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How To Wash A Sports Bra

We all have our favourite sports bras but do we really know how to wash them properly?

Belle Lingerie07 March 2024

How To Wash A Sports Bra

Once you’ve bought a great sports bra, it’s only natural to want to keep it in the best condition. Below, we outline the method for washing and drying a sports bra to ensure it lasts as long as possible.


In addition to providing support during physical activity, sports bras soak up sweat away from your skin to keep you feeling cool and fresh throughout your workout. Because of this, they need to be washed often to keep them clean and avoid the build-up of nasty bacteria or unpleasant smells. 


How often should you wash a sports bra?

Although it might be tempting to leave it for two or three wears before you wash your sports bra, this isn’t advisable. As mentioned, the build-up of sweat, bacteria and other microorganisms can have a big impact over time - not only exposing you to a higher risk of picking up an infection or developing a rash but also affecting the fibres of the bra itself. This can cause it to lose its shape and with it the ability to provide the level of support you need.

The best course of action to prevent this is to wash your sports bra after every wear and to do so promptly. Removing the sweat and microorganisms as soon as possible gives them less time to affect your bra, thus extending its wearable life.


How to hand wash a sports bra

Washing a sports bra by hand is one of the most eco-friendly ways to do it, particularly if you don’t have a lot of other clothes that need to be washed in the same cycle. 

Use a gentle hand soap or laundry soap to sud up your sports bra in warm water, then rinse it out with fresh water to remove any soapy residue. If the bra is particularly sweaty, or you’ve exerted yourself a lot, it can also be a good idea to soak your sports bra in warm, soapy water for around half an hour before rinsing. 


We recommend trying Soak! This laundry solution is formulated to take care of delicate garments for increased longevity.


How to machine wash a sports bra

If you prefer to machine wash your sportswear, this is also an option. Start by closing any zippers or clasps on the garment, then put it in a mesh wash bag to prevent it from getting tangled up with other clothes in the wash. Alternatively, you could wash a load of workout clothes together, as they don’t tend to tangle with garments of the same fabric.

Regular laundry detergent should do fine, although you could opt for one made specifically for performance fabrics if you wish. It’s best to avoid using fabric softener, as this can clog the pores of the fabric, making it less breathable for future workouts. Use a delicates cycle.


When it comes to temperature, there are two sides to the debate. Cold water is more environmentally friendly and less likely to cause shrinkage or malformation in your sports bra. On the other hand, a hotter temperature is better at breaking down microorganisms and removing the sweat from your clothes. The best idea is to go with the temperature listed on the garment care label.


Many people wonder whether or not it’s good to remove the pads from inside the cups of sports bras before washing, as they tend to bunch up inside the garment. The truth is, it’s up to you. You may prefer to leave them in and then reshuffle them into the correct position when you set out the sports bra to dry. Alternatively, you can remove them before washing and wash them alongside the rest of the bra, either in the mesh garment bag or by hand.


How to dry a sports bra

Whichever method you use to wash your sports bra, you’ll still need to dry it afterwards. The headline at this point is not to use a tumble dryer. As with many delicate fabrics, high heat is likely to cause sports bras to lose their shape and therefore their ability to offer suitable support.


Fortunately, the same breathability that keeps you cool and fresh while exercising also makes sports bras quick to dry during the laundry process. Air drying is the best option - but it’s best to dry them flat rather than hanging them on the line. This is because gravity can pull on the fabric and stretch the fibres. Instead, lay your sports bra flat, either on an absorbent towel or draped over a drying rack or clothes airer.

Reader Comments

These guidelines are essential for ensuring the longevity and functionality of your sports bra. Regular washing helps to maintain hygiene and prevent odor, while air drying flat preserves its shape and support. Thank you for sharing!
Written by Ryzeal Sourcing, 17th March 2024 at 10:30:00

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