Most lingerie is expensive and delicate and you want to keep it looking its best. Some will only handwash their delicate items, but if you’re like most of us, machine washing saves time. Begin by looking at the care instructions on the label. If items are washable, it is always a good idea to use a lingerie bag to keep them separate. A mesh bag prevents tangling and reduces surface wear from friction against tougher fabrics.
Use the delicate cycle, cool water and a gentle detergent. It is best to never put bras, panties and shapewear in the dryer. Heat breaks down spandex fibers and elastic. Line-drying is recommended. If the dryer must be used, first lightly shake out the items to untwist them. This will allow quicker, more even drying and reduce wrinkling. Most lingerie fibers have low moisture absorbency so they are fast drying and should be dried on a low temperature setting.
Additional Tips for Caring for Lingerie
- Sort articles by color, washing whites, darks and medium colors separately. Lighter garments can pick up dyes from darker colors.
- You can wash your bra in the washing machine, but make sure it is hooked together to avoid tangling or hooking onto other clothing. Use a mesh bag to prevent snagging.
- Separate man-made fibers from natural fibers. Man-made fibers can attract the oils that are released from natural fibers during washing. These oils build up over time and make the spots on the man-made fibers more obvious.
- Sort delicate fabrics from tougher fabrics like denim and terry cloth. This will lessen the friction of fabrics against each other.
- Lint-generating fabrics (fleece, towels) should be washed separately from lingerie. The lint clings to the lingerie fabrics.
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