Make sure your bra goes the distance
At Avokado, over the last 10+ years, we've sold a LOT of bras, and we've also seen a few too many of those come back to us, looking worse for wear. It goes without saying that bras are expensive items, and we all want our favourite bras to last the distance. Many of the returned bras have been damaged by 'external' factors. The biggest culprit (by far) for damage and shortening the lifespan of our bras and swimwear, is WASHING MACHINES! We all understand that washing machines are a necessary part of our busy lives but we need to understand the implications of using these convenient appliances to clean our delicate lingerie. P.S. Those who come into our shop, will be used to our lectures about washing and drying.
Washing Machines can damage bras - even using a wash bag!
Know what you're dealing with
We can't live without our washing machines. Those piles of clothes that mount up day after day can only be dealt with these by wonderful inventions. But the make up of a bra is very different to your average t-shirt or jeans. Underwires, metal hooks, and delicate lace don't mix well with the rough and tumble of bulk clothes cleaning and hot temperatures.
It's a pretty well known fact that front loaders are considered to be less harsh on our clothing than top loaders (interesting side fact - did you know top loaders produce 7 times more micro fibres, which are bad for the environment, than front loaders). BUT, they are very capable of damaging our delicate bras. The main culprit - the door. If you're unlucky, even in a Lingerie Wash bag, the underwire can get stuck between the door and and the drum. The result, see photos 1 and 3 above.
Just watching the agitator in a top loading washing machine when it's in action, shows the force it's exerting on our clothes. That might be OK for some tough denim jeans, or the kids sports gear, but delicate lace and elastic, and long underwires don't always fare well! In a wash bag, you may get away without obvious damage for the life of your bra, but without a wash bag, you only need a shoulder strap or hooks to get caught, and the result to your bra and other clothing can be catastrophic. It's just not worth it!
There are many components that make up the complicated structure of a bra. Most of them, particularly the elastics, don't like heat. One of the most delicate elastics is one you don't see - the internal sheath around the underwire which, when heat damaged, can cause the underwires to pop out through the outer bra fabric. (unfortunately, we see a LOT of this!)
Washing machines, Dryers, and Returning Damaged Items
We understand that for many of you, using a washing machine for your lingerie and swimwear is quite simply part of your busy lifestyle. If you choose not to hand wash (which is how we recommend you clean them), then we definitely suggest that you always use a wash bag, and only use a cold wash on the 'delicates' machine cycle. It's important to understand that it will be shortening the life span of your bra, and that you are risking damage to it. We hope this never happens to you, as we appreciate that these products are expensive to buy, and we want you to enjoy wearing them for many years!
IMPORTANT NOTE WHEN DECIDING HOW TO CLEAN YOUR LINGERIE OR SWIMWEAR - We always ask that you follow the instructions on the garment labels. If you suffer any damage to your bra, and you have used a washing machine or dryer to clean or dry it, we are unable to offer a refund or exchange on it, even if you have used a wash bag.