How to Wash Lingerie: Proper Undergarment Care and Washing Techniques

How to Wash Lingerie: Proper Undergarment Care and Washing Techniques

Lingerie is also known as “delicates” for a reason. If you want your precious pieces to last, here’s how to wash lingerie properly so that you can ensure they are well-maintained. 

As lingerie lovers know, they may be tiny little things, but every piece is constructed with the utmost care and made with fine, quality fabrics (hence the sometimes high price tag). This is why to ensure that your delicates and shapewear lasts and to keep their elasticity in tip top condition, it is necessary to wash and store them properly.

Here are our top tips for caring for your precious delicates.

How to care and wash your lingerie | Avec Amour Lingerie Blog

Hand Wash Please

Most lingerie will suggest hand washing as this is the best way to preserve your delicate lingerie. It is always best to hand wash the pieces in cold water as much as possible as hot water can ruin the elastic in the straps and/or fabric. Since lingerie is often made of intricate fabrics such as lace and silk together with technical elastic material, do use a detergent that is specially formulated for lingerie as regular detergents may be too harsh. Our favourites include detergents by The Laundress, Lab Co. and Clothes Doctor.

It's also here you can see and wash out any stains you may see either by gentle rubbing or soaking.  Extra detergent may be needed for lotions, self-tanners or medicines and any blood is always best with cold water (warm/hot water will permanently stain).

Keep light and dark lingerie separate to avoid accidental bleeding of colours. Soak the lingerie in cold water for a few minutes before gently washing and rinsing each piece individually. When the water runs clear, your lingerie is clean.

Remember not to wring or twist your delicates to remove water as this can permanently damage the fabric fibres. Instead, press and blot between two dry towels to absorb the excess water.

How to care and wash your lingerie | Avec Amour Lingerie Blog

Be Gentle with the Machine Wash

If you are too busy or if your lingerie’s care label indicates that it can be machine washed, it is best to wash them with similar colours and separately on a gentle lingerie cycle instead of tossing the pieces in with the rest of your clothes. 

Cotton bras and briefs are no problem for the washing machine as with shapewear and legwear.  However, it is still strongly recommended to place your delicates in a laundry bag like this mesh pouch and to preserve the shape of your lingerie, especially your bras.
TIP: Clasp the bar hooks together to protect against accidental snags

You can also use shaped laundry bags or a hard washing ball for padded bras. A silicone washing bag also works well.

Alternatively, you can also dry clean your most precious lingerie to ensure they are professionally cared for, such as silk robes and slips.

How to care and wash your lingerie | Avec Amour Lingerie Blog

Skip the Dryer, Air-dry only

Once you have washed your lingerie & hosiery, NEVER place them in a tumble dryer. Instead, it is best to air dry them on a flat rack and away from direct exposure to the sun or a radiator. Heat is the fastest way to ruin your lingerie.

You can also place bras on a specially shaped drying hanger but it is definitely best to lay larger items like slips or robes flat to dry as the added weight of the wet fabric may stretch them out of shape.

How to care and wash your lingerie | Avec Amour Lingerie Blog

Sort & Store delicately

Once your lingerie is dry, you can steam those made of silk if necessary to remove creases. If you do not have a steamer, set your iron to the lowest heat setting possible and iron with a protective fabric over your lingerie.

It is best to fold your lingerie for storage instead of leaving them hanging in your closet as this could stretch the fabrics and elastics over time.

Sort your bras and keep padded bras cupped into each other in a row to keep their shape in one drawer.  Soft cup bras can be folded into quarters.  If you have lace bras then best to clasp the hooks to avoid snagging other bras. 

How Often Should I Wash my Lingerie?

Any pieces that are worn in direct contact and is subjected to bodily fluids should be washed after each wash, such as panties.  Bras can be worn a few times before washing unless there has been significant sweating.

To extend the life of your bras, try to alternate among a few different bras. This means that you should not wear them for a few days in a row. This will allow the elastic to “rest” and bounce back to its original shape instead of quickly becoming overstretched.

With this TLC, you will be able to enjoy your favourite sexy lingerie, shapewear and hosiery for as long as possible without wearing them out!



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