• How often should you wash your bra?

    Another flurry of enquiries about laundry hygiene and how often clothes should be washed because Stella McCartney has said she may not wash her bra after one use. She has said we wash things too often, and she probably has a point. With all of these subjects, it is a bit like asking the question: how long is a piece of string?! I have written previously on this subject, but here are my current thoughts.

    I know journalists hate it when I say this, but it depends….

    Basically wash most items of clothing when they are too dirty or smelly to re-use. The exception, I would say, is for pants, knickers, socks and pyjama bottoms, which could be contaminated with faecal bacteria or athletes’ foot fungi (in the case of socks). Those items should be washed daily, or if you shower before getting your PJs on then maybe every three days. As for the rest, you are probably not going to be at much risk of anything other than a few spots under your bra strap or on on your legs (tight jeans).

    However, if you have scratched skin then you would be better to crank up the hygiene in case bacteria get beneath the skin and cause an infection.

    So as with all these questions, there is not a time frame on frequency of washing, but rather a risk assessment – think about it and then wash an item if it needs it. If you are a messy pup and spill every meal down your front, then get a bib or you will probably end up doing a lot of washing. And by the way, a rub with a detergent prior to going in the wash will help to remove the stain (subject to fabric type etc. etc).


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