not forget to put it in a lingerie bag. Doing this will protect it from getting tangled up with other items in the wash.

With that said, it’s best to read the care label to get clarity on the right washing method.

How can a bra be washed in a washing machine?

Instructions to wash bra in the washing machine

Step 1: Read the Care Label

The first thing you need to do is to read the care label thoroughly.

Care Label will have all required information about the washing method, washing temperature, and maintenance tips.

Note: Not all bras are machine washable as some of them are made of delicate fabrics and some may explicitly recommend hand washing.

Step 2: Put your Bra in Laundry Bag

Start by putting your bra in a laundry bag.

You presoak them before putting them in the laundry bag if they are stained or heavily soiled. This will help loosen the dirt and stains.

If you don’t have a laundry bag, make use of pillowcases.

Note: Make sure to secure the bra hooks if you are not using a laundry bag.

Step 3: Put your Bra in the Washing Machine

The next step is to put your bra in the washing.

Step 4: Add Mild Detergent

Now add a mild detergent to the detergent dispense of your washing machine.

Step 5: Set the Right Machine Settings

Set the washer to a delicate or hand wash cycle.

Some washers include a lingerie wash cycle and that can be used as well.

Use cold or warm water settings from the washer’s menu.

Note: Hot water can break down the elastic in your bras and cause them to lose their shape.

Step 6: Run the Wash Cycle

Run the Wash cycle and select a short cycle duration if available.

And avoid using bleach or fabric softener, which can also damage the fabric.

Lastly, Do not overload the washer as this may damage the bra foam padding. 

Likewise, avoid loading the bra with heavy loads during the wash.

Step 7: Dry the Bra

Once the wash and rinse cycle is completed, remove the bra and hang them for air drying. 

Try not to dry the bra in a dryer, the fabric may become damaged and shrink as a result of the dryer’s heat.

In case you want to use a dryer, make sure the bra is added to a laundry bag or a pillowcase.

And always set the dryer to a delicate cycle with low or no heat as per the bra fabric or simply refer to their care labels.

Should you use a laundry bag to wash your bra?

If you’re washing a bra in the washing machine, you might need to use a laundry bag.

With that said, it completely depends on the type of washing machine you are going to use.

If you have a front-loading washer, you can simply place the bra in the machine without a laundry bag and run the delicates cycle.

However, if you have a top-loading washing machine, you may need to use a laundry bag to keep the bra from getting tangled in the agitator.

How to use a laundry bag for a bra?

It is quite common to just toss a bra into the washer along with the regular load of laundry and expect it to come out clean.

But is it the right thing to do?

A common mistake or misconception is that we think that bra is just another piece of clothing and should usually come out cleaner in no time even if we toss them directly into the washer.

But let me tell you, it will not always be the case.

Putting your bra directly into the washer can be a dicey move. It is a dicey move because this may cause unwanted wear and tear.

The damage won’t be limited to your bra, in fact, it may cause damage to the other laundry loads in no time due to hooks.

Furthermore, the hooks in the bra can damage your washer.

Therefore, if you want your bras to last longer, then you will have to be extremely cautious while you wash them. 

As a best practice, you can use a laundry bag to protect delicates such as the bra.

Laundry bags protect your garments from getting tangled or damaged during the machine wash.

Mesh laundry bags are designed according to the different types of clothing.

For bras, you may choose one that is suitable for lingerie or undergarments. You can easily find one at most local stores that sell laundry supplies.

Instruction to use a laundry bag

  • Secure the hooks of the bra before you place them in the laundry bag.
  • Simply place your bra (or the set of bras) inside the bag.
  • Wash the bag along with your other laundry according to the instructions on the bag. 
  • Most laundry bags can be washed in either cold or warm water.
  • As an alternative, you can also wash your bras in a pillowcase. 
  • Place your bra (or bras) inside the pillowcase and close the opening.
  • You may now wash them in your machine.

Whatever method you use, be sure to avoid washing your bras with heavy and bulky items like jeans, towels, bed sheets, etc.

Final Thoughts

By following the above tips, you should be able to wash your bras in the washing machine without any problems. 

It’s always best to wash your bra by hand and machine washing should only be a secondary option. 

For machine wash just remember to use a gentle cycle and avoid using bleach or fabric softener.

And most importantly, make sure to air dry them.

With a little care, you can prolong its life without losing shape.

Frequently Asked Questions

What type of detergent should be used?

Always use a detergent that is designed for delicate fabrics. This will help to protect the fabric of your bra and keep it looking at its best. 

Which wash cycle do I use to wash my bra?

You should use a gentle cycle on your washing machine to prevent any wear and tear. Alternatively, if your washer includes a hand wash cycle then you may choose that option. Most fully automatic modern-day washers allow you to download a few special cycles that include lingerie. You may download and use the said cycle for desired results.

What is the best way to dry the bra?

The best way to dry a bra is to air them by hanging them on a hanger in a well-ventilated area.

Can I wash my bra with regular laundry?

Make sure to wash your bras separately from other clothing items to avoid any damage. If you are making use of a laundry bag or pillowcase then you may consider washing them together. Ensure you do not overload the washer and always use the delicate wash program. If the bra is too delicate then you should hand wash them instead of machine washing. 

How to air dry a bra?

One of the best options is to hang them on a clothesline or drying rack. An alternative way to air dry a bra is to lay it flat on a towel. Simply fold the towel into half so the bra is sandwiched between the two layers. Now roll up the towel to absorb some of the moisture and speed up the drying process. Next, hang them to air dry.

Manish Singh is an expert in electrical engineering with a Diploma in the field. With over 12 years of experience, he specializes in repairing music systems, washing machines, dryers, and other laundry-related appliances. His in-depth knowledge in electrical repairs and decent knowledge about garment care makes him a trusted authority in the field of appliance repair and laundry related topics. If you have any questions or need assistance with your appliances, you can reach out to Manish through email: manish.singh (at)