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How to tell if it's time to replace your bras and underpants

How to tell if it's time to replace your bras and underpants

Okay hands up, who is guilty of keeping panties and bras for years, tucked away safely in your underwear drawer? You know that pair of soft cotton hot pink briefs that are so comfy, but now has ladders in the material if you hold them up to the light. I’m sure many women can attest to this mortal sin. I know I’ve committed this crime, keeping my favourite underpants with me like besties for life. Well, I’m here to tell you that it’s just not a good idea. Why? Here’s why…

Your overall health and hygiene. After doing a bit of research on this topic I have learnt that lingerie bottoms of more than six months should be discarded because no matter how superior your clothes detergent is, it’ll never be able to eliminate the bacteria that may endanger your vaginal health.


In a yahoo life article a TikTok influencer speaks about her experience with recurring yeast infections. Her gynecologist deducted that the cotton crotches of her underpants had been carrying bacteria which had been irritating her skin. It is, however, explained, by health experts that it’s the waiting time from when your briefs go into the washing basket to being laundered, that creates the layer of bad yeast and mould that detergents can’t remove. So, washing your undies straight after use in hot and very soapy water is the way to go to help hinder this germ growth.

Another recent Refinery article also backs up this notion of wear and wash immediately. A professor of microbiology and pathology at the New York University also recommends washing your underwear as soon as possible after use will disinfect effectively.


Bras are also not immune to this six-month toss out rule. A bra that is bent out of shape, or that has saggy elastic straps cannot possibly provide the right support for your bust or your upper body frame and back. Obviously if a bra is well-constructed it will last longer. However, the things to look out for, discussed in an icanstyleu blog, that renders a bra no good are: if your bra feels too tight or loose from weight gain or loss; if your bra has lost its overall shape; if the elastic parts of your bra are just not bouncing back; if your bra is fraying or has holes not matter how tiny; if your bra is hurting or has wires that are poking out or digging into you and if your bra cups look uneven or are gapping.

After chatting to my women friends, I have found out that so many of us have kept our best-fitting bras for years. The reason I think could be because it’s just one of those lingerie pieces which are more difficult to shop for, so our laziness can set in and stop us from doing the right thing and throwing out the older bras. One thing that I found is when I’m bra shopping, purchasing three or four excellent ones can keep me going for a while because I can rotate them every few days distributing the wear and tear fairly.

A wonderful lingerie blog reiterates my sentiments on this alternation theory perfectly. It also says that rotating your bras will save you money in the long run and will also keep you hygienic. Like your briefs, bras should be washed frequently after three or four wears. Bras may not get full on bacteria like your underpants, but they can get really dirty from body creams and underarm perspiration plus carry dead skin cells which all together can irritate your skin and cause mild rashes.

Helping the environment

I know that while you are reading this, you are probably asking so what about the environment and how can I dispose of my old lingerie in a sustainable way? I certainly did after looking into this topic and found this recycling blog. Here there are some awesome ideas like composting, dropping off used lingerie to a textile recycling plant or turning used lingerie into cleaning rags.

There are also several places to donate bras that are still in relatively good shape (the ones you can’t wear because of body shape changes) to women in developing countries. Try this supporting the girls article as a starting point.

New lingerie, a new you

When you’ve finally made the cull and you find yourself in desperate need of new lingerie, don’t worry about the chore or the cost because buying new sets of pretty lingerie will totally make you feel great on the inside and outside (or underneath). Shopping for gorgeous and sexy lingerie has certainly injected me with confidence when I have needed it the most. You’ll be spending for a good cause because I’m sure you’ll find a surge of confidence from wearing a new and beautiful lingerie set.

 If you have read my blogs, you will know by now how much I believe in self-love and treating yourself well. Spoiling yourself a little on the ‘inside’ can help you feel like you have things together on the outside. So, on that note and for an instant self-hug check out my latest arrivals at Dear Eve Lingerie. I guarantee you so many choices of truly beautifully made and glamorously styled lingerie. You truly deserve it!

Dear Eve offering you and a friend $50 each when you refer a friend. Find out more here.