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How often should women wash their bras? Kenyan celebs bare it all

By Cheptoek Boyo | October 1st 2021

The bra. It holds, covers, restrains or reveals a woman’s precious pair of jugs. The bra could be strapless, full or half cups, the push-up, the ‘plunge,’ or the lift and separate variety.

A lot has happened since French designer Herminie Cadolle designed bras around  when Mzee Jomo Kenyatta was still in diapers. Some are worn such that they spill breasts to the sides, while others bulge on top implying one has four breasts and yet others, wear loose a bra they keep hitching up like oversized knickers.

But unlike the underwear which can be changed once or twice a day, the bra is alas! not always as lucky. Even in the laundry department there are fears of getting too elastic under detergents and hence, doesn’t see water as often as its counterparts in the intimacy docket.

Lavender Ojalla, a contractor in Nairobi, said she wears her bars twice before washing them but says whenever she visits Mombasa, the garments meet the detergent after a single wear “because of the heat.”

Ojalla only has four bras; two bought at Woolworths and two at Toi Market off Ngong Road. Eunice Mboya, a nominated MCA in the Migori County Assembly says she never wears bra twice.

“I know of colleagues here who can go for weeks recycling the same bra but I would not judge them, after all, who would know?”

Mboya who has a women clothing boutique in Migori town says she buys her bras in wholesale at Eastleigh in Nairobi.

Lilian Mahugi, a nurse, concurs that a bra should only be worn once then either washed or let to air before cusping the jugs again. “Imagine sweat dripping from your armpit and below your breast and all getting sucked in by the bra, it is gross to recycle the bra,” says Mahugi.

Rosemary Kinyanjui, a television producer, adds that a woman’s relationship with her bras depends on her income and occupation.

“If you are seated in an office without much running around then repeating the same bra twice or thrice won’t amount to homicide. But if you are a hotelier then a wash after every wear is recommendable.

Why do women do this to the bra? And October being the breast cancer month, is it true there is a connection between the disease and bras?

Men, who have no qualms recycling boxers, ngothas, vests and socks, might not even notice when the bra is recycled unless it starts showing dark sweat marks.  But one who had been cohabiting with his mama for a year noticed that her bra had suffered for two weeks.  “Why anyone would wear something close to their body where they sweat the most and not wash it regularly is beyond me,” he posted on social media.

Most women, if they spoke the truth to shame the devil, would admit to recycling bras twice or thrice before laundering it. Others, more open than their counterparts, would confess to that week they went on with a single bra doing the honours. Celebs open up on their bra-hygiene. 

Actress Neomi Ng’ang’a

Actress Neomi Ng’ang’a (pictured above) says, “I have more bras than clothes. I think I have bra fetish. I change my bras daily and wash all of them over the weekend. I think women who repeat bras don’t get their right size and once they do, they will stick with that one until the next time they get. I dispose my old bras after every three months but I keep the ones I love. People should know that bras determine the shape of the dress, when you pick the wrong bra it ruins the fitting and the shape. There is no excuse of wearing a bra for a whole week, I believe bras are dirtier than clothes because of sweating.”

Caroline Gichovi

Caroline Gichovi, a local blogger and entertainment columnist argues that an average Kenyan woman has roughly six to eight bras in her wardrobe of which only four are frequently worn. The other two are for special occasions like romantic dates and intimate dinners. “The four are worn about three to five times each before it can be washed; they are often of favourable colours like black, grey, brown so as to hide dirt from sweat for a three days or more, fit well and can be worn with different outfits,” she said, adding that she prefers mtumba bras for their singularity besides being better fitting as she is bestowed with larger breasts. Further, it is  much easier to find her size in the ‘bend over’ markets of Ngara, Muthurwa and Gikomba.

Actress Wilbroda

TV Show Papa Shirandula actress Wilbroda (Jacky Nyaminde) says that women who repeat bras are just lazy.

“Some women are just lazy because a bra is one of the easiest things to wash, the same way you wash your underwear when taking a shower, you can also wash your bra. Even if you have two bras you can keep exchanging and one will always be clean, you can also get the second hand bras since they are cheap.”

She adds: “ If you cannot wear the same underwear twice, then you should not repeat your bras. I have invested in bras and I only wear Sapph brands. I change mine daily. Further, I buy new bras after a few months and throw away the old ones. Recently, I lost weight and my bras were not fitting me and I had to buy new ones”.

Rapper Femi One

Rapper Femi One (Wanjiku Kimani) admits that she wears her bra for two days before she washes it.

“I have small breasts and hence, I prefer wearing bralets. I don’t have a specific reason why I repeat my bras but I wear them two times before I wash.”

While most women don’t clean their bras on a daily basis some actually do.


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