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The Best Ways to Wash Sports Bras

February 2, 2024

Sports bras are delicate items that require special attention in the laundry room.

What’s the best way to wash them? Can you put them in the dryer? What about fabric softener – can you add it during the wash cycle? Keep reading to find out!

Things to Keep In Mind When Washing Athletic Bras

Sports bras, unlike your everyday bras, are made to handle sweat and movement, and washing them properly is key to ensuring longevity and effectiveness.

More specifically, the way you wash them, how often you wash them, and the detergent you choose are all crucial when it comes to preserving the quality of sports bras.

Post-Workout Care

post workout careSweat-soaked sports bras can quickly become a breeding ground for contaminants, which, if not washed immediately, can lead to unpleasant odors and fabric damage.

That’s why it’s so important to wash them quickly after every workout session. This is especially true if you have sensitive skin or reside in a hot climate.

Frequency of Washing

Cleaning your sports bras after each wear will help maintain freshness and will also prevent skin irritation, residue buildup, and unwanted odors.

The last thing you want to do is leave your dirty bras in a pile on the floor – that will only attract contaminants and result in odors.

Choosing the Right Detergent

When it comes to washing sports bras, the type of detergent you use can make a significant difference. Regular detergents may not effectively remove body oils and sweat from synthetic fibers used in sports bras.

So, what should you use instead? ACTIVE Detergent.

Unlike regular detergent, it’s specifically made for synthetic sports fabrics and can help preserve the sports bra’s moisture-wicking properties.

It’s also formulated to eliminate odors and sweat, which will help prevent damage to the fabric. Just remember to follow the instructions on the packaging – using too much can lead to buildup in the fibers, which can attract odors.

ACTIVE Detergent can safely be used to wash any brand of sports bra like those from AKAMC, Mirity, Yvette, and many more.

Also, avoid fabric softener as it can affect the bra’s breathability and moisture-wicking functionality.

Machine vs. Hand Washing

machine washing vs hand washingBoth methods have their pros and cons, and the choice often depends on your personal preferences and the specific care instructions of the sports bra.

Generally speaking, machine washing is more convenient, but it can potentially damage the garment due to the agitation and spinning action.

Hand washing, on the other hand, allows for a gentler, more controlled process, which can extend the life of your sports bras.

But don’t worry, you can still use the washing machine – you just have to take the proper precautions to reduce the risk of damage:

  • Use a lingerie bag or pillowcase to protect the bras from getting tangled or stretched
  • Wash on a delicate or gentle cycle with cold water
  • Avoid using harsh detergents or bleach
  • Air dry the bras instead of using a dryer
  • Skip the fabric softener and bleach
  • Any removable pads should be taken out before washing to prevent them from becoming misshapen or lost.

The Proper Way to Hand Wash Athletic Bras

Hand washing may seem old school, but it’s a foolproof method to keep your sports bras in top-notch condition.

how often should i clean sports bra

Start by filling a sink with warm water. Add a bit of ACTIVE Detergent powder and mix until it’s thoroughly dissolved. Soak the sports bra in the soapy water for about 20 minutes before rinsing, allowing the detergent to dissolve sweat and odors.

After soaking, rinse the sports bra thoroughly in cold water to remove all traces of soap and sweat.

Replacing the Removable Pads

To avoid creases or bunching, you can roll the pads up before reinserting them through the insertion hole. Just make sure they are completely dry before doing so.

Drying Your Sports Bra

air dry sports braProper drying is a must after washing your sports bras. Here are a few things to keep in mind:

Avoid the Dryer

Avoid using the dryer for your sports bras. Even on the lowest setting, it can degrade the fabric and elastic.

The heat from the dryer can also damage the padding, causing it to lose its supportive qualities.

Air Drying Techniques

Before air drying, gently pat the sports bras between clean towels to remove excess moisture.

If you choose to hang your sports bra for air drying, place it on a hanger with the back clasped and straps over each shoulder of the hanger. That will ensure good weight distribution.

Alternatively, you can lay them flat using a drying rack or tray. That will prevent them from stretching or losing their shape. If necessary, you can use a towel for additional support.

Caring for Your Sports Bras

There are several things that you can do to ensure your bras last a long time. Here’s what you need to know.

Rotate Your Sports Bras

tips on how to extend life of sports bra

Rotating your sports bras will allow each bra to regain its elasticity and prevent loss of support from being overused.

Having multiple sports bras also means you’ll always have a clean one available for every workout, ideally having one to wear, one in the wash, and one ready to use.

When to Replace Your Sports Bra

Just like any other workout gear, sports bras also have a lifespan.

Visible wear and tear, such as stretched fabric, loss of elasticity, and straps sliding or coming off during exercise, indicate it’s time for a new sports bra. Significant color changes, like a light-colored bra turning yellow, or frayed edges and clasps also suggest it’s time to replace the sports bra.

Chafing around the band is another indication of an overstretched and worn-out sports bra.

Proper Storage

proper storageStoring your sports bras properly can significantly extend their lifespan. Here are some effective methods to prevent them from getting crumpled and maintain their shape:

  • Hang sports bras up in a closet or on hooks
  • Store them vertically in a drawer
  • Use stand-alone containers or specialized boxes, such as shoe boxes, to protect sports bras, especially those with larger cups
  • Use dividers in drawers to prevent damage from hooks catching and keep molded bras in top condition

For non-molded sports bras, carefully folding them and tucking the straps in can save space within a drawer. Remember, proper storage is key to prolonging the life of your sports bras.

Fitting and Adjustments

A well-fitted sports bra should offer support without restricting breathing. A good fit allows for:

  • a two-finger gap between the straps and shoulders
  • straps that are adjusted so the band doesn’t give any bra rides with arm movement.

Before buying a sports bra, try swinging your arms – there shouldn’t be any discomfort or pain.

How to Wash Sports Bras – Overview

Proper care and maintenance of your sports bras can significantly extend their lifespan and ensure they provide optimal support during your workouts.

how sports bras are different from normal bras

From washing and drying to fitting and storage, every step is crucial in maintaining the quality of your sports bras.

Remember, a well-cared-for sports bra not only provides comfort and support but will also boost your confidence during workouts. So, take time to care for your sports bras, and they’ll take care of you!

Key Takeaways

  • Wash your sports bra immediately after working out to maintain freshness and prevent skin irritation
  • You can machine or hand wash your sports bra as long as you take the proper precautions
  • It’s best to air dry sports bras to prevent damage to fabrics and maintain elasticity and support
  • Rotating between multiple sports bras can prevent premature wear and extend their lifespan

How to Wash Sport Bra – FAQs

Can you machine wash a sports bra?

how to wash sports braYes, most sports bras are machine-washable. For the best results, use the delicate cycle with ACTIVE Detergent and skip the fabric softener.

How do you wash a sports bra with removable padding?

It’s best to hand wash the pads separately using regular detergent and allow them to line-dry or dry flat before reinserting them into your bra. If you’re machine washing the bra, place it inside a lingerie bag and follow the care instructions on the tag.

Can you put a sports bra in the dryer?

Avoid putting your sports bra in the dryer as it can damage the elastic and fabric, causing the sports bra to lose its support and fit. Instead, hang or lay flat to dry to maintain its quality and elasticity.

What is the proper way to wash a sports bra?

Fasten any hooks or clasps, place the sports bra in a mesh lingerie bag, and wash it on the delicate cycle with cold water and ACTIVE Detergent. Always remove the pads before washing.

How should I store my sports bras?

Store your sports bras by hanging them up in a closet. Storing them vertically in a drawer can also help them keep their shape and prevent them from getting crumpled.

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Picture of Sophia Grant

Sophia Grant

Sophia Grant brings her extensive knowledge of laundry and clothing care to the masses with her intensive cleaning guides. Her thorough understanding of fabrics, detergents, and washing techniques helps readers master the art of maintaining their wardrobe. Sophia's advice ensures that anyone can achieve professional-level results at home, keeping their garments looking pristine and lasting longer.

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