Binders are very handy, especially for those who belong to trans masculine or non binary people.
And since this piece of clothes is used on a daily basis from morning till evening, it is important to keep it clean and in a good state.
This will not only ensure that your binder is always clean, it will also make the item last much longer and keep its shape making it almost invisible under your clothes.
In this article, we are going to explain how to hand wash and how to machine wash a chest binder.
Also, we are going to share a few handy tips regarding the care and maintenance nuances that are good to know if you are wearing a chest binder regularly.
How to Wash a Breast Binder
Chest binders belong to the category of delicate items, this is why they should not be washed on the regular washing setting like your other clothes.
This is why there are two major washing options that are available for the owners of chest binders:
- Delicate machine wash
- Hand wash
It often happens that many of those who bind with chest binders suddenly realize on the laundry day that they need to wash their binder, but they have no idea how to do it correctly!
As you probably know, chest binders are considered delicate, this is why they usually shouldn’t be washed the same way you wash your normal clothes.
And while most binders come with instructions on how to wash them, if you lost the instructions or if you got a used binder without the instructions, there are some general tips that you should apply to washing any binder, both new or used.
Below you can find a detailed and step by step description of the binder washing procedure.
We will explain how to wash them in a washing machine and by hand since the second method is the most preferable one.
How to Machine Wash a Binder?
If you decide to wash your chest binder in a washing machine, make sure that you get the item ready for the procedure correctly.
In order to succeed, follow the next instructions precisely.
Close the Fastenings
Close any fastenings that you have on your binder. If you have a binder that fastens shut, such as with a zipper, for example, close the fastenings before putting it in the washing machine.
This will ensure that nothing is damaged.
Flip It Inside Out
Flip your binder inside-out. Why would you need that?
See, the inside part of your binder is the part that touches your skin the most and thus usually gets sweaty. Like this, by turning it inside-out, you will help to clean it better.
Put It Into a Washing Bag
Chest binders should be washed as delicate items. This is why make sure that you put your binder in a delicate bag, if possible.
Chest binders are made of an elastic material, so it is recommended to put them in a bag for delicates (sometimes also called lingerie bags) before putting them in with the wash.
This will help protect the material.
Wash It With Other Delicate Items
It is best to wash your chest binder with similar delicate items, if possible. It is often best to machine-wash binders with other delicate items of the same weight and color as well.
Like this, you get more clothes cleaned in one wash.
If you don’t have a lot of delicate clothes right now that you can wash your binder with, it is possible to put it in your washing machine with your normal clothes.
Wash In Cold Water
Use cold water with mild or normal detergent when washing your chest binders. See, hot water will cause it to shrink pretty much.
While it is recommended to use a mild detergent, these are usually more expensive.
This is why using a normal detergent will work fine if you don’t have the delicate one.
Use Proper Detergent
It is not only water that matters when laundering your chest binders. Using the correct type of detergent also matters a lot.
We don’t recommend you opt for strong detergents, bleach, or softeners, for example, since these washing products will damage your item.
Related: Laundry Detergent Ingredients And How They Work
Set the Correct Washing Regime
Before you start washing your chest binder, set the spin cycle to a gentle or delicate setting, if possible. A fast spin cycle can easily damage your binder, as well as other delicates, if you wash them altogether.
If you don’t have an option for delicates on your machine, a standard wash will still work, as long as it is not too rough.
Hang your binder up to dry. Once you have finished washing your chest binder, remove it from the delicate bag. You can hang it up to dry near a window or on the door of your shower.
Using a clothesline outdoors is also an option if you have a garden or a balcony. It is also best to dry your binder in a well-ventilated area.
Also, please note that you should not put your binder in a dryer! This can damage the item, cause it to shrink, and will shorten its lifespan.
As you can see, there is actually nothing complicated about the machine wash used for the chest binders.
You just need to make sure that you are using the correct washing and spin cycle, and your detergent is delicate enough to be used on this fabric.
Related: What Does Dry Flat Mean?
How to Hand Wash a Binder?
Even though chest binders can be machine washed (if you use the correct washing settings and detergent, of course), it is still strongly recommended that you do it by hand since binders are still considered delicate items.
So if you don’t mind spending more time and getting your hands dirty, here are a few steps that will help you to clean your chest binder easily by hand.
Mind the Fastenings
Close any fastenings on your binder. If you have a binder that fastens shut, close the fastenings before putting the item in the wash. It will help you to ensure nothing is damaged.
Just like when a machine washes your chest binder, before you wash it manually, you need to flip your binder inside-out as well.
You will want to turn your binder inside-out when you wash it, since the inside is the part that touches your skin the most and is more likely to get sweaty.
And since your binder will be hand-washed, you will have more control over what spots get washed.
So while you do want to wash the inside, it’s important to get the outside as well.
To hand wash your chest binder, the best is to fill a sink or even a plastic tub or bucket with cool water and place your binder into it. Some binders can be soaked, but even if yours is ok with that, don’t soak it for too long!
This will help you to avoid a risk of damaging the fabric.
Use the Correct Detergent
Wash your binder with a mild or normal detergent.
You don’t need to do any harsh scrubbing or squeezing, just put some detergent into the water and use your hands to swirl and lightly knead your binder in the water.
We would not recommend you use a strong detergent, bleaches, or even softeners when washing your binder. These products can damage the material quite significantly.
Rinse your binder thoroughly after you are done with washing.
After your binder has been cleaned well, fully rinse it with clean water, until there are no traces of bubbles or soap on the fabric.
Hang your binder up to dry. After you have finished washing your chest binder, gently squeeze the extra water out. Then place your binder on a hanger.
We recommend you hang it up somewhere to dry, for example, near a window or on the door of your shower. It is also possible to dry your binder on a clothesline outside.Also, make sure that the item is being dried in a well-ventilated area.
However, if you need to hide your binder and in case you can’t just dry it out in the open along with your other clothes, you can find another, more secret spot for drying it. For example, hanging it in your closet can be an option.
The only thing that should never be done is that you do not have to put your binder in a tumble dryer! This can damage the binder, cause it to shrink, and will shorten its lifespan.
Like this, you are now aware of how to wash your chest binder both in a washing machine and by hand.
As you can see, both methods can be used the same effectively, but also both require certain care and attention since binders are delicate items
But if you follow our suggestions and if you are delicate enough, be sure that washing your binder will not become a disaster!
Tips For Keeping Your Binder In a Good State
Taking care of a chest binder is relatively easy even though they are considered delicates. However, in order to not ruin the item, you need to follow certain maintenance and care rules and instructions.
Making sure the binder holds its shape and stays in a good and like-new state is important, because it will allow you to make the item last much longer.
This is why below there are several handy and easy to follow tips that will help you to keep your chest binder in a proper condition.
Hand Wash Instead Of Machine Wash
Machine washing your binder can damage not only the fabric, but also the seams of the item.
As a result of such treatment, the lifespan of your chest binder can get much shorter. Of course, this is true only if you wash it on the wrong settings!
Depending on the types of fibers and compression materials used in your binder, it can lose its compression more easily if machine washed.
This is why it is recommended to hand wash your binder in the sink with mild detergent and cold water, and do not let it soak for a long period of time.
Use Delicates Setting
If you still want to machine wash your binder, start with checking your binder manufacturer’s website to see if they have recommendations for how to wash your specific garment.
If they don’t provide you with any instructions, then the safest way to machine wash is to place your binder in a delicate bag, then into the washer, and use the delicate setting with cold water.
Hang Up to Dry
If you want your binder to hold its shape and size like brand new, it is best to hang it up to air dry after washing.
Do not put your binder in the tumble dryer because it may shrink in size, and having a binder that is too tight can cause injury or strain to your chest, lungs, and back.
Wear Your Binder For As Little Time As You Can
If you wear it daily from morning till night, then your binder will wear and tear much faster! This is why we suggest you try to take your binder off as much as possible during times where it’s less important to bind.
It’s especially recommended to not wear a binder for more than eight hours in a row, and to never wear a binder when sleeping or exercising!
What we recommend you do is to take your binder off even more frequently!
For example, after school, before or after work, when relaxing… Of course, do it only when it is safe or comfortable for you to do so.
Consider Layering Under Your Binder
Binders are often not very breathable. This is why it is likely that you are going to get hot and pretty sweaty when wearing it (especially in hotter weather). If it happens on a regular basis, the build-up of sweat can irritate your skin and cause your binder to become dirty and even discolored.
In addition, it will wear out more quickly.
This is why wearing a thin, lightweight and breathable cotton shirt underneath your binder may help prevent this issue.
If you find a t-shirt option uncomfortable, you can also try applying a light layer of cornstarch to your skin before putting your binder on.
This will help keep you much more comfortable and your binder will be in better shape.
Mind the Washing Temperature
Check the temperature before washing! It is a bad idea to throw a binder into hot water since it can damage the material and cause it to shrink.
If you don’t know the temperature recommendations for your specific binder, opt for cool water.
It is recommended to wash binders using delicate and mild detergents.
But if you don’t have access to any of them right now, there is still a solution. Use bar soap! It will work the same great, being delicate on the fabric.
Well, now you know everything that one might need to know about chest binders and their maintenance and care.
With these life hacks and tips, you will easily learn how to wash your binder safely to make it last and serve you much longer.
Frequently Asked Questions
⭐What fabric are binders made of?
They are made of thick spandex and nylon, resembling tight undershirts.
⭐Can I apply bleach on my chest binder?
No, bleach must not be used on binders. If you do it, the product will leave discolored marks on the fabric.
⭐Can chest binders be brushed to delete stains?
You can use soft bristle brush on them, but make sure you act delicately. Vigorous scrubbing can damage the fabric.