Pretty Clean: 8 Bra-Washing Detergents For Every Budget

Here's how to keep your bras feeling like new!

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This week, I was inspired by my own column on the frequency with which to launder your bras to hand wash a load of my own. As I was picking through my bin of delicate detergents to pick one I thought, “You know? I should really do a post on the options that are out there when it comes to detergents for use on delicates.” So that’s what I’m gonna do!

Before we talk about detergents that are specifically made for use on delicates like bras, hosiery, swimwear and so on, it’s well worth noting that there are a number of multi-use mild detergents on the market. Some people like having an assortment of products, while some prefer to consolidate and only use one detergent for all their laundering needs. If you fall into the latter category, here are a few detergents to know about. Ivory Snow, Seventh Generation Natural Detergent, Dr. Bronner’s Pure-Castile Liquid Soap, and Charlie’s Soap will be gentle enough for your delicates, but are very fine detergents that are also great to use on heavier duty items like jeans or hoodies.

Onward to our delicate detergent round-up!

Forever New, $16 for 32 oz.

This is the detergent that high-end brasserie fitters, like Intimacy, use, so you know it must mean business. The brand also offers a stain remover that is gentle enough to use on your bras, but tough enough to eliminate stains like blood or baby formula. I hear all the time from women who are flummoxed about what to do about stained bras, and it’s so nice to be able to say, “Oh! Just get that great Forever New Stain Remedy.” Easy peasy.

SOAK Wash, $16 for 12 oz.

Years ago, a reader gifted me a set of SOAK Wash sample packets and it changed my life. (It should be noted that I have the best readers.) You see, it was my first experience with what are known as no-rinse detergents. They’re exactly what they sound like! Now, rinsing a load of bras or other delicates that you’ve hand washed isn’t the biggest time suck in the world, but man, it sure is nice to just dump those things in some water, add the SOAK and essentially be done with it until it’s time to hang item to air dry.

SOAK’s detergents come in four scents — yuzu, fig, lacey and celebration — as well as an unscented option. If they all sound too good to pick just one, go for the assortment so you can try them all out and decide which you like best.

Le Blanc Silk & Lingerie Wash, $16 for 16 oz.

Le Blanc makes a wonderful line of specialty detergents, including formulas for linen, down and even towels. Their Silk & Lingerie Wash is one, much like Forever New, that is often sold in high-end lingerie shops. It also smells divine! Which is a thing I know because I got a bottle as a bridal shower gift. Look, when you’re a cleaning expert who is as enthusiastic about her job as I am, you tend to get a lot of gifts of detergent!

Tocca Laundry Delicate, $15 for 8 oz.

One of the most bra-obsessed women I know swears by Tocca Laundry Delicate for her frilly lacys. The detergent is offered in five scents, Bianca, Cleopatra, Florence, Giulietta and Stella. If you, like me, wear Tocca perfume (Florence is my jam), you can even match the scent of your bra to the scent of your person! How utterly glamorous.

Eucalan Delicate Wash, $15 for 16.9 oz.

Eucalan is another no-rinse detergent. It is low-sudsing, which means that skipping the rinse is A-OK and that doing so will allow some of the lovely scent to remain in your garments. Eucalan comes in five scents; lavender and eucalyptus offer protection against moths, while jasmine acts as a natural antiseptic and grapefruit is invigorating. There is also a natural option for those who are sensitive to scents.

The Laundress Delicate Wash, $19 for 16 oz.

The Laundress Delicate Wash can be used on your lingerie, as well as on many items that have the dry clean only label, including those difficult silks. The detergent is formulated to remove stains from perspiration as well as the build-up of body oil that can be so damaging to your bras.

Ecover Delicate Wash, $6.99 for 32 oz.

If want the most bang for your buck, Ecover Delicate Wash is what you want. It only comes in one scent, Spring Tulip, that the brand describes as “An herbaceous soft floral that reminds you of springtime.” For seven bucks? Sounds good to me!

Lingerie Mate, $10.99 for 16 oz.

Lingerie Mate is another option if you’re looking for a no-rinse formula. They also offer detergents designed for laundering swimwear, activewear and hosiery, all of which require special handling to keep them looking their best for a long time to come.

Do you have a favorite detergent that you use to wash your bras and other delicates? Tell us about it in the comments!

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