discoloured bra

How to Get a Discoloured Bra Back to White

White bras are a staple for many women worldwide. Unfortunately, white underwear can also start to look tatty quickly. 

White lingerie easily picks up yellow stains or becomes more grey and discoloured with every wash. 

But before you throw your dull and lifeless bra away, why not try and get your discoloured bra back to white?

Since they are delicate clothing items, you can’t use regular laundry whitening techniques on bras without damaging them. However, there are three gentler yet equally effective methods you can try at home. 

Keep reading to discover how to swap those grey-tinged bras for dazzling white underwear! 


How Do You Fix a Discoloured Bra?

If you want to get your discoloured bra back to white, you’re in the right place! 

Here are three easy methods using everyday household items that promise to make your dull white bras look fresh, bright, and as good as new: 

Method 1: White vinegar

white vinegar to whiten bra

White vinegar is a well-known whitening agent and multipurpose household cleaner. It can also be used to turn a discoloured bra back to white by following these steps: 

  1. Take a salad spinner and fill it with cold water
  2. Add two teaspoons of white vinegar and mix
  3. Put your discoloured bra in the salad spinner and let it soak for 20 minutes
  4. Once the time is up, pour the liquid out and give your bra a few spins
  5. Voila! Your bra should be fresh and white once more!


Method 2: Bicarbonate of soda

baking soda to whiten bra

If only a portion of your bra is discoloured, this method that uses bicarbonate of soda to whiten clothes (also called baking soda) might be more effective:

  1. Make a bicarbonate of soda paste by mixing a little powder with water
  2. Apply the paste to the discoloured areas on your bra, such as the straps
  3. Rub the paste in a little before letting it sit for 10 minutes
  4. Rinse the paste off using cold water, then spin the bra in your salad spinner
  5. The discoloured parts of your bra should be as bright as the rest!


Method 3: Lemon juice

lemon juice to whiten bra

Our third method uses lemon juice to whiten clothes. This method requires you to put your bra in the washing machine.

Some delicate underwear is handwash-only, so check the label to ensure it’s suitable for machine washing before getting started:

  1. Put your discoloured bra in a mesh laundry bag and put this in the washing machine
  2. Pour ½ cup of lemon juice into the machine before you start your cycle
  3. Put your washing machine on a cold delicate cycle using normal laundry detergent
  4. Your bra should look white again once the cycle has ended!


Why Do White Bras Go Grey or Yellow?

dirty bra

Of course, a better solution to turning a discoloured bra back to white is preventing your underwear from turning grey or yellow initially.

To prevent discolouration, we need to answer one crucial question: Why do white bras become discoloured in the first place?

White bras gradually lose their fresh look because bras are usually made from nylon or a combination of nylon and other materials.

This synthetic material is an excellent choice in terms of function; it feels soft and is fast-drying, increasing comfort for the wearer.

However, the highly porous properties of nylon mean it is particularly susceptible to discolouration.

Washing white nylon bras with harsher detergents often causes the fabric to yellow slightly. Perspiration and lotions can also cause the material to yellow.

If you wash white nylon underwear with coloured clothing, it is also prone to picking up any dye that bleeds from the other fabrics. This typically turns bras a dull white or grey.


How Can You Make Sure White Bras Stay White?

clean white bra

White bras usually discolour when they are washed incorrectly. Therefore, the best way to prevent your underwear from turning discoloured is to follow these best practices:

  • Wash whites separately – Wash all whites completely separate from colours, including pale-coloured garments. A white wash means white items of clothing only! You can learn more about separating laundry here.
  • Consider handwashing – Consider handwashing your bras to completely eliminate the risk of dye transfer. As bras are typically delicate items, this is often a good idea anyway.
  • Use mild detergent – Use mild laundry detergents when washing white bras and other delicate items of clothing. These contain fewer chemicals that could contribute to discolouration.
  • Wash after every use – Always wash your bra after each wear to remove any perspiration, deodorants, and lotions from the fabric before they form more long-lasting stains.