You spend precious time trying on lingerie and spent precious hundreds buying the one that is perfect in every way. So it is obvious that you would want value for money and get the most of your lingerie for a long time. Under ideal circumstances, a high-quality bra is good to wear for a minimum of 6 to 8 months. Are you discarding your bras sooner than this? If yes, then you may have been remiss in caring for the bra.
It is a well-known fact that lingerie care is crucial to make these delicate pieces last longer. And one of the key aspects of lingerie care is washing.
Here are a few things to keep in mind when washing your lingerie.
Machine Wash vs. Hand Wash
One of the biggest points of discussion when it comes to washing bras and knickers is whether they can and should be thrown into the washing machine.
The answer is both - a yes and a no.
Hand washing is a gentle and better way of cleaning your lingerie, despite it being time consuming. This method of washing is always preferred if you intend to increase the life of your lingerie.
In the case of machine wash, one would recommend the medium of wash be restricted to certain types of lingerie and only if required. For example, chucking padded and underwired bras into the washing machine will destroy them. But if it’s a bralette and a few panties, you can put them in the machine for a wash.
There are certain things to keep in mind irrespective of the method of washing.
How to hand wash your lingerie
The best way to wash bras and other delicate undergarments is to give them some gentle love and a bit of soaking.
Separate your undergarments by type and colour. Soak them in cool soap water for 10 minutes or longer if needed. Gently swirl the lingerie in the water.
Use a soft bristle toothbrush to gently scrub away stains from areas that tend to accumulate maximum dirt, like the inner side of straps and edges. Use a regular brush to gently scrub the panty crotch if required.
Remove and rinse in clean – preferably running – water until the soap has been washed away. Then squeeze, NOT WRING, and set aside to dry.
How to machine wash your lingerie
Separate your undergarments by colour and style, ensuring all the brassieres are hooked. This will prevent the lingerie snagging on other garments and causing damage.
Tuck these undergarments into mesh bags by colour and style - for instance, put the panties into one mesh bag, your bras into two (depending on colours) and the other delicates in another bag. Make sure you do not overstuff the mesh bags.
Avoid washing your undergarments with heavy clothing like denim or woollens. Choose a delicate cycle to wash undergarments.
DO NOT put your undergarments in the dryer cycle.
Drying your lingerie
After washing bras, gently squeeze excess water out of the padded cups. Lay the lingerie on a flat surface and let it air dry; alternatively, you could hang it on a clothesline by the centre of the bra – this is a non-elastic portion of the bra and will not cause any damage. In case of a panty, lay it out to dry on a flat surface or pin it to a clothesline by the waistline. It is always recommended that all lingerie be dried in the sunlight to kill lingering bacteria. If you live in a region with harsh sunlight, we recommend leaving the undergarments in the sun for 10 minutes once they are almost dry.
Never put your undergarments through the dryer cycle – the heat will destroy the elasticity and texture of the garment rendering it non wearable within a few washes.
Key things to remember
Separating lingerie by type and colour will help decide which lingerie can be machine-washed if needed and which pieces have to be hand-washed. Separating lingerie by colour is necessary to prevent bleeding of colours – you don’t want your snow white bra to have shades of emerald green, do you?
Closely read the care tag on your lingerie after you’ve bought it. This will help make a much more conscious decision when caring for the bra.
Invest in mild detergent for your lingerie. Regular detergent is harsh in nature and can cause damage. Team Inner Sense recommends investing in a mild natural liquid soap for lingerie washing – while they may be expensive, you will require less than half of regular the amount to wash lingerie. Another option is using baby shampoo.
To remove stains, gently rub a bit of diluted soap to the stains and leave aside for 15–20 minutes. In case of stubborn stains, leave longer. Wash as usual after.