After years of various methods of washing bras, I decided it was time to tackle the situation with a strategy examination. Every woman has their method and it usually falls into one of the following categories:
1) Can't Bother
Toss bras in the washer with the rest of laundry and runs the regular cycle.
2) Kind of Care
Separates bras and lingerie, puts them in a mesh bag and tosses with rest of laundry
3) You Care. Yes, You Care A Lot
Separate colors, whites, and delicates, and runs separate loads for each. Bras are always in a mesh bag, sometimes in a mesh bag inside a larger mesh bag, always washed on the delicate cycle.
4) You Really Really Care
Bras are hand-washed for a good twenty minutes to ensure that the bras are as clean as they could be.
So where I was last, was a combination of 1 and 4. It may seems like a contradiction, because how could I be handwashing my bras when really my sentiment is that I can't be bothered? Well, the 'Can't Bother' method is reckless, usually only laundry novices will do this type of thing to their bras (think, Rachel on Friends), bras will be mangled and lifeless within a few spins. I've had some underwires actually break through the fabric. Silly teenager I was, I attempted to wear these bras post-mangulation, and had some very uncomfortable school days in my memory.
I'd gone through some mesh bags in my lifetime, done full separation at some point. But over the years, whites had steadily faded out of the picture for me, as did specialty delicate fabrics or anything that needed to be dry-cleaned. Plus I'd grown savvy enough to know that once the colors go through a few cycles, they wouldn't vomit all over your whites if you mixed 'em up after. However, I still had the dilemma of mangled brassiere on my hands. So hand washing was the chosen method.
I have been hand washing my bras for a number of years now, but started to question it. I was recently on a 4 day bike touring trip, and I hand washed my clothes each night and alternated 2 outfits. What I found was that the clothes just didn't ever seem as clean as I wanted them to be, there were still traces of dirt. I started to wonder how much dirt was still trapped in my bras.
So I bought my second ever AS SEEN ON TV product – the Bra Baby TM (the first product was some sort of clip that funneled the contents of one bottle into another – I used it once and don't know where it went. Not an indication of confidence for the Bra Baby). But as I looked at this contraption, I was really skeptical that it was going to be able to keep bra straps from becoming loose. I turned over this polycarbonate contraption in the store and imagined an industrial designer drawing the thing in CAD - putting the nice little Easter Egg-like pattern on the inner and outer units to allow for soap penetration and plastic material selvedge. The molds for this thing must look pretty interesting. Great Branding though, really, because it would be near impossible for anyone to just look at the thing and figure out that you're supposed to wash bras with it. I especially like the logo; it implies that my bra is a recently-born baby chick.
As I hesitated for the purchase I thought to myself, "If I'm going to give in and buy this injection molded testament to the quest for convenience, it had better work."
So I brought a Tide Bra Bag TM to put the Bra Baby into to ensure victory.
If this strategy fails, I'm going to write a mini-book about the details of tactics and aptly title the book, "Bra Dummy. TM" and this photo will be on the cover: