How to Care for Your Lingerie

If you bought (or received) some new lingerie for Valentine’s Day, you want to keep it looking its best. Just because it isn’t Valentine’s Day anymore, doesn’t mean that you don’t care about it. The same goes for the rest of your lingerie. However, caring for your bras, underwear, slips and other pieces involves a bit more work than washing your regular clothes. There is a reason why your lingerie is often called your delicates. If you just throw everything in the washer and dryer, you can do serious damage to your lingerie.

The president of Hanro USA Jan Snodgrass says that the number one mistake people make with their lingerie is not following the care instructions for each individual garment. We need to be reading every care content tag, people. Another big mistake is assuming that the care of one garment is similar to the others. Just because you wash one slip a certain way, does not mean it is okay for the rest of them in your collection.

Read The Care Tag

It doesn’t matter whether you are caring for bras, underwear, or a fancy set, the first thing to do is read the tag. Jan explains that for Hanro products, they recommend specific care instructions based on the fabrication of the garments. Most pieces can be machine washed at a cooler temperature with a lingerie bag to protect the fabric.

Always Use a Lingerie Bag

Lingerie bags are great because they help protect your delicates, but hand-washing is the best option in certain cases. Jan states that hand-washing bras and lingerie with underwires is safest because the wire will not get damaged in the machine. Also, pay extra attention to tulle or microfiber garments because they tend to be more delicate and are usually meant to be hand-washed. The rest of your pieces without underwires should be safe in the wash provided you follow the instructions.

Use a Gentle Detergent

As for your soap, there are many soaps designed specifically for lingerie and intimates. A lot of regular detergents can work for washing your delicates, as long as you check the instructions. Jan notes that Hanro products are created to be used with regular detergents. The one thing that you should stay away from for most garments is the use of bleach. It is too strong for the majority of the delicate fabrics you have in your lingerie drawer.

Always Air Dry When Possible

When it comes to drying, throwing your lingerie in the dryer is another big mistake, according to Jan. When you put certain items in the dryer, they will not come out looking like how they did going in. Jan explains that air drying is always better because the heat from the machine wears down the fabric. If you want to wear something but it is still damp, it is much better to choose something else and allow the garment to air dry.

Store Your Lingerie in Lined Drawers / Breathable Bags

If you have washed and dried your lingerie properly, you should also ensure that you are storing everything correctly. Jan says lingerie can be stored in lined drawers or in breathable bags. One definite no-no is folding your bras with underwires. They should always be stored upright to help maintain their shape.

(Related: A Lingerie Designer Tells Us What To Look for in a Low-Impact Sports Bra)

Yes, it is extra effort to care for each piece of lingerie according to its specific instructions, but it is worth it in the end. Do you really want to save a bit of extra effort and wind up ruining something? You paid good money for your lingerie so you will want to keep it looking its best for as long as possible.

How Do You Care For Your Bras And Underwear?

How Do You Care For Your Bras And Underwear?

Most items of clothing can be grouped together and thrown in the wash. Lingerie is a big exception. If you toss your bra in the washing machine, it can come out ruined. And if you forget to do the hooks up, you may find that your bra destroyed other items of clothing, too-usually your favorite top. It’s Valentine’s Day, so it’s likely that a lot of people are going to be getting some new lacy lingerie to add to their collection, so knowing how to wash it without ruining it is important. How do you wash your bras and underwear? Do you do it by hand, do you put it in the wash on a gentle cycle, or do you put it in the fridge, like some people do with their jeans?

When it comes to most of my wardrobe, I try to avoid anything with fussy care instructions or that is dry clean only. However, I don’t mind hand-washing my bras. I rather wash them by hand than risk putting them in the machine and end up with wire poking out. I usually wash my bras by hand with some mild soap and lukewarm water; then, I put them on a flat surface to dry. I don’t wring them out. I blot them to soak up any extra water, then let them air dry. I do have a lingerie bag that I’ll use for some cotton bras, and I’ll pop it in the washing machine with my underwear, but I’ve found hand-washing works for me, so I’ve stuck with it.

Tell us in the comments how you wash your lingerie.

(Photo: iStock)

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