3 Easy Ways To Extend The Life Of Your Sports Bra

Anita: Maximum Control Extreme Control No Wire Sports Bra

Anita: Maximum Control Extreme Control No Wire Sports Bra

A bra, especially a sports bra that sees frequent use, should never reach its first birthday. This milestone can cause a lot of problems as you work out. Although most women don’t think much about their sports bra, wearing one that’s worn out can lead to breast pain, keeping you away from the gym.

To help yourself stay comfortable and supported while you work out, replace your sports bra every 6-12 months. However, there are a few easy things you can do to help extend the life of your sports bra.

1) Take Off Your Bra Right After Exercising

Ages ago, women didn’t sweat, they ‘glistened.’ Today’s women work out just as hard as the guys do and they’re not afraid to show how hard they’re working. If you like to run, use the elliptical, rowing machine or do another form of exercise that makes you sweat, take off your bra as soon as possible. If you have the time before dashing off to your next obligation, rinse out your bra in the gym locker room. This will help remove some of the sweat and bacteria that can cause the fibers to break down.

If your work out routine includes activities like weight training or yoga that don’t cause you to sweat (Sidenote: Just because you’re not sweating, doesn’t mean it’s not a great workout. Anyone who says yoga is easy hasn’t tried it.), you might be able to get more than one wear out of your sports bra before washing. If you’re not washing it, hang it up to make sure the bra is able to breathe in between wearings. Whatever you do, don’t leave it balled up in your gym bag.

2) Wash On Gentle, Hang Dry

If it’s not possible to hand wash your sports bra (and really, who has time for that?), wash your sports bra using the gentle cycle or a lingerie bag. If the bra has a set of hooks, take the time to close them, which can keep them from snagging on other garments during the washing cycle. Powdered detergent is best, but if you must use liquid detergent, use it sparingly. Stay far, far away from liquid fabric softeners because these can actually coat the fabric of the bra, keeping them from wicking away sweat as you work out.

After washing, take the time to hang dry your sports bra. The fabric they’re made of usually dries quickly so you don’t have to worry about wet laundry cluttering up your house. If you’re in a pinch because you forgot to throw that last load of laundry in the dryer last night and need to tumble dry your bras, forgo the dryer sheets. These act like fabric softener and can harm the fabric. Just make sure to set the heat on low because high heat can break down the fibers of the bra.

3) Know When It’s Time To Replace

Even the best cared for bra will need to be replaced eventually. An older bra will be stretched out, especially along the rib cage band and the shoulder straps. It’s time to replace your sports bra:

  • If you’re noticing more movement as you’re exercising
  • If you can’t read the care tag anymore
  • If it suddenly seems too big
  • If your workouts are working and you’ve lost more than 10-20 pounds
  • If you’re pregnant (working out while pregnant is completely safe — just listen to your body)
  • If it’s pilling or otherwise worn

Exercising can do wonders for your physical and mental health. However, if you’re not taking care of your sports bras, you could be faced with an uncomfortable injury since your breasts will no longer be properly supported. Take the time to take care of your bras and you could extend their life. These little steps can go a long way towards keeping you (and your bras) in top condition.

About the Author:
Cindy Prosser is a former underwear model turned freelance writer and mommy. She’ll happily commit to wearing her sports bra so long as she’s not obligated to do any exercise ;) She does occasionally get out for a run with the jog stroller when she’s not busy writing for Bare Necessities.

Comments Add Your Own Comment

  1. Crystal says:

    Great tips! I didn’t realize that a sports bar wears out after 6-12 months. Thanks for taking the time to write this up!

  2. leikkialue says:

    I like your systematic approach. Your common sense tips and replacement checklist are very helpful.

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