Changing your underpants every day makes sense. Obviously! Without getting too graphic, putting on a clean pair of underwear each day is more hygienic than sticking with an unwashed pair. But what about a bra? Unless you got really sweaty while you had it on, what’s the harm in re-wearing it? Many of us re-wear our jeans, and arguably, there is less exposure to smell-inducing things upstairs than down below. But styling experts say you should not wear the same bra two days in a row. And the reason isn’t because your bra will be sweaty; it’s because it won’t work as well without a breather.
“Letting a bra rest at least one day in between wear will help the elastic regain its strength,” bra fitting specialist Bobbie Smith told HuffPost. “When you’re wearing it two days in a row, it’s like pulling on a muscle — it’s going to strain it and it won’t be able to snap back.” You will want to wear different types of bras depending upon what top you’re wearing, anyway, so keep yesterday’s bra handy and wear a bra that better suits what you have on today. Tomorrow, you can give the first bra another wear, feeling comfortable that it’s had an adequate chance to rest.
This is how often you should be washing your bra
You don’t want to use that day in between wears to throw your bra in the laundry, however. These delicate items should be carefully hand-washed after two to three wears to avoid damaging them during the laundering process, or every one to two weeks if worn less often, according to Insider.
Mind you, this is what bra and clothing experts say is ideal. There is widespread disagreement about proper bra laundering schedules among not only the people who wear bras, but also among people who don’t wear bras, yet seem to care an awful lot about their partners’ bra cleaning rituals. Back in 2009, someone wrote to Slate‘s “Dear Prudence” about their girlfriend wearing “the same bra every day now for two weeks.” They asked if it’s “a normal thing,” before adding, “I feel it is a matter of hygiene, abnormal behavior, and also really gross.” Slate writer Emily Yoffe shut it down: “So your girlfriend’s behavior is perfectly normal and neither unhygienic nor gross.”
And a survey in Slate found that more than a third of people wash their bras around once a month; about 20% said, “What am I, a laundress?” The good news is that not regularly washing them likely means you’ll be able to wear that expensive concoction of lace, wires, and hooks for longer than if it got a daily bath. As Slate put it, “By washing them as infrequently as possible, we are actually extending the life of our bras.”
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