How often should you wash your bra & when do you need to replace your undies?

HOW often should you wash your bra? If you’ve had to ask yourself this, then you’re probably not washing it enough.

But exactly how often you need to wash your bras isn’t an exact science. Even though bras are technically an undergarment, they’re not on the same level as underwear. 


Experts have revealed there are a variety of things you need to consider when washing brasCredit: Shutterstock

Since a bra isn’t touching your genitals, it is often assumed that you don’t need to change them as regularly.  

One of the biggest things to consider when it comes to how often to wash your bras are how oily your skin is and how sweaty you get day-to-day.

If you’re unsure about how often you should wash your bra, don’t worry as we’ve consulted the experts to get some answers. 

They’ve also revealed when you should replace your undies – and what could happen if you don’t! 

Laundry expert Deyan Dimitrov, CEO of Laundryheap (PLEASE LINK), said you should wash your bra after three wears or once to twice a week if you have other bras on rotation.

He said: “Washing it less can cause some nasty germs and bacteria to build up which can cause odour to form.

“Leaving it any longer will result in bacteria, sweat and dead skin building up and could result in your bras becoming a bit smelly, and could even cause body acne. 

“Failing to wash your bra can even result in fungi and yeast building up in the fibres!”

The laundry expert said you should ideally hand wash bras but they can be popped in the washing machine on a gentle/hand wash cycle. 

However, Deyan recommended if you have an expensive bra or one that’s made of silk, lace or includes a lot of detailing, then you’re better off washing it by hand.

He explained you can use a non-bio detergent and cool water to hand wash your bras. 

Simply, soak it for around 5-10 minutes paying close attention to any stains or problem area, then rinse well under cool water. 


Meanwhile, cleaning expert Joyce French from HomeHow also gave her advice on how to keep your bras clean and how often you should wash them. 

Joyce explained that bras should only be worn 2-3 times before washing.

She said: “If you don’t wash your bra often enough, all the dead skin cells, oils and sweat trapped under your bra make for a cesspool of bacteria and yeast. 

“Not washing frequently enough can lead to stains and persistent odours on the bra — as well as skin irritation, rashes or local skin infections from yeast or bacteria. 

“The best temperature for washing your bra is 40 degrees in order to keep it hygienically clean for another wear.

“Washing your bra too often can also be harmful to the fabric and structure. 

“It’s important you also give your bra a rest day in between wearing, this gives the elastic a chance to regain its shape and will help your bra last longer.”

Joyce also shared her top tips on how to keep bras clean and fresh. 

She explained you can toss your bras into a sink and fill with cold water, add some white distilled vinegar and let it soak for 20 minutes. Rinse well afterwards.

Or, you can take an organza bag and fill it with your favourite fabric softening beads and a few lavender seeds. This will keep your bras smelling fresh in between washes.

She added that the correct way to dry your bras is to air dry for them to keep their shape, colour and elasticity.

Elsewhere laundry expert Deyen admitted there’s lots of information flying around suggesting that you should replace your pants and knickers every 12 months. 

He explained: “So long as you are washing your underwear regularly and they have no holes or embedded stains, then they are fine. 

“There are few tell-tale signs of when you should throw them away and replace them such as if the underwear has become frayed, with irreparable damage. 

“Or if there are holes (stitching up holes will cause your underwear to become uncomfortable, we’d only recommend this in desperate times!).

“Another tell-tale sign would be if the elastic has loosened, they no longer fit or are uncomfortable to wear and if any lace is starting to unravel.”

Deyen explained that while nothing bad will happen if you don’t replace your undies every 12 months, it’s good practise. 

He reiterated that it’s a must that your underwear is washed properly. 

But if you have holes and stains in your underwear and you decide not to replace them, then it’s obviously down to personal choice.

Meanwhile cleaning expert Joyce revealed both men and women should replace their old underwear with new underwear once every 6-12 months or after 50 washes. 

She said: “This goes for both men and women and is as a general rule of thumb. You should look to replace any underwear which has holes in or the elastic has gone a lot sooner.

“Naturally, the underwear you wear the most for specific activities such as going to the gym are going to break down faster and gather more bacteria. 

“For obvious reasons, they should be replaced sooner than your other pairs.” 

Joyce explained that underwear gets up close and personal with your skin and private areas and takes in a lot of living bacteria as a result. 

Even after you do a wash, your underwear can reportedly contain up to 10,000 living bacteria.

While most living bacteria aren’t innately harmful to your personal health, some of them can become so over time. 

Eventually, this could lead to dilemmas such as urinary tract infections, rashes, or allergies.

There are a few tell tale signs that indicate when it's time to throw away your undies


There are a few tell tale signs that indicate when it’s time to throw away your undiesCredit: Shutterstock

Elsewhere in cleaning, it turns out you’ve been washing your clothes all wrong – now we reveal the exact way to get them fresh every time.

Plus washing machine expert reveals the five laundry mistakes you’re making & why you must leave the door open between washes.

And this is how often you should wee & when you should be worried.

Mum-of-12 shows the epic mountain of clothes she has to fold daily to keep on top of the family laundry

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