5 Ways to Care for Your Lingerie

According to this bra fun fact, women worldwide spend US$16 billion annually on bras. That’s a whopping amount of cash for undergarments!
A good bra that supports and flatters is an investment, so you want to treat it well to get the most use possible.
To ensure the longevity of your lingerie (your bra should last up to 18 eighteen months, with proper care and use), and to make sure that they look and feel good, we have the following tips for you:

1. Look at the care label. 

​Those itchy little tags at the band of your bra? The manufacturer put them there for a reason. Before you snip them away, read what’s on the label so you’ll know how to care for your undergarments. Lingerie are made from different materials and may require different water temperatures and drying instructions. Is the label full of hard-to-decode symbols? This laundry symbols chart should help.

2. Wash your delicates by hand.

​They’re called delicates for a reason! Bras are made of fragile materials and require more care than other pieces of clothing. Throwing your bras in the washing machine may cause the underwire to warp and its delicate trimmings to snag. Even if your bra doesn’t have underwire, the band could overstretch and would no longer be a perfect fit.

Your safest bet is to hand wash each item in cold water and mild detergent. If you must wash your undergarments in a washing machine, put them inside a mesh bag first and set the machine to the gentle cycle. Clasp the hooks in place so they don’t rip holes into the delicate fabric (very important especially if your underwear has lace).

And don’t mix your white undergarments with colored ones. Lingerie fabrics can easily pick up dyes from colored items, so do a separate wash as needed.

3. Use a mild detergent. 

Many detergents contain bleach that can weaken the fibers of your lingerie. A great alternative to detergents is baby shampoo. Soak your delicates in water and mild soap for a few minutes before washing. Make sure to pay extra attention to areas that trap sweat such as under the arms and the band. And don’t forget to rinse thoroughly. Soap residue weakens the  fabric and can cause skin irritations.

4. Avoid wringing your bras. 

​We know how tempting it is to wring your bra after washing, but don’t. Doing so will only deform its shape. To squeeze out water, gently press on the cups with your palms. Another way to do it is to place your bras on a towel and gently pat them dry before hanging.  This is especially useful to help shorten drying time for molded or padded “t-shirt” bras.

5. Air dry your undergarments. 

Speaking of drying, it’s best to dry your delicates on a line (hang from the center not the strap to prevent overstretching) rather than in the dryer. The heat from the dryer warps elastics and can causes padded cups to wrinkle. Even if the label says it’s okay to pop your lingerie in the dryer, the best thing you can do to preserve your undergarments is to air dry them.
And now for the question we get asked often: How often should you wash your bras?

Unfortunately we don’t know the original source of this hilarious graphic. If you do please let us know so we can give due credit!

The short answer here is it depends. If you perspire a lot it’s best to wash your undergarments right after you wore them. This is especially true for sports bras which soak in a lot of perspiration.

However, if it’s just a normal day at home or in an air conditioned office, a general rule of thumb is after every couple wears.  According to Lexie Sachs, product analyst in the Textiles Lab at the Good Housekeeping Institute, washing a bra too often can damage the elasticity and as a result it can become less supportive. Takeaway: your bras will give you good support for a longer time if you wash them less often. But there’s a caveat here: if you don’t wash them frequently enough, you risk skin irritation and ruining the quality of your lingerie.

For women who have a particular bra that they really love, give your intimates time to breathe. Rotate them every few days to let the elastics readjust. Wearing the same bras far too often can make them lose shape and support.

Show your bra some TLC and it’ll love you back.