Nursing bras are like moms of regular bras, and not just because they're made for real moms. Like the mothers who sport them, nursing bras have to multitask in more ways than one to keep things (ie. your boobs) running smoothly. Aside from supporting your likely much larger breasts, a nursing bra has to be easily accessible for feeding your baby and must withstand their yanking and pulling. It's also got to have the power to weather through literal spilled milk, nighttime use, engorgement, and more. Mothers put their nursing bras through a lot and asking how often you should wash your nursing bra is a helpful question if you'd like to keep your bra in tip top shape.
According to Cake Maternity, a well known designer of nursing bras, a good rule of thumb is to wash your bras after every two wears. Although that can seem a bit excessive, when you consider the amount of dead skin cells, dirt, and sweat that accumulates on our breasts and surrounding creases, and therefore, onto our bras, washing them often makes sense.
The article noted that this guideline doesn't account for the occasional (OK, constant) milk spills, bouts of engorgement, mornings of waking up in a puddle of breast milk, or the sprays of spit up that will grace a mother's nursing bra as well, so you may need to wash them more frequently on some days.
When you do wash your bras, it is important to give them the love they deserve. Bravado Designs suggested closing all hooks and clasps before washing to prevent tears or pulls. You can also place them inside a lingerie bag to keep them safe from snagging on your washer or getting stuck on velcro, buttons, or other pieces of clothing. Wash your bras in cold water, on a delicate cycle and hang them to dry. Better still, hand wash your bras with laundry soap made for delicate materials.
With all of the wear and tear mothers put their bras through, they may seem like they're able to withstand anything, but after lots of wear and several washes, you'll notice the quality start to deteriorate if you're not sure to care for them well.