How to Wrangle Removable Sports Bra Pads on Laundry Day

How to Wrangle Removable Sports Bra Pads on Laundry Day

Removable pad inserts on swimsuits and sports bras are a necessary evil — but they really are evil. On the one hand, they’re great because they add a little snugness, give some extra lift and oomph, and prevent you from nipping out in the gym and on the beach. (If you want to nip out, that’s fine; the pads are, as we said, removable.) It’s that very fact that makes them so evil, though: The pads come out of their little insertion holes in the wash. They get flipped and turned around in the garment during normal wear. They are a pain. Here’s how to finally keep them in check.

Widen the insertion holes in the bra

If your pads keep coming out in the washing machine, it might seem counterintuitive to make the holes wider, but consider that doing so makes reinserting the foam easier in the end. Use a scissor to cut a line down the centre of the internal piece of fabric (the piece sewn to the back to hold them in place). Then, you should sew around the new raw edges to prevent fraying or the hole from expanding.

Pin the pads in place before washing

If you don’t want them to come out in the wash at all, just use safety pins to keep the pads in place before loading them into your machine. Be sure to remove the pins before wearing the bra or swimsuit again, of course, but otherwise, this is one of those solutions that seems almost too obvious once you think of it. (So why have we never thought of it?)

You can also just sew them in place from the get-go, if you want to. Make a few simple stitches at the top and bottom of the pad while it’s in its pouch, taking care to only sew it to that internal panel and not let your needle poke through to the front of the garment.

Roll the pad before reinserting it

For whatever reason, whenever the pads of my sports bras come out in the wash, I always try to force them back through their tiny insertion hole flat, squishing them as I go and creating creases that then make them bunch up when I wear them. Only recently did I decide to be a little more mindful, patient, and purposeful. I’ve started rolling them up and sliding them through the hole about 90% of the way, then letting them unfurl while still holding a little portion outside of the garment and adjusting them once they’re flat inside.

Or just get a tool to help you

If you don’t have the dexterity or patience to pin or roll your pads, worry not. I recently learned about a special tool designed for this very purpose. It’s kind of like a scissor, but doesn’t cut your pad. You place the pad flat, open the “scissor” over top of it, roll the sides of the pad over the two prongs, squish your new roll together with the handle, and stuff it through the hole.

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