How often do you wash your bra?

Rigby & Peller suggest you should wash your bra every two wears. An anonymous survey of The Pool team shows we're way off that

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By Amy Jones on

How often do you wash your bra? This was the question asked on Mumsnet this weekend, with someone asking if they were unreasonable for only washing their bras once a month. The responses ranged from “That’s really gross” to “I do the same”, with some people saying they wash their over-the-shoulder-boulder-holders after every wear and others going months without sticking them in the machine.

Rigby & Peller, who make £100 bras favoured by the Queen herself, suggest that we should wash our bras after every two wears. We did a quick (anonymous) poll of the office to see if anyone is actually matching those standards, and these are some of the responses we got:

“Once every couple of weeks – if I'm counting! I am sure I have gone longer without washing a daily bra...Definitely a gym bra I wash immediately after use, but a daily bra just doesn't seem to need it often!”

“I stand by my long-held one-wear-one-wash strategy and will not be persuaded. I do not care that, as you insist, this will shorten their lives/destroys the bra wires. Your bra sits under the hottest part of your arm (OK it’s not in your armpit, but it’s near enough). Also think of the under boob sweat guys – it's a very real thing!”

“Rather than washing them, I just switch them. I'll be like "Oh I've worn the white one two days in a row" and I'll put it back in the drawer. My brain and I have made a pact that we pretend that anything that comes out of the drawer is perfectly clean, so voila: clean bra. I probably actually wash them once every 10 wears”

“I wash my bras weekly if I'm on top of my game or like every 2-3 weeks if I'm not which is far more likely. Same goes for my sports bra. DGAF”

“New bra every four or so days, which i thought was normal, but maybe I'm a dirty mess?”

“Normally I do the sniff test. Or for white ones, I wash them when the straps start getting sweat stains…”

“Never ever ever”

“So it varies according to sweat levels (more in summer or after I've run for the bus or something, less in winter) but I reckon I average a wash every three or four wears? Mainly because I have so few bras that I actually like and find comfortable at any given time, so I hate giving them up to the wash cycle”

My brain and I have made a pact that we pretend that anything that comes out of the drawer is perfectly clean, so voila: clean bra

And according to our Twitter poll we aren’t particularly alone here – at the time of writing we’ve had 1150 votes and only 5 per cent of people are washing their bras after one wear, 28 per cent go between two wears and a week, 36 per cent wash their bras after a week, and a massive 31 per cent of people wash their bras less often than that. We are a group of seriously sweaty-boobed people, and I love us for it.

The reasons given for not frequently washing bras fell into three camps: a) my bras are expensive and I don’t want to wear them out by washing them too frequently and b) I'm not generally a sweaty person so I guess I feel like I can get away with it and c) I only like/am comfortable in one or two of my bras so I’m loathe to lose them to the wash cycle. Which is fair enough, I guess. Maybe if we could get cheaper, better bras – especially for bigger sizes – we’d be happier about washing them more? Or maybe we’re all just incredibly lazy and would wear our lovely, comfortable, beautiful bras until they were a sweaty mess anyway, who knows. 

And finally, I’d just like to do a quick shout out to the people who replied to our Twitter poll with variations of “If you don’t wash them after one wear, how do you pair them with the matching underwear?” for having more control over their lives and their laundry than I could ever hope to have. Much respect and love to you all, you terrifying people.


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