Women’s underwear can be expensive! It’s how we all end up with loose, hole-y underwear! So, imagine our surprise when we learned how often experts say ladies should really be replacing bras and panties.
According to Cosmopolitan, experts at BlueGuard, a company that has come up with socks they claim are so durable they have a lifetime guarantee, say that bras should be replaced every six to eight months.
“Washing machines cause the padding in bras to lose their shape, and for those who wear the same bra frequently, the elastic won’t last much longer than half a year before it starts to become slack and unsupportive,” said an expert at BlueGuard, reported Cosmopolitan.
And for our underwear, the company says panties should be replaced every six months. Socks, on the other hand, should be thrown out after a year.
Does replacing them as recommended feel like a waste? BlueGuard said there are ways to make bras last longer. Have several and use them on rotation, for one, so you don’t wear them out as much, they advised.
You should also wash your bras in cold water to help the elastic retain its original form. “Prolonged exposure to hot water can break down [the bra's] elastic over time,” said Racked contributing writer Jolie Kerr.
Plus, hand-washing is gentler to bras than chucking them in the washing machine. Use detergent sparingly too, said Kerr. “A very small amount, a teaspoon to a tablespoon worth of detergent, is all you'll need to get bras clean without leaving behind soapy residue after rinsing.”
When you’ve done the final rinsing, gently squeeze out the excess water, but don’t wring it as this causes strain in the fabric, she added. Hang on a rack to dry. “Always hang the bras by the center gore, which is the part that attaches the two cups. The flip side of that rule is this: Don't hang your bras to dry by their straps. The weight of the wet bra will cause the straps to stretch out.” As to how often you should wash your bra, check out this guide.
Underwear is less complicated. Use the washing machine's gentle cycle when you launder them. And if you can spare the effort, washing them by hand is still the best option. “Lingerie uses very delicate fibers and elastics because it’s laying against sensitive areas of the body all day,” Cora Harrington, founder and editor-in-chief of The Lingerie Addict, told The Huffington Post.
Try not to bleach your white underwear too often as well. “You can use bleach every now and then,” said Stephanie Salardino, brand manager at Bare Necessities, an online lingerie store. “If use bleach too often...it will destroy the elastic.”
So, when was the last time you decluttered your underwear drawer, mom?