Bras should be hand-washed in the sink. Hand-washing bras makes them last longer. A bra with underwire should be hand-washed to avoid changing the shape of the bra. When washing a bra in a washing machine, use gentle detergent.
Use the gentle cycle to wash a bra if hand-washing isn't an option. Use cold water to maintain the bra's elasticity. Hot water ruins the synthetic fibers that give a bra its stretchy quality. Huffington Post states that the clasps should be connected to prevent the material from ripping. Clasps can get stuck in the fabric and destroy the bra.
Avoid washing a bra in bleach or harsh detergents. Huffington Post explains that the chemicals damage a bra's elasticity. Wash a bra with baby shampoo or a gentle soap to keep the fabric soft without ruining the bra.
Avoid color transfers by washing bras with like colors. Most bras are made from synthetic fabrics, which tend to pick up other colors easily. Consider washing light loads of undergarments with other clothes that are made of lightweight fabrics to avoid damage to the bra's structure.
Hang-dry bras after they have been washed to extend their lifespan. The extreme heat of a dryer can shrink or damage the delicate material.