adidas / October 2023
5 Minute Read

Stay Supported: How To Care For Your Sports Bra

Your sports bra works just as hard as you do. Here are some easy tips on how to wash a sports bra to keep it in the best shape possible. 


How To Wash a Sports Bra 

There are two ways you can wash your sports bras, either by hand or in the washing machine. Below are the details for how to wash a sports bra, so follow along to keep your clothing in the best shape for the long haul. 

Can You Wash a Sports Bra in the Washing Machine? 

Yes, you can wash a sports bra in the washing machine—let's be real, it’s the easiest method! Zip or clasp any closures on the bra and place it in a mesh wash bag to keep it from getting tangled with other clothes—or run a load of only performance fabric workout clothes together. Use a regular detergent or one made for performance fabrics, and do not use fabric softener as it can clog the material’s breathable design. Wash on a delicate cycle on cold or warm (more on that below). 

Should a Sports Bra Be Washed With Cold or Warm Water? 

On one hand, cold water is more gentle on the fabric and won’t cause it to shrink, and is more environmentally friendly. On the other hand, warm or hot water helps to break down the bacteria and clean the clothes. Follow the care instructions on the tag, or use your best judgment as to what is best for your workout clothes and lifestyle.  

How Do You Wash a Sports Bra By Hand? 

It’s easy to wash a sports bra by hand and it’s eco-friendly. Use a stopped sink or a washtub filled with warm water. Suds up your sports bra with gentle hand soap or laundry soap, then finish by rinsing thoroughly with fresh water and laying it flat to air dry. 

Should You Remove Pads From Sports Bras Before Washing?

Removing the pads will keep them from bunching up inside the bra. You can remove the pads and place them in the garment bag, directly in the washing machine, or wash them by hand. Don’t feel like fussing with that? Leave them in the bra and readjust when you lay the bra to dry. 

Do Sports Bras Go in the Dryer? 

As with other delicates, avoid tumble drying. This can stretch out and break down the fibers and elastic, leading to less support and possibly changing the fit. Ensure your sports bra keeps its shape by air drying it on a flat surface or drying rack. Try to avoid hanging it by the straps, which could cause them to stretch out. 

Wash Promptly and Frequently 

As tempting as it may be to run errands or clean the house while already sweaty, take off your sports bra as soon as you're done working out. It’s better for your skin and the bra because sweat and bacteria can break down the fabric, stretching the band out. Over time, this will affect its ability to support you properly. 

Rotate Your Sports Bras  

Over time, it's normal for a sports bra to become less effective at supporting you. This just comes with general wear and tear. Having a few bras on rotation means washing them less often and preserving the shape for even longer. It's always good to have a few support options to choose from depending on your activity too! 

How Long Should You Keep a Sports Bra? 

How long you keep a sports bra depends on how often you exercise and how well you care for it. As a general guideline, a sports bra that's worn regularly will be showing its age after a year or so and may need replacing. Use your judgement when checking for signs of wear and tear though—ask yourself if it still feels as comfortable and supportive during a workout. 

Time for a New Sports Bra? 

Like all workout wear, your sports bra does have a shelf life. Learning how a sports bra should fit will help you figure out when yours is losing its luster. Here are some signs that you might need to replace your bra:
  1. You notice more breast movement than usual, or general breast pain during or after you workout. This is a sign your bra isn't supporting you effectively.
  2. Your band feels loose, even on its tightest clasp, or your straps become loose on your shoulders or need regular adjustment.
  3. If the band or straps feel rough against your skin and start to chafe, this could be a sign the material has degraded.
  4. If the bra is stained or has an odor, even after washing.
Use our sports bra finder and use the results to shop the many different styles and support levels at adidas.
adidas / October 2023
5 Minute Read