Posted by Coco C

Washing undergarments

One of the greatest challenges a woman faces with her lingerie is the care and maintenance of the delicate fabrics that comes with such elegant undergarments. Things like removing stains, handwashing vs. machine wash, air dry vs. machine dry, and which type of treatments and cleaners use to remove stains and bad odors are just some of the dilemmas a lady faces when it comes to the treatment of her delicates. The following are some useful tips on the proper care and maintenance of your beautiful lingerie collection.

Hands vs. Machine

Handwashing your lingerie is the best way to prolong their lifeNever machine wash your bras as it will deform them

When it comes to your bras, knickers, and lingerie, handwashing is always the best and safest method of cleaning. You should never machine wash delicates (unless you hate them). Machine washing is the quickest and best way to stretch out and ruin the delicate fabrics in bras, panties, and lingerie pieces. So if you care at all for your delicates, always make sure to handwash them. Here’s how:

  • Prepare a nice bath for your lingerie by filling a basin or sink with lukewarm water and pour 2 capfuls of Lingerie Wash or Delicate Wash. Think of it as if you were preparing a nice, relaxing bubble bath for yourself.

  • Carefully submerge your delicates into the basin and gently agitate and shake up the water so that your lingerie pieces are evenly drenched with the soapy water. Let the items soak for a maximum of 30 minutes, especially when silk fabrics are involved. Imagine your lingerie twisting and dancing in the basin. 

  • If you find colors in the water, relax! It’s normal! It’s just the dye in the fabric releasing color. This normally occurs during the first wash. You just have to apply the first rule of washing—never mix colors with whites. Think of your makeup palette when you segregate your lingerie. You wouldn’t want the wrong colors to mix with your favorite ones, would you? 

  • Thoroughly rinse by running lukewarm water through the garments. Repeat the process until the fabrics are no longer soapy. Once satisfied, remove the water from the items by gently pressing on them. Be careful not to wring or squeeze.

  • When done washing and pressing the water out, hang your delicates to dry or lay them out flat on a drying rack. Air drying is always the best method when it comes to your dainty and sexy bras and panties. To remove wrinkles, do not use a flat iron directly on the fabric, especially when it’s silk or synthetics. Use steam instead.

Removing Stains on Your Delicates

The Laundress Wash and Stain Bar - it's non toxic, biodegradable and allergen free. Our top pick for removing stains on lingerie

Removing stains from delicate bras, panties, and lingerie is one of the toughest challenges in undergarment maintenance. If you face this problem, the first thing you need to do is to pre-treat the stains on the heavily worn and delicate areas of the item such as the straps, underwire, and lace. Use a specialty stain remover to work the stain and the surrounding area. We recommend The Laundress Wash & Stain Bar as it's non-toxic, biodegradable and allergen-free, meaning it's extra gentle on both your fabrics and your skin.

To Wash or Not to Wash Leather Accents?

Leather-like accents on our Moonlit Contour Bra

Is it right to lather leather, or should it be left to care for itself? Some, you shouldn’t; some others, you can.

Some lingerie styles have leather pieces incorporated in the design. Leather accents are quite tricky to care for since they can crack or discolor when exposed to water and strong detergents. Before washing your leather accented lingerie pieces, be sure to check the care label first, to see whether or not it’s washable. Otherwise, you may want to consult your local dry cleaners.

However, there is an effective way to determine if you can lather your leather. Find a spot on the leather that is not easily noticeable and wipe that section with a piece of wet cloth and allow to air dry. If that particular spot on the leather is not discolored or damaged, your lingerie piece should be safe to handwash. Use the Lingerie Wash or Delicate Wash with lukewarm water to hand-wash your leather adorned lingerie. 

Swimwear Maintenance Tips

The key to maintaining the integrity and elegance of your swimwear, and perhaps prolong its life, is a good rinsing after a nice relaxing dip. Letting your swimsuit sit after a swim at the beach or in a pool is really not a great idea, especially if you want to keep looking sexy in it. Salt and chlorine are harmful to any fabric, especially when it sits for long periods. Even scuba divers are advised to thoroughly rinse their wetsuits after a dive. You wouldn’t want a loose piece of clothing hang on you when you swim, right?

Religiously wash your swimwear the same way you would a delicate bra or panty. Handwash your swimsuit by filling a basin with tepid water and add 2 capfuls of either Lingerie Wash or Sport Detergent. Let the item soak for 30 minutes, and rinse. You can squeeze out the water. To preserve the fabric’s elasticity, do not wring or twist. Don’t use the dryer to dry your suit. Instead, let it air dry by hanging or by simply laying it flat on a drying rack.

Additional Notes about Your Delicates

Most of your wardrobe is washable. In fact, nearly 90% of the fabrics used on clothes including wool, silk, and most types of synthetics can be washed safely. However, the remaining 10% can give you headaches when it comes to care and maintenance. These include viscose, rayon, and polyimides.

Steaming is always preferable and safer than ironing when it comes to your delicates. It’s more fabric-friendly and easier to use on hard to reach areas where flat irons simply can’t go.

Staining is a common occurrence, especially when it comes to undergarments. The best way to avoid stains is to pre-treat them before washing, especially on areas that hug the skin such as the armpit area, straps, and collars. Even if there is no visible staining, it’s always better to pre-treat the garment with the appropriate care products.