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How Often Do You Actually Need To Wash Your Bra?

Admit it, you're gross like the rest of us.

All right, circle of trust: When was the last time you washed your bra?

when was the last time i washed this bra? well that's between me and god

are you ever supposed to wash a bra? maybe. too bad the ancient runes that spoke of these rules have been washed away & we will never know

It's probably not as often as you want to admit.

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But who can blame you? Washing bras is THE. WORST.

Here's a few things to know before you strap on that filthy bra of yours for the 37th time.

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1. You should be washing your bras a minimum of once a week.


"Because if you don't wash it more than that, you really can have accumulation of dirt, oil, sweat, and bacteria," Joshua Zeichner, M.D., a New York–based dermatologist, tells BuzzFeed Life.

2. But probably even more often than that.

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"Our general rule is that the closer that something is to your body the more frequently you have to wash it," says Mary Begovic Johnson, senior scientific communications manager at Procter & Gamble. "Since bras are in intimate contact with your body we recommend washing bras after three wears at the most. And after each wear if you're perspiring heavily."

Amelia Allen, a designer at Cosabella, agrees.

"Every three to five wears depending on your activity level and season. Being in South Florida, it's a lot more regularly."

3. It also depends what kind of bra you're rocking.

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"If you're wearing a sports bra and you're exercising and generating a lot of sweat, then that bra should be washed before you wear it the next time," says Zeichner. "If you're wearing an underwire bra that's really pushed up right against you in the fold underneath the breast, then that bra may have a higher chance of being colonized by dirt and bacteria, versus if you're wearing a soft cup bra."

4. Frankly, your unwashed bra is a cesspool of grossness.

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Here's a fun list of things your body can produce right onto your bra, according to Zeichner: sweat, dirt, oil, bacteria, sunscreen, yeast, fungi, and lots and lots of microbiota, aka thousands of cute little microorganisms that live symbiotically on your skin. Usually these guys are perfectly healthy to have on you, but when they're left to overgrow, things can get ugly.

5. Your body also produces 1 billion dead skin flakes each day. That's a dead skin flake for every person on the planet per week.

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According to Johnson.

6. So it shouldn't come as a surprise that going too long without doing laundry can have some not-so-pretty effects.

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Like acne breakouts, fungus, and yeast infections.

"You basically have a moist environment of skin sitting on skin, and that promotes the growth of yeast under the breast," says Zeichner. "And typically that manifests as a sort of pink patch, and the skin may become open and raw. That's especially prevalent in the summertime."

People with big boobs are especially at risk, since there's even more skin-on-skin contact happening.

7. Well then, how should you actually go about washing them?

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"Because our skin is in contact with fabrics pretty much 24/7 -- even if you sleep naked you are sleeping on sheets -- it is important that people with sensitive skin use products that are dye and perfume free and hypoallergenic," Johnson says.

"And be careful not to use too much, especially if you're using a high efficiency washing machine," says Zeichner. "You don't need that much detergent, and if you use too much, it actually gets deposited into the fabrics of your clothing…Much of the irritation that people develop from clothing and from detergent really has to do with excess product being deposited between the fibers of the clothing, rather than a true allergic reaction."

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  1. How many times do you wear a bra before washing it?

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How many times do you wear a bra before washing it?
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    Only once.
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    Two or three times.
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    Four to seven times.
    vote votes
    The limit does not exist.
  1. With how much vigor will you wash your bra after reading this?

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With how much vigor will you wash your bra after reading this?
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    So much vigor.

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