8 Essential Tips On How Take Care Of Your Underwear

You probably haven’t put a lot of thought into how to wash your underwear, unless you are someone who does a lot of her own laundry or cares very much about how her clothes look and feel. I only became this sort of person recently, because as a naive young women who didn’t do her own laundry growing up, I never really considered that you have to wash different items in different ways (make fun of me if you want, but I’ve probably already heard it). As it turns out, you can’t just dump all of your clothes into a washing machine with some soap and wait for them to come out clean – I mean, you can, but you’ll probably ruin some stuff.

The truth is, you could do that with your underwear and a lot of people do, it’s just that you’re doing yourself any favors. Washing your undergarments just like you would wash your favorite black t-shirt is going to make the item fall apart faster or tear, fade, or stretch it out. Even with cotton underwear, different measures should be taken. If you own some really nice undies you’d like to keep in good condition – especially silk or lace pairs – you need to be a little bit more careful when making them clean.

Is it worth the extra work? I think so, especially if you have pricier items or cute lingerie you want to save for special occasions. Here’s a laundry lesson for every girl out there – follow these eight essential tips on how to take care of your underwear and, in the end, you’ll save money. And you’ll look good! Really, it’s a win/win.

Attack Stains When They Happen Rather Than Days Later

This is a general rule of thumb for any stain on any clothing item: try to get stains out when they happen, or as soon as possible. It's tempting to just throw them into your hamper to wash along with everything else at the end of the week, but by doing that, you're only allowing the stain to set and making it harder to get it out. This is especially true for blood stains and discharge stains, which often occur on women's underwear.

If you notice blood, discharge, or something else in your underwear, take it off as soon as possible and soak in cold water in a sink. Once you've scrubbed the stain out, then it can go in the hamper to be washed later on.

Source: iStock

Hand Wash Your Underwear Whenever Possible

Underwear is delicate, even if it's made of 100 percent cotton and not fancy at all. As such, it should be treated with extra care - which means hand washing. I understand if you don't always have time for this, but try to do it as often as possible.

To hand wash, fill your bathroom sink or a large bowl or tub with warm or cool water. Gently add your underwear and swirl it around. Add a small amount of detergent (about a tablespoon) and gently squeeze your underwear through it. Rub out stains by carefully rubbing the fabric against itself. Once you're satisfied, rinse under cool water. If you'd like, you can add a little white vinegar to get the soap out more thoroughly.

Source: iStock

If It Must Go In The Machine, Use A Lingerie Bag

It's not the end of the world if you have to wash your underwear in the machine like everything else. But, if that's what you're doing, it's a good idea to invest in a lingerie bag. This keeps your intimates protected and gives them a more gentle cleaning. It can prevent tearing, fading, and general damage. You can also use these for bras and silky nightgowns.

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Use A Gentle Detergent With Cool Water

Whether you're hand washing your underwear or washing it in the washing machine, you should be using a gentle detergent. You can buy a detergent that says "gentle" or even find one made specifically for delicates. Cool water is really best for washing your intimates.

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Avoid Fabric Softener and Bleach

Fabric softener is used to keep your clothes soft (since washing often can mess with fabrics), but it's too harsh for underwear. Avoid using it when washing your delicates. While bleach is great for white clothing, it's not great for underwear - again, it's way too harsh and can damage the items. Avoid both of these, whether washing in the machine or in the sink.

Source: iStock

Keep Your Underwear Separate From Other Clothes

If you're going to wash your underwear in the machine, please keep it separate from other items of clothing. You don't want to throw your underwear into the machine with eight thick towels. You don't want it in there with bright dresses or black shirts or heavy jeans. Even protected in a lingerie bag, underwear can still get messed up like this.

Source: iStock

Keep Silk and Lace Pairs Separate

Cotton underwear is easier to wash because it's cotton - it's not that serious. But if you have expensive or just nice lacey or silky undies, you should keep them separate from other items, even cotton underwear. I strongly advise hand washing these, but if you can't, stick them in a lingerie bag and wash on a gentle cycle.

Source: iStock

Hang Your Undies To Dry Instead Of Putting Them In The Dryer

The dryer is great, but it's not great for underwear. To avoid ruining your undies, dry them by hanging them from a string or laying them on a drying rack. This helps your underwear keep its shape and prevents it from stretching.

Source: iStock

Which of these tips did you find most helpful? What did we forget to include? Let us know in the comments.

You can follow the author, Jessica Booth, on Twitter or Instagram.


10 Tips On How To Take Care Of Your Bras

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