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How to Whiten a Spandex Bra

by M.H. Dyer, studioD

Spandex -- a strong, durable, lightweight material -- tolerates repeated stretching and rebounds to its original shape without sagging. Bras constructed from spandex are smooth, supple and comfortable. A quality spandex bra isn't cheap, but proper care extends the life of the undergarment. Body oils, perspiration and deodorant that build up over time can leave your bra looking dull and dingy even when it's perfectly clean. To brighten the spandex and remove the gray, provide a little special attention next time you launder your bra.

Fill a sink or plastic basin with warm water, and then add a small amount of all-fabric, oxygenated bleach. Do not use hot water, which breaks down the elastic fibers.

Soak the bra in the solution for at least an hour. If the bra is extremely dingy, let it soak overnight. If the water looks gray, empty the sink, mix a fresh solution of hot water and all-fabric bleach, and then continue to soak the bra. Rinse the bra thoroughly in lukewarm or cool water.

Launder your bra in cool or lukewarm water, using a gentle, all-purpose detergent. Although hand-washing is best, you can launder a spandex bra in a washing machine set on the gentle or delicate cycle. Fasten the clasps, and then place the bra in a mesh lingerie bag to prevent twisting and stretching, especially if the bra has underwires. Wash the bra in a small load with other light-colored, lightweight articles.

Roll the bra loosely in a towel for a few minutes to remove excess moisture, and then hang it to air-dry. Alternatively, lay the bra on a thick towel, especially if it has padded cups.

Items you will need
  •  Plastic basin
  •  All-fabric, oxygenated bleach
  •  All-purpose detergent
  •  Mesh lingerie bag
  •  Towel


  • Never wash a spandex bra in chlorine bleach. Although bleach is an effective whitener, it quickly breaks down the elastic fibers and shortens the life of spandex.

About the Author

M.H. Dyer began her writing career as a staff writer at a community newspaper and is now a full-time commercial writer. She writes about a variety of topics, with a focus on sustainable, pesticide- and herbicide-free gardening. She is an Oregon State University Master Gardener and Master Naturalist and holds a Master of Fine Arts in creative nonfiction writing.

Photo Credits

  • Comstock Images/Comstock/Getty Images