Lingerie can represent an investment, both in cost and in your mental wellbeing- who doesn’t feel better in a pair of coordinated, flattering undergarments? However, these sometimes costly pieces- don’t forget that super flattering swimsuit, either- do need a little extra care and attention on laundry day…
Obey the washing instructions
Actually, we’d argue that all investment lingerie should be hand washed where possible, regardless of the label recommendations. It simply cuts down on warping, wear and tear and the potential for colour runs or shrinkage. If you simply don’t have time, however, a cold water wash [or a very mild 30 degrees C] on the ‘delicates’ cycle of the washing machine should cover most garments.
This ensures their shape and colour stay bright and consistent. Don’t soak your delicates either- aim to keep them in the water for 5 minutes or less, as sometimes the fibres can swell and lose lustre and stretch.
If you do machine wash, use a net garment bag to prevent the delicate fabrics rubbing up against each other or rougher elements of the load, which damages the fibres over time.
Step away from the detergent
We’re serious! Did you know a normal washing detergent can actually destroy silk and wool? It comes down to the science of pH- most washing powders are quite basic, to get the job done efficiently and fast, but this can destroy elastic and some delicate natural fibres. Invest in a delicate specific laundry liquid, or use a gentle shampoo balanced to the pH 4-6 range. Needless to say, bleach is a big no no here too.
Avoid the sun
Drying delicates in the sun can fade colour and even damage the fabrics [silk and wool, we’re looking at you again]! Dryers aren’t any better, either. Don’t wring your delicates out.
Lay them out wrapped in a towel, gently squeeze excess water through the rolled up towel, and lay flat to dry in a place with indirect sun [or indoors]. Bras should never be hung by the straps [the wet weight stretches them] or stored with lopsided pressure on the fabric either.
Rather stack padded cups on top of each other. And ladies- get out of the habit of tugging on the lace at the edges of a good bra and panty set. This is the most delicate area, and can quickly snap, stretch or warp if mishandled.
With a little care and attention, your best lingerie can last you for years.