How often should you wash your non-sports bras?

How often should you wash your non-sports bras?


When the “great unwashed celebrities” debate lit up in 2021, I have to say I did not foresee the longevity, vehemence, or detours these conversations would take. Having just had a relaxing shower — where I paid extra attention to washing behind my ears, in my belly button, and between my toes, thanks Rosie! — I am now ready to settle into a discussion of bra washing, and the frequency thereof. Steph Claire Smith and Laura Henshaw are the Aussie co-founders of the global fitness app Kic. Laura confessed to Steph on their podcast recently that she didn’t know how often she should be washing her bras. And the comments swiftly rolled in…

A popular influencer has made a candid confession about how often she puts her bra through the wash — and some people have been left disgusted.

Laura Henshaw, who runs wellness and fitness company Kic with Steph Claire Smith, opened up during an episode of their podcast.

“How often am I meant to be washing my bra, because I genuinely don’t,” Laura said before Steph jumped in and asked how often Laura actually washed hers.

Maybe once a month I reckon.

Steph was shocked before Laura explained bras were harder to wash and that if the bra had a longer lifespan there was no need to wash it as often.

Social media users were divided on whether Laura was right, with some declaring they wash the item every day and others saying they were lucky if it made it to the washing machine once a month.

“I wear a new one every day and chuck it in the wash bin every day,” one social media user said.

Another said: “Once every two weeks or so. But I also don’t wear the same bra every day so it doesn’t get dirty or smelly.”

“I reckon once a week is more than enough unless sports bra of course,” one said.

One user shared: “Depends on a lot of things I reckon. I sweat a lot at work and end up smelling like food so generally every couple of days I alternate.”

“OMG what are you all doing!!? I wash mine every two to three wears but I have a couple of different ones so they get swapped out,” one disgusted social media user said.

Another added: “Well people — I have a 10FF and u cant (sic) buy those in your regular stores so the average bra cost me a minimum $70 [Australian, about $44 USD] so I’m with her. Probs once a month.”

According to the experts at Everyday Health, bras are a breeding ground for dirt, sweat, and dead skin cells that should be washed every two to four wears.

“Though increase that to more often if you were sweating a lot when wearing it or are experiencing skin irritation or infection in the area around your breasts,” the expert said.

[From NY Post]

To the person who said, “But I also don’t wear the same bra every day so it doesn’t get dirty or smelly.” I am also someone who intentionally does not wear the same bra every day. In fact I make sure to go through a complete rotation, so no one bra gets jealous of the other. But I do recognize that if you wore the bra, it’s dirty. That’s the nature of wearing clothing, non? (Or am I Pigpen and no one has told me?!) I’m not saying I wash my bras after each wear, though. I land in the range suggested by Everyday Health of every two to four wears.

Instead of yelling at each other over our washing habits, though, can we collectively shift the outrage to how much money we spend on bras in our lifetimes? Because bras — like tampons — are an expense that half the population has to invest in. Repeatedly. I totally understand the desire to not wash your bra so it lasts longer. It’s a money saver. Which is why I want to match Scotland in making all period products free (which they did in 2020 and we still have yet to do, obviously), and raise them by making all bras free. Will it be easy? No, but it’s the craziest ideas that change the world!!! (I know, I know, we’ll have melted from climate change before #FreeBras happens.)

photos credit: Taryn Elliott and Leeloo The First on Pexels and via Instagram/Laura Henshaw

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