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What Might Happen If You Don’t Wash Your Bra After Each Wear

Whether we want to admit it or not, brassieres don’t get as much wash time as undies do. And it’s usually the “sniff test” that decides if a bra goes in the hamper, or gets strapped back on. But it turns out that women may not be laundering bras as much as they should, and this could cause problems.

Bright Side gathered several points that highlight why we need to treat our brassieres better. Read until the end for bonus tips on how to properly wash these undergarments.

Not washing your bra enough may cause gross things to thrive in it.

The dirty truth is — bacteria and yeast love moist places, like the area under your breasts.

The combination of sweat and oil from the skin also contributes to the growth of these microbes, which eventually accumulate within the fibers of the bra.

The bacteria build-up can cause skin irritation.

Acne is not exclusive to the face, and a dirty brassiere may also cause breakouts around the breast area, especially for those who have sensitive skin.

Nipple chafing can also occur when there is constant friction between soiled fabric and sweaty skin.

However, one expert explained that the risks of getting a serious infection from an unwashed bra are low if you regularly wash your skin and observe proper hygiene.

The funky odor from dirty bras may seep through your clothes.

Just like clothes, keeping bras out of the laundry will result in unpleasant smells. And this bad odor can easily penetrate your outer garments.

For stubborn scents that don’t come off with washing, some experts suggest using vinegar to neutralize the smell.

The washing temperature is also an important factor. Cotton and synthetic bras can be washed with warm water, while silk and blended ones should be cleaned at a colder temperature.

Sweat and deodorant stains can ruin your brassiere’s fabric.

If you notice yellow lines along the sides of your bra, that is most likely the result of sweat mixed with oils, dirt, and lotions. Your body chemistry can also have an effect on discoloration, depending on whether you’re more acidic or basic.

There are several ways to remove these marks, which include using stain removers or gently scrubbing them off with a toothbrush.

Darker colored bras may also start developing fine white lines, which is a mineral salt that comes from our sweat. If you see these light stains, it’s clearly time to wash your lingerie.

As a general rule, women need to wash their bras after 2-3 “wears.”

First, we need to define what “wear” means. According to one dermatologist, a few hours with minimal sweating may not count as one full wear, but several hours with heavy sweating can easily be 2 to 3 wears.

Another expert notes that how oily your skin is and how often you sweat are important factors to consider in deciding how often to wash your bra.

Bonus: “Bra care” is important, and here are some tips.

  • Use your bras alternately. Overusing your favorite piece can destroy its shape, and bras need to rest too so that the cups and straps can relax.
  • Fasten the strap before washing or put the bra inside a mesh bag, so it doesn’t get tangled with other clothes.
  • Use the washing machine’s gentlest cycle to preserve your underwear’s elasticity.
  • When drying them out, make sure that the cups are positioned in their natural shape.
  • Avoid using the dryer for your brassieres as the heat and vibration can destroy their “stretchy” properties.

How often do you wash your bra? What other underwear habits do you think should be discussed more openly?

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