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How To Wash Lingerie How To Wash Lingerie

For Women

How To Wash Lingerie

Written by: Carita Hulbert

Discover the best ways to wash lingerie for women and keep your delicates looking fresh and beautiful. Learn expert tips and tricks to maintain the longevity of your favorite pieces.

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Table of Contents


Welcome to our comprehensive guide on how to properly wash lingerie. Lingerie is not just underwear; it is a delicate and intimate piece of clothing that requires special care and attention. Whether it’s a lace teddy, a silk nightgown, or a satin bra, knowing how to clean and maintain your lingerie will help prolong its lifespan and keep it looking beautiful.

When it comes to lingerie care, there are common misconceptions, such as throwing it in the washing machine with the rest of your clothes or using harsh detergents that can damage the delicate fabrics. However, taking a few extra steps to properly care for your lingerie will ensure that it remains in pristine condition and retains its shape and beauty.

In this article, we will provide you with a step-by-step guide on how to properly wash your lingerie, whether you choose to hand wash or use a washing machine. We will also share tips on how to dry and store your lingerie to maintain its quality and appearance. By following these guidelines, you will be able to enjoy your favorite lingerie pieces for years to come.


Understanding Lingerie Care

Before we delve into the specifics of washing your lingerie, it’s important to understand why it requires special care. Lingerie is typically made from delicate fabrics such as lace, silk, satin, and chiffon, which require gentle handling and cleaning methods to preserve their beauty.

The delicate nature of lingerie means that it is prone to damage if not properly cared for. Harsh detergents, excessive heat, and rough handling can all lead to color fading, fabric stretching, and even the breakdown of fibers. Therefore, it’s essential to follow the recommended care instructions for each individual piece of lingerie.

Furthermore, undergarments come into direct contact with our skin, absorbing oils and perspiration. If not washed regularly and properly, these natural substances can build up and lead to odors and bacteria growth. By maintaining a regular cleaning routine for your lingerie, you can ensure it remains fresh, hygienic, and comfortable to wear.

Another aspect to consider is the presence of delicate embellishments on lingerie, such as rhinestones, beads, or delicate stitching. These details require extra care to prevent damage during the washing process. By hand washing or using gentle machine cycles, you can protect these embellishments and ensure they stay securely attached to your lingerie.

Overall, understanding the importance of lingerie care is crucial in order to maintain the longevity and quality of your intimates. By following the proper washing techniques, you can enjoy your favorite lingerie pieces for a longer period of time, saving you money and allowing you to feel your best whenever you wear them.


Sorting Your Lingerie

Before you begin the washing process, it’s important to sort your lingerie to ensure that each piece receives the appropriate care. Sorting your lingerie not only helps prevent damage but also allows for a more efficient wash.

Start by separating your lingerie based on color. Sort them into three main categories: whites, lights, and darks. This will prevent color bleeding and keep your whites looking bright and vibrant. Remember to check each piece individually, as some lingerie items may have mixed colors or patterns.

Next, sort your lingerie by fabric type. Group together delicate fabrics, such as lace and silk, and place them in a different pile than sturdier fabrics like cotton or polyester. This ensures that you can adjust your washing method accordingly to maintain the integrity of the delicate materials.

It’s also beneficial to separate lingerie with embellishments or underwires from those without. The delicate details or structural elements may require extra care or even hand washing to prevent damage.

By sorting your lingerie before washing, you can tailor the cleaning process to each piece’s specific needs. This helps maintain the colors, fabrics, and overall quality of your lingerie collection, prolonging its lifespan and preserving its beauty.


Preparing for Washing

Before you start washing your lingerie, it’s essential to take a few preparatory steps to ensure a successful cleaning process. This includes checking care labels, gathering necessary supplies, and addressing any stains or spots.

Begin by carefully examining the care labels on your lingerie. The labels will provide important instructions regarding the recommended washing method, water temperature, and any specific precautions to take. It is crucial to follow these guidelines to maintain the integrity of your lingerie.

Next, gather all the necessary supplies for washing your lingerie. This typically includes a mild detergent specifically formulated for delicate fabrics, a basin or sink for hand washing, a mesh laundry bag for machine washing, and a clean towel for drying. Having everything ready in advance will streamline the process and ensure that your lingerie receives the proper care.

If you notice any stains or spots on your lingerie, address them before washing. Gently dab the affected area with a mild stain remover or a solution of water and detergent. Avoid rubbing or scrubbing harshly, as this could further damage the fabric. Allow the stain remover to work for a few minutes before rinsing with cool water.

By taking the time to prepare for washing, you can ensure that your lingerie receives the utmost care and attention. Checking care labels, gathering supplies, and addressing stains will help maintain the quality and appearance of your lingerie, leaving you with beautiful, clean pieces.


Hand Washing Lingerie

Hand washing is often considered the gentlest and safest method for cleaning delicate lingerie. By following these steps, you can ensure that your lingerie receives the care it deserves:

  1. Fill a clean basin or sink with lukewarm water. Avoid using hot water, as it can cause damage to the delicate fabrics.
  2. Add a small amount of mild detergent specifically designed for delicate fabrics. Avoid using harsh soaps or detergents with bleach or strong chemicals, as they can be too harsh for lingerie.
  3. Gently submerge your lingerie into the water, making sure to separate pieces to prevent tangling. Swish the lingerie around in the water to ensure that the detergent reaches all areas.
  4. Allow your lingerie to soak for about 10-15 minutes. Avoid leaving them in the water for too long, as extended soaking can cause color fading or fabric stretching.
  5. Gently agitate the lingerie with your hands, paying extra attention to any stained areas or spots. Use a soft brush or your fingers to lightly scrub without applying too much pressure.
  6. Rinse your lingerie thoroughly under cool running water to remove all traces of detergent. Avoid wringing or twisting the fabric, as this can cause damage.
  7. Gently squeeze out excess water from the lingerie, being careful not to stretch or distort the fabric. You can also roll the lingerie in a clean towel and press down to absorb additional moisture.
  8. Lay your lingerie flat on a clean, dry towel to air dry. Avoid hanging them, as this can cause stretching or misshaping. Reshape the lingerie, if necessary, to maintain its original form.

By hand washing your lingerie, you can ensure that it receives the gentlest treatment possible. This method allows you to carefully control the washing process, ensuring that your delicate undergarments maintain their shape, color, and overall beauty.


Machine Washing Lingerie

While hand washing is the preferred method for washing lingerie, some pieces may be labeled as machine washable. If you choose to machine wash your lingerie, follow these guidelines to minimize the risk of damage:

  1. Sort your lingerie into a mesh laundry bag or pillowcase to protect them during the wash cycle. This will help prevent tangling and snagging with other garments.
  2. Use a delicate or lingerie-specific wash cycle on your washing machine. This cycle typically uses slower agitation and gentler spinning to minimize stress on the lingerie.
  3. Use a mild detergent specifically designed for delicate fabrics. Avoid using bleach or strong detergents, as they can be too harsh for lingerie.
  4. Opt for cool water temperature instead of hot, as hot water can cause color fading and fabric damage.
  5. If your machine has a spin-dry option, use the lowest setting or select a no-spin option to minimize stress on the delicate fabrics.
  6. Once the washing cycle is complete, promptly remove your lingerie from the machine to prevent wrinkles or potential damage.

After machine washing, it’s important to remember that certain lingerie items may still require additional care. Delicate or embellished pieces are best air-dried to prevent damage, while sturdier items may be suitable for low-heat machine drying with caution.

It’s essential to always refer to the care instructions provided by the manufacturer for each lingerie piece. If the care label advises against machine washing, it’s best to follow the recommended hand washing method to ensure the longevity and quality of your lingerie.

By following these precautions and guidelines, you can safely machine wash your lingerie without compromising its delicate fabrics and details. However, always remember that hand washing remains the gentlest method for cleaning your most delicate undergarments.


Drying Your Lingerie

Properly drying your lingerie is just as important as the washing process. Taking the necessary precautions will help maintain the shape, integrity, and longevity of your delicate undergarments. Here are some guidelines to follow:

  1. After washing, gently squeeze out excess water from your lingerie. Avoid wringing or twisting the fabric, as this can cause damage.
  2. Never hang your lingerie to dry, as this can lead to stretching or misshaping. Instead, lay them flat on a clean, dry towel or drying rack.
  3. Reshape your lingerie, if necessary, to maintain its original form. Smooth out any wrinkles or creases gently with your hands.
  4. Avoid direct sunlight or heat sources when drying your lingerie, as excessive heat can damage delicate fabrics and cause color fading.
  5. Allow your lingerie to air dry naturally. This may take a few hours or overnight, depending on the fabric and thickness of the garment.
  6. If you’re in a hurry and need to speed up the drying process, you can lightly pat your lingerie with a clean towel to absorb excess moisture.
  7. Avoid using a dryer for lingerie, especially those made from delicate fabrics like lace or silk. The high heat can cause shrinkage, fabric damage, and loss of elasticity.

By following these drying methods, you can maintain the shape and quality of your lingerie. Proper drying helps prevent stretching, distortion, and color fading, ensuring that your delicate pieces retain their beauty and longevity.


Storing Your Lingerie

Proper storage of your lingerie is essential to maintaining its shape, preventing damage, and preserving its quality over time. Here are some tips to help you store your lingerie correctly:

  1. Always ensure that your lingerie is clean and completely dry before storing it. This helps prevent the development of odors, mold, or mildew.
  2. Use a dedicated drawer or storage box for your lingerie to keep it separate from other clothing items. This helps prevent snags, tangling, and damage from zippers or buttons.
  3. Consider using dividers or compartmental organizers within your drawer to keep different lingerie pieces separated and easily accessible.
  4. When folding your lingerie, try to keep the cups or delicate parts uncrushed. Gently fold bras in half, nestling one cup into the other, and fold panties or briefs in thirds to maintain their shape.
  5. For delicate or embellished pieces, consider using acid-free tissue paper to wrap them before storing. This provides an extra layer of protection and helps maintain the integrity of the fabric and details.
  6. Avoid hanging bras by their straps, as this can cause stretching and distortion. Instead, use a drawer or a bra-specific organizer that allows them to lay flat or be stored upright.
  7. Store your lingerie in a cool, dry, and well-ventilated area. Excessive humidity can lead to moisture damage and mold growth, while heat can cause fabric discoloration and deterioration.
  8. Rotate your lingerie collection regularly to prevent prolonged pressure on specific pieces. This helps maintain the elasticity and shape of your bras and prevents them from losing their support over time.
  9. Check your lingerie periodically for any snagged threads, loose stitches, or signs of wear. Address any issues promptly to prevent further damage and ensure the longevity of your lingerie.

By following these storage tips, you can keep your lingerie organized, protected, and in excellent condition. Proper storage not only prolongs the lifespan of your lingerie but also allows you to easily find and enjoy your favorite pieces whenever you want.


Tips for Long-lasting Lingerie

To ensure that your lingerie remains in excellent condition and lasts for as long as possible, consider these tips:

  1. Follow the care instructions provided by the manufacturer for each lingerie piece. These instructions are tailored to the specific fabric and design and will help you maintain the quality of your lingerie.
  2. Hand wash your lingerie whenever possible, as it is the gentlest method. If machine washing is necessary, always use a delicate cycle and a laundry bag to protect your lingerie.
  3. Avoid using bleach or harsh detergents, as they can weaken the fabric fibers and cause discoloration or damage to delicate embellishments.
  4. Separate your lingerie by color and fabric type when washing to prevent color bleeding and maintain the integrity of the delicate materials.
  5. Avoid twisting or wringing your lingerie when trying to remove excess water. Instead, gently squeeze or press it between towels to absorb moisture.
  6. Never tumble dry lingerie, as the high heat and agitation can cause shrinkage, stretching, and fabric damage. Air drying is the preferred method.
  7. Store your lingerie in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight and heat sources. Excessive heat can weaken the fabric fibers and cause color fading.
  8. Avoid using fabric softeners, as they can leave a residue on the fabric and reduce the absorbency of certain materials, such as cotton or microfiber.
  9. When wearing your lingerie, avoid harsh rubbing or pulling to prevent stretching or damaging the delicate fabrics and straps. Be gentle when putting on and taking off your lingerie.
  10. Replace worn-out or ill-fitting lingerie to ensure a comfortable and supportive fit. As your body changes, it’s important to update your lingerie collection accordingly.

By implementing these tips into your lingerie care routine, you can extend the lifespan of your undergarments and continue enjoying their beauty and comfort. Proper care ensures that your lingerie remains in excellent condition, giving you confidence and a touch of luxury every time you wear it.



Caring for your lingerie doesn’t have to be a daunting task. By following the proper washing, drying, and storing techniques, you can ensure that your delicate undergarments remain in excellent condition and last for a long time. Whether you choose to hand wash or use a washing machine, remember to always check the care labels and use mild detergents specifically designed for delicate fabrics.

Sorting your lingerie before washing helps prevent color bleeding and ensures that each piece receives the appropriate care. Taking the time to prepare for washing, addressing stains, and gathering necessary supplies will make the process smoother and more efficient.

If hand washing your lingerie, be gentle and use lukewarm water along with a mild detergent. Avoid twisting or wringing the fabric and air dry them flat to maintain their shape. For machine washing, use a delicate cycle and a mesh laundry bag to protect your lingerie from tangling or snagging with other clothes.

Properly drying your lingerie is crucial in preserving its quality. Avoid hanging them, as it can cause stretching or misshaping. Instead, lay them flat or use a drying rack, away from direct sunlight or heat sources.

When it comes to storing your lingerie, keep them separate from other clothing items, use dividers or organizers to keep them neat, and opt for a cool, dry place. Follow the care instructions provided by the manufacturer, and promptly address any issues or signs of wear to maintain the longevity of your lingerie.

By following these tips and guidelines, your lingerie will maintain its beauty, shape, and quality over time. Taking care of your lingerie not only ensures their durability but also ensures that you feel confident and comfortable every time you wear them. So, treat your lingerie with the care it deserves, and enjoy the luxurious and intimate experience it brings.

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