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Caring for Your Lingerie

Posted on April 20, 2010 by under Tips.    

We all want to make our lingerie items last as long as possible. The best way to achieve this is by not using the washing machine and most especially not the dryer. Using the dryer is possibly the worst thing you could possibly do to a bra.

The best way to clean your bra is to handwash and linedry it as previously mentioned. But what is the proper handwashing technique?

  • Fill a basin with cold water. The sink will work just as well as long as you’re not washing several lingerie items.
  • Use only a small amount of detergent. A little bit goes a long way. Also, most laundry detergents are pretty harsh so it’s not recommended to use a lot. Actually, most experts recommend using special lingerie detergents which are gentler on delicate fabrics. Check out the links on the right for some detergent options. (Special lingerie detergent isn’t cheap so some people use Woolite. I guess that’s okay as long as you don’t use a lot of it. If you have to use a substitute, consider using mild shampoo or hand soap.)
  • Gently submerge your bras in the cold, soapy water with the clasps undone (unless you’re worried that the clasp will snag).
  • Let the bras soak for a few minutes.
  • Gently rub together the parts worn closest to your underarms. Remember to be gentle so you don’t bend or re-position the underwire or damage the delicate fabric.
  • Drain the sink and refill with cold water. Let the bras sit in the rinse water, swishing them around to remove the detergent.
  • Drain the rinse water from the sink.
  • Rinse each bra beneath cold, running water.
  • Never wring bras dry, specially ones with molded cups or foam padding. You may gently blot bras between two dry towels, but be gentle so as not to flatten or warp the cups.
  • Lay flat to dry or linedry.

If these steps seem cumbersome and the bra’s care label says it’s okay to machine wash, then do so but proceed with caution. (I will not be liable for any ruined undergarments.)

The manufacturers know their products best so machine wash if you must, but be sure to carefully follow the care instructions listed on the label… Keeping in mind,

  • Always use the gentle cycle.
  • Use a lingerie bag to protect the bras from other garments.
  • Clasp the band to prevent twisting and tangling during the wash cycle.
  • Never dry bras in the dryer. Even if you wash bras in the washing machine, always lay flat to dry or linedry.

Sometimes the care instructions can be confusing, specially if there are only symbols and no words. Textile Affairs has an online guide to common home laundering and dry cleaning symbols to help translate.

I hope you’ve found this post helpful. If you have other tips or suggestions, please post them in the comments.

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