As much as we like to think of bras as delicate objects of desire, or rather delicate objects that* embrace* supple objects of desire, the reality is less entincing (as reality tends to be). Bras are dirty. I don’t mean that in a puritanical, mom-from-Carrie-screaming-“dirty pillows!” sort of way. They literally don’t get washed enough, not even close.

Upon coming to grips with the startling reality that like other things we wear on our body, not to mention our bodies themselves, bras too require cleaning, Elle magazine conducted an employee poll. Five editors also washed their bras and photographed the results to see how not clean the water would be. Spoiler: Not very.

One admitted to not remembering when she last washed her bra. Another had also forgotten about hers, deducing, she probably hadn’t since she “sweat in them this summer.” According to further research, most women apparently go three to four weeks without giving theirs a soapy bath. And these are women who work in fashion, which doesn’t bode well for the masses. Sure, it’s all relative to how many bras in the wardrobe rotation, but I think such precious yet reliable pieces of lingerie deserve a bit more loving care.