Bras are expensive. With high end bras going for upwards of $50, it’s very easy to end up investing a lot of money in bras. If you have spent a lot of money on lingerie, you should take five minutes to learn how to wash a bra. Learning how to wash a bra properly will preserve the lingerie you have and make sure your bras don’t lose shape, lose elasticity, or get destroyed by the wash. If you want to keep your favorite bra looking great for years to come, then follow these tips to wash your bras and lingerie:

Hand wash your bras: Hand washing is best for lingerie. If you have the time to do it, washing your bras and panties in a sink filled with cold water and a little natural detergent like Rockin' Green is the preferred way to wash lingerie. But if you just don’t have time to hand wash lingerie or if you have a lot of lingerie to wash you can use the washing machine. Just make sure that the washing machine is set to the delicate cycle and use cold water. Hot water can destroy the elasticity of bras and panties.

Use a lingerie bag: If you are going to wash your bras in the washing machine you should invest in a mesh lingerie bag. These small zippered bags are great for protecting delicate clothing like lingerie or tights. Being inside the bag will keep your delicate items from getting tangled around other clothes or around the agitator in the washing machine. Lingerie bags are very inexpensive and you can find them in any home good store.

Hook the bra: When you are washing a bra fasten all the hooks in the back or in the front on a front-close bra. Fastening the hooks will help keep the hooks from getting ripped or stretched while they are in the washer. Hooking the bra will also keep the straps from knotting up or tangling during the wash cycle.

Use a gentle soap: The chemicals in harsh soaps can destroy delicate fabrics and the foam inserts in padded bras. Make sure that the detergent you use to wash your lingerie is a natural soap that is gentle and has no chemicals, fragrances or dyes in it. Dyes can attach themselves very easily to the synthetic fabric used to make bras, so if you use a soap that has a lot of dye in it you may end up staining your favorite bra.