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Sweat. Wash. Repeat. How to Care for Your Nike Sports Bras.

This article delivers step-by-step guidance and instructions on how to wash your Nike Sports Bras. It also introduces Heritage Park Activewear Detergent, a new product formulated to effectively clean and care for sports and performance apparel without damaging the fabric or irritating skin.

Nike Sports Bras: An Essential First Layer for Peak Athletic Performance

It’s almost impossible to overstate the importance of a good sports bra. A well-fitting, supportive sports bra is an essential piece of athletic wear for women of all ages and ability levels. Whether you're a professional athlete running marathons, or simply enjoying an indoor cycling or Zumba class at your local gym, finding the right sports bra provides comfort, support, and confidence during physical activity. Athletic bras are designed to minimize breast movement, reduce discomfort, and prevent potential damage to the delicate breast tissue caused by repetitive motion and impact.


Nike Sports Bras


Nike, a global leader in athletic footwear and apparel, has been at the forefront of sports bra innovation since 1999. Initially building on the success of pioneering sports bra brands like Jogbra and Moving Comfort, Nike remains a powerhouse in the industry today. The company continues to push the boundaries of design and performance as it vies to increase its share of a $44 billion global market. 

Fans of Nike sports bras love the range of support options and the variety of styles and sizes (personally, we are big fans of the classic Swoosh style in medium support as well as the Zenvy strappy). Whatever your favorite design, a big component of keeping your Nike bra looking and performing its best is knowing how to wash and care for it. We’re here to offer step-by-step directions and introduce you to a brand new product made for washing sports and performance clothing: Heritage Park Activewear Laundry Detergent.

Heritage Park Activewear Detergent: The Best Detergent to Clean Your Nike Bra and Performance Gear

When it comes to laundering your Nike performance bras, your detergent needs to meet very specific criteria. After all, the point of a great workout is to work up a sweat; your detergent has to break down and remove those sweat, stains, and odors, not simply cover them up with fragrance. At the same time, it should be gentle enough for daily washing and non-irritating to your skin, especially in delicate areas. Regular detergent (like most grocery store brands) can be harsh on performance fabrics–including the polyester/spandex blends used in most Nike bras–while “gentle formulas” leave stains and odors behind.

That’s why we’re pleased to introduce Heritage Park Activewear Laundry Detergent, made specifically for washing sports and workout gear. This concentrated, pH-neutral formula is perfect for laundering your Nike sports bras and any high-quality performance fabric:

  • Effective: A double dose of laundry enzymes to break down and remove sweat, stains and sports odors from workout gear and gym clothing.
  • Protective: cleans and protects the integrity of wicking and performance fabric, including Nike Dri Fit. 
  • Safe: plant-based formula is made without dyes, phosphates, sulfates, chlorine, bleach, or brighteners.
  • Fragrance free: No masking unpleasant odors with perfume. The powerful enzyme blend breaks down and removes stains and odors from fabric.
  • Versatile: Can be used in regular or HE machines at any temperature and for handwashing.

“Quite a few of our team members are hard-core fitness enthusiasts who are either in the gym, on the court, or out for a run on a daily basis,” said Taylor Robertson, Heritage Park Brand Manager. “We made our Activewear detergent for them–and with them–by rigorously testing different formulas until we were entirely satisfied. Our final product is a safe, plant-based, detergent that stands up to the toughest sweat, dirt, and odors.”


How Often Should You Wash Your Nike Sport Bra?

Our short answer to this–and Nike’s recommendation–is to wash your bra every time you wear it. Even if you’re wearing your bra under casual clothing and not exercising/perspiring, it still should be laundered after wearing it two or three times. Just like regular bras, we recommend having three sports bras–one to wear, one in the wash, one in the drawer–and rotating them to allow them to regain their shape and compression.

Supplies You’ll Need to Wash Your Nike Sport Bras

You will need the following supplies to wash your Nike performance bras:

  • Heritage Park Activewear Laundry Detergent.
  • A washing machine with a gentle cycle.
  • Mesh laundry bags.
  • A spray bottle for making your own enzyme solution.
  • A tub or bucket for pre-soaking.
  • A drying rack or lint-free towel.

Simple Steps for Washing Your Nike Bras

Follow these instructions to learn how to wash sports bras from Nike. You can follow these guidelines for all different Nike bra styles, including best sellers like the Swoosh, Zenvy, and Indy collections. Important note: Nike sports bras with medium and high support have pads; some are attached, while others feature removable cups. Our best advice when washing bras is to remove any pads that are not attached and wash them by hand.

Step 1: Read the Care Label

Follow the directions on the care label. You will find that Nike bras can be hand-washed or machine washed. Nike also suggests using a detergent made for performance and sports gear.

Step 2: Get Out of Your Sweaty Gear Quickly

Don’t hang around in your sweaty Nike bra after a workout. Sweat, odor, and stains can soak into the fabric, making it more difficult to clean. A sweaty bra is also the perfect breeding ground for yeast, bacteria, and skin irritation (ew!). It’s also best not to toss a wet bra into a gym bag (again, a breeding ground for yeast and bacteria). If possible, air your bra out until you can wash it.

Step 3: Pretreat and Presoak Stains 

Pre-treat or pre-soak any sweat or other stains as soon as possible. We recommend using an enzyme stain remover or make a solution of a 1:1 ratio of Heritage Park Activewear Laundry Detergent and water in a spray bottle. You can also pre-soak a particularly sweaty bra in warm water and a concentrated solution of Activewear Detergent.

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Step 4: Wash Nike Bras in a Dedicated Load

Trust us on this one. Of course, we always recommend washing darks and colors separately, but Nike bras should go in their own load, or at least in a load with other Dri Fit and performance fabric, sorted by color. NEVER wash your bra or exercise clothing with towels or socks; you will wind up with a lot of unwanted lint.

Step 5: Put Your Nike Bra in a Mesh Laundry Bag

Don’t skip this step! Putting your Nike bra in a mesh laundry bag will protect it from snagging on tiny burrs of metal inside the machine tub or twisting around the agitator mechanism. Fasten any clips before putting it inside the bag.

Step 6: Use A Gentle Cycle and Warm Water

Even if your bra is sweaty, resist the temptation to use a powerful cycle and hot water. These are not recommended for performance synthetic fabric. Choose a delicate or hand washing cycle for your machine.

Step 7: Never Use Bleach, Fabric Softener, or Dryer Sheets

These products are ruinous to performance fabric. Bleach will cause discoloration and yellowing, and fabric softeners and dryer sheets will leave a waxy build-up both on fabric and on the inside of your machine. Even worse: that build-up degrades the ability of your bra to wick away sweat.

Step 8: Dry Your Nike Bra Flat

Lay your Nike bra flat on a clean, lint-free towel or hang on a drying rack to allow the bra to regain its shape and compression.

How to Handwash Your Nike Bra

You can easily hand wash your Nike bra either in a sink or plastic tub. Fill with warm water and a capful of Activewear Laundry Detergent. Swish with your hand to mix. Submerge the bra and let it sit for a half-hour. Gently scrub the bra with your hands, and rinse thoroughly with cold water, making sure all the detergent is gone. Don’t wring your bra; instead, press or roll it in a clean, lint-free towel. Dry flat.

By following these recommendations, you’ll enjoy peak performance and cleanliness from your Nike sports bra. You can also use Heritage Park Activewear Laundry Detergent to clean and deodorize any type of workout apparel and undergarments; sports uniforms; washable knee and elbow pads; and even smelly socks! As always, the Heritage Park team is here to answer any questions you have about our Activewear Detergent or any of our fine laundry products. We are here to make laundry day easier!

Heritage Park Laundry Essentials

At Heritage Park, caring for fine fabric is our passion. As lifelong collectors of luxury sheets, towels, and cloths, we found many commercially available "gentle detergents" either damaged our fabrics or didn't get the job done, leaving stains. We knew we could do better. So we developed a formula with the perfect balance of powerful -- yet safe -- ingredients designed to remove tough, set-in stains while remaining gentle on luxury linens. Please connect with us at (800) 977-1841 or visit our store or email us with any product feedback or cleaning questions.

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