Anything other than machine washable on the label can mean your favorite lingerie items require a high-maintenance laundry routine. But there comes a time when just a little extra TLC can make all the difference in the life of your undergarments.
Care Tip #1 – Wash Up
Start by filling a clean sink full of cold water. Add two capfuls of mild detergent. Eco-friendly detergents tend to be more kind to clothing because they have fewer chemicals. Swish the garments around, simulating a washing machine motion. Remember to keep bras fastened to avoid snagging. There’s no need to scrub hard, as this will actually break down the garment’s fibres. After a few minutes, rinse each piece individually and gently ring out the excess water before lying flat to dry.
Care Tip #2 – Bag It
If you’d rather use the washing machine, make sure you at least put your garments in a lingerie bag or pillowcase and set your machine on the delicate cycle at a cold temperature. And refrain from putting your lingerie in a tumble dryer”the heat can burn and misshape the elastic.
Care Tip #3 – Separate
Never mix and match! Again, sometimes it’s easier throwing everything into the washing machine all in at once, but unless you want to see what happens when colours bleed, keep your lights and darks separate. And if the label says something is hand-dyed or pigment-dyed, then wash it completely on its own.
Care Tip #4 – Steam Clean
If you don’t already own a steamer, consider making it an investment. Steamers are great for silk lingerie, camisoles and robes. Turn the garment inside out and keep the steamer head a couple of inches away from the material. Be careful of water splattering onto your clothing, as this can leave marks. If you’re still hesitant on an actual steamer, try hanging the garment in the bathroom the next time you take a hot shower.
Care Tip #5 – Roller Girl
Rolling your underwear, slips and soft bras when you store them will prevent creasing. Padded or underwire bras should be folded in half with the straps tucked under the cups.
Note: Stockings are also considered lingerie and should be hand-washed, hung to dry and rolled neatly. Until they can invent a stocking that is immune to snagging, it’s best to be as gentle as possible.