Tips To Make Your Bras And Underwear Last Longer

There's nothing worse than putting on your favorite bra only to find that the strap has snapped or the underwire is bent out of shape. The same goes for any underwear — having to say goodbye to your most comfortable pair of panties because of stains is a sad day for anybody. You're probably making some underwear mistakes without even realizing it.

Luckily, there are ways you can make your underwear last longer than half a year. You've probably heard of using everything from baby powder to shaving cream to get stains out, but not all products work for all underwear, so it's important to figure out what is actually best for your garments. How to wash your underwear can also feel like a minefield thanks to all the settings on a washing machine, not to mention that certain bras and panties can have different requirements depending on their material.

We've gathered all the best tips and tricks to help you get the most out of your underwear, including the best way to wash and maintain it.

You can prevent misshaping by learning how to wash your underwear properly

The first thing you should be thinking about when it comes to prolonging the life of your underwear is laundry. You're probably washing your clothes wrong, and washing delicate items on the wrong washing machine setting can cause issues like stretching and fading. You should always wash your underwear in a warm water setting, as these items require hotter water for effective cleaning and stain removal. 

However, consider placing your bras and panties in a mesh bag. This will ensure these items still get washed but without the potential of them snagging. If you have a particularly delicate bra or sheer underwear piece, it's best to hand wash these items unless you have a suitable washing machine cycle. This will stop them from being torn. The same goes for drying your items. Putting your underwear in the dryer could cause your things to fade and shrink due to the high level of heat used. Dryers can also displace the underwire of your bra. Because of this, air drying is the best option. You can lay your underwear flat to prevent stretching or drape them over an airer.

Keeping track of what you like will help to extend the lifespan of your underwear

Though it isn't necessarily a way to prolong the life of your underwear, investing in several pairs of underwear pieces will help you long-term. If you have a particular pair of panties or a go-to bra that you wear to death, buy at least one more if it's a bra and a few pairs if it's underwear. You can then alternate between the bras on a weekly basis — essentially having one to wash and one to wear.

Not only will this allow you to figure out what you like style-wise and which styles of underwear fit you best, but it will also stop your bra from getting worn out as quickly. This is because you won't need to launder it quite so often due to having a backup. Of course, nobody wants to wear dirty underwear, but washing your bra once a week will make it last much longer than throwing it in the wash every couple of days.

Underwear that fits well is a key priority in its maintenance

Another great tip to help you get the most out of your underwear pieces is ensuring you buy the correct size. Underwear isn't like jeans — you shouldn't buy a size smaller in the hopes it will stretch out over time. Your panties should fit right from the moment you try them on. i.e., not too tight and not too loose. If they already feel uncomfortably tight, they won't survive many washing and drying sessions. If they're overly loose, the whole silhouette of your outfit can be thrown off. 

This is especially relevant when it comes to bras. A good-fitting bra should support you. Some signs your bra doesn't fit include under-boob and side-boob appearances. You shouldn't feel overly restricted by the underwire and band. Again, if your bra is too small, it will become unwearable much faster due to the possibility of it shrinking or becoming misshapen in the laundry cycle. 

Use these tricks to get your underwear looking sparkly clean again

Stains are one of the biggest hindrances to the shelf life of your underwear, whether they're from your period, jeans dye bleeding, or just general wear and tear. Harsh stain removal powders may do the trick, but they could also cause fading to your underwear, especially if you own a lot of colorful items.

Instead, mix 1/3 cup of white vinegar with 2/3 cup of water and fully submerge your underwear in the solution. How long you need to soak depends on the severity of the stain, but 30 minutes is generally a good amount of time. Always spilling makeup on your underwear when getting ready? It may sound weird, but shaving cream is the trick to removing that pesky foundation stain. Spray a decent amount of the mixture onto the stain and let it sit for ten minutes. You can wash the item in the machine after, but if you're short on time, removing the shaving cream with warm water is fine, too.