Lingerie whether lacy or cotton requires a different laundering than your jeans and t-shirts. Lingerie is made from delicate fabrics, and soft threads. This is what keeps lingerie feeling soft, and looking beautiful. In order to keep your garments in as good a shape as the day you bought them, here are some guidelines to help you care for your pieces.
LINGERIE SHOULD BE HANDWASHED!
The first thing you should know about caring for lingerie is not to be discouraged about hand washing. Hand washing can be faster than sorting your laundry, and will keep your garments looking beautiful. Remember, you don’t want to replace your $20 panties every time you put them in the washing machine, and you will need to if you just throw them in with your other clothes. They will get destroyed. You could have bought some utilitarian underwear, but you didn’t. So keep the panties you were so excited to own around for more than one wear.
Tools for hand washing should include your basin (or tub), fabric wash, soft toothbrush, and a towel for laying garments to dry after.
When hand washing your lingerie I recommend doing it in a tub, or basin, depending on how many garments you have to wash. Use cool water, and plenty of it, you want your garments to float around, not rub. I recommend using Soak fabric wash for your detergent; it is perfect for hand washing. It comes in liquid form, is concentrated, comes in a variety of scents, and you don’t have to rinse it out of your clothes (saving you a step in your laundering process). Keep a soft toothbrush with you for areas that require a light scrub, such as the gusset of panties, bra straps, or any other areas of lingerie that might have extra soiling. When you have finished laundering your garments lay them flat to dry on a towel. Ensure you are using a towel that will not transfer dye to your garments.
Panties, stockings, camisoles, and chemises may be put in a washing machine if you absolutely refuse to hand wash your delicates. But there are rules to follow.
- Never put anything that is silk in a washing machine, even if it says “washable silk”. Silk is a very delicate fabric, and when it is wet, it becomes extremely fragile, and prone to separating at the seams.
- Bras are a bad idea in the washing machine. You can get lingerie bags to protect your bras, but it is hard to keep the bras from twisting on their wires even if using a lingerie bag. Also, if you are washing molded cups it is very likely that the fabric on the cups will wrinkle, and be ruined.
- When washing panties, camisoles, or chemises in a washer always use a lingerie bag. A lingerie bag is a mesh bag that closes with your delicates inside to protect them from rubbing against other garments.
- Rules for lingerie bag is typically one chemise or one camisole per bag. You can put a few pairs of panties together in a lingerie bag, but no more than 3 for a full sized lingerie bag.
- All delicates should always be washed in cold water, and plenty of it. Even if you are only washing a few pieces set the washer to fill at up more than you normally would. The more water, the more the garments can float around, and avoid rubbing on each other.
- Make sure when washing in a machine to use delicate laundering detergent such as: Ivory Snow, or Forever New.
- When drying your delicates the easiest and least damaging is to lie the items flat to dry on a towel. Make sure the towel you use, is not going to transfer dyes to the wet items.
- When you are all done laundering your delicates put them away in your lingerie chest. For some helpful hints on storing your lingerie see our article on “How to stock your lingerie chest”.