Like other workout gear in your gym bag, your sports bras should be properly taken care of to ensure they last a long time and continue to do their job. Because you wear sports bras to during a workout and for higher-impact activities, you likely sweat more in your sports bras than your everyday bras. Sports bras have moisture-wicking fabrics that repel sweat and body oils, but because you sweat more when working out, your sports bras should be washed after each wear to ensure they last a long time.

As a general rule, sports bras are best cared for by hand washing, but machine washing your bra on a delicate cycle also works. Keep reading below for our guide on how to wash your sports bras.

How to Wash Your Sports Bra By Hand

Your best bet to keeping your sports bras looking and feeling new is to wash them by hand, and it's also more eco friendly than using a washing machine.

prepping to wash a sports bra

Here are the steps to properly hand washing a sports bra:

  1. Close the clasps on your sports bra.
  2. Fill a sink with warm or hot water and regular detergent. Avoid fabric softener.
  3. Gently work up a lather on the bra in the soapy water. You can let your sports bra soak for up to an hour.
  4. Gently wring out excess water.
  5. Always air dry on a drying rack or lay flat to dry.

    You can wash a few sports bras at a time, or just wash one sports bra immediately after wearing it to keep it smelling fresh and looking new.

    How To Wash Your Sports Bra in a Washing Machine

    Like we previously mentioned, the best method to care for any sports bra is always hand washing. That being said, you might not always have the option to hand wash your bras, or your might prefer the more thorough wash a machine provides. If that's the case, be sure to use a lingerie bag, gentle detergent, and a delicate cycle.

    Here are the proper care instruction steps to follow when using a washing machine to wash your sports bra:

    1. Close the clasps on your sports bra and put it in a mesh lingerie bag.
    2. Use mild detergent and steer clear of fabric softeners. Do not use bleach — this will damage the delicate fabric in your sports bras.
    3. Machine wash your sports bra on a gentle cycle with cool or warm water. You can wash your sports bra with other workout clothes.
    4. Remove your sports bra from the lingerie bag and air dry it on a drying rack or hang to dry. Never put your sports bras in the dryer. The high heat of a dryer will damage the synthetic fabrics in your bra.

    Do Sports Bras Shrink When You Wash Them?

    A good sports bra should not shrink when you wash it. Sports bras are designed for regular wear and to be washed frequently, and if you follow our washing guidelines, your sports bras will keep their shape and support for a long time and will not shrink. Your sports bra can shrink if you put it in the dryer with your other clothes. Air drying on a flat surface is always best to ensure your sports bra stays in tip-top shape. Washing your sports bra by hand and laying flat to dry is the best method to ensure your bra keeps it shape and won't shrink.

    hanging a sports bra to wash it

    That being said, your sports bras will probably lose their shape and support as the fabrics will break down after ample use. If it isn't doing its job anymore, it's time to replace your sports bra with a new one. The last thing you want is to deal with a flimsy sports bra with worn out fabrics during your hot yoga workout. A new sports bra is necessary after ample wear.

    Should You Wash a Sports Bra Often?

    Ideally, you should wash sports bras after each wear. Because we sweat more during a workout, sports bras frequently need to be washed to stay fresh. Rewearing a worn sports bra can feel pretty gross, and you want to feel your best when working out. The last thing you want is to find a sweaty unwashed sports bra in your old gym bag and have no choice but to wear the same bra for your workout. Washing your sports bras immediately after wearing them is recommended.

    Can You Wash the Padding in a Sports Bra?

    Yes, the padding in a sports bra can be washed, but there are some general rules to follow. If your sports bra has removable pads, always take them out when washing the bra to ensure they don't get warped, misshapen, or lost. The bra pads should always be hand washed as the washing machine can make them lose their shape. Lay flat to dry then put them back into the bra once they're dried.

    Concluding Thoughts

    When it comes to taking care of your sports bras, hand washing them is always the best method. But don't sweat it — if you plan to machine wash your sports bra, just be sure to always use a mesh bag, a delicate cycle, gentle laundry soap, and avoid fabric booster.

    Remember, you should take care of your sports bra the same way you do your other workout gear. As a crucial component of your gym bag and workout routine, your sports bras need proper washing to ensure they last you as long as possible. Washing your sports bras properly is the best way to keep them in their best shape.

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