Mould could be living in your bras.
It has been raining incessantly these few weeks, and the rainy season is predicted to continue till early February before things take a turn for the drier side of things. While we're rejoicing because it's finally cool enough to slurp a bowl of piping hot noodles without melting into a sweat puddle, some might be frowning because...laundry doesn't dry.
As an island country, we're not used to putting our freshly washed laundry into driers because the sun does it for us...well, usually it does. But now that the rainy season has dominated our weather forecasts, you might want to sniff and do a check on clothes and undergarments with thicker materials - like your padded bras.
Mould Loves Moisture
Not so fun fact - mould spores are everywhere. There's no escaping these microscopic spores that are carried in the air. However, mould doesn't grow until there's a suitable environment for it and what it needs most is water.
You know that rank-ass damp smell you get when clothes don't dry properly? That's mildew and mould growing on the fabric layers of your clothing. If you're wearing organic materials like cotton or silk the matter is made worse as mould and mildew love growing on natural fibres.
Thicker fabrics like woven materials and the ample padding in your bras are also more difficult to dry - which means mould can thrive and grow on the layers beneath the surface, without you even noticing.
Wait...you mean there's mould on my bra?
Yes, that's exactly what we're trying to say.
The traditional bra is made from machine moulded bra cups, melded together with layers of fabric and lace - this means you're not able to check if the padding is fully dry before you take them off the laundry lines. For bras with push up padding, or especially thick padding, this is made worse as there might be remaining moisture in the deeper layers which you can't detect.
What's more, during a rainy season like this one, it takes extremely long to dry thick layers and even if it does dry out in the end (albeit after a longer time), there might have already been mould growth whilst your bra was hanging out.
Plus, not being able to remove the padding and do a thorough check means that you often don't notice anything wrong with your bras until the mould is widespread enough to leave traces on the upper fabric layer. By that time, when the mould is visible to the eye, it has already built a large network beneath. Mould has long branches and roots that can extend deep into the layers of fabric even when it isn't visible to the naked eye.
There are black spots on my bra...what's going to happen to me?
Mould can have dangerous effects on your health. The most prevalent one is an allergenic response. A mild allergy caused by mould can result in itching of the skin, sneezing or watery eyes. If you're wondering why your bra causes you to itch - it might not be an issue with the fabric, but with the mould that has been growing inside it. Severe allergic reactions to mould can be fatal.
There are also pathogenic and toxigenic reactions that can develop from exposure to mould and these can be life threatening if the reaction is severe.
What can I do to get rid of mould?
Keep your clothes dry
The most direct way is to keep your clothes dry.
Don't leave damp clothes in the washing machine for extended periods of time. Once the machine beeps, take the wet laundry out and hang them out in a well ventilated area to dry.
If you have the luxury of owning a dryer and can afford to have it run for a full cycle, place your damp clothes into the dryer until it is completely dry - the high heat helps to kill fungus and mould.
However, if you don't have a dryer or can't afford to run dry cycles daily, choose days where it's sunny to do your laundry so you can make use of natural heat to dry your clothes. If you sleep in an air conditioned room, you can also choose to place thicker materials in your room to dry at night as the air-con tends to dry out materials faster.
Choose lighter fabrics
Singapore is a very humid country. Hence, choosing fabrics that wick away moisture quickly is great not just for laundry, but for keeping you dry and cool in the tropical weather too.
In terms of lingerie, choose bralettes with removable padding instead of bras that come with sewn in ones. It makes it easier to dry and allows you to replace the padding (instead of throwing out the whole bra) when you spot mould growth. You are also able to detect mould early instead of having to wait for it to surface - who knows how long the mould has been living in your bra!
Personally, I have been wearing bralettes for the longest time and have not encountered any issue with mould growing yet. I can't say the same for the bras that are in my wardrobe - even when thoroughly dried, the moisture in the air tends to get trapped in the dense padding layers, resulting in mould spots growing on the cups easily.
It’s not just about washing either
Besides, moisture can come from your sweat too. Meaning that even if you dry your bra well, mould can grow if you’re generally a sweaty person and your bra doesn’t handle sweat well.
Thick materials trap moisture from your sweat and mould can grow from the long hours you spend wearing a bra. Bralettes wick away sweat extremely well.
Especially ours. Made in a lycra blend that’s cool on your skin and quick drying. Say bye to mouldy smells and black spots.
Go on, go through your lingerie cupboard and reach into the bottom layer for bras you seldom wear.
You’ll probably notice a funky smell plus small dots on your bras. Singapore is so humid that moisture is trapped in your cupboards even if you’ve dried your clothes well.
Wanna try a bralette but scared you’ll hate it?
Give our Starter Kit a try. We’re the only lingerie brand in Singapore that offers this Starter Kit. Don’t like what you get? Send it back to us and get your money back.
We know what it’s like trying new things - so we wanna make it easier for you.
Marie-Kondo your wardrobe now
It's the start of a new year! It's the best time to look through your clothing and sieve out the pieces that have dubious spots or discolouration on them.
We've been running a recycling drive for bras for awhile now and there are so many bras that are dropped off with mould. Unfortunately, those can't be recycled because mould tends to spread easily. But if you're clearing out your bras to make way for thinner, more practical and easy drying bralettes, do drop off your bras with us!
Don't live with mould! Make wise wardrobe choices :)