How To Care For Lingerie

by Lovehoney

on May 2, 2017

Lingerie needs to be stored, washed and dried with extra care and attention to keep it in tip-top condition. Whether it's made of lace, silk or high quality cotton, you'll find your sexy lingerie lasts much longer if you take proper care of it.

Here at Lovehoney, we want to ensure that you get the best from your lingerie. That's why we've put together this handy guide to keeping your smalls sorted and your lingerie looking lovely!

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How to Clean Your Lingerie

Once you've worn your lingerie, you're going to want to get it clean and ready for its next use. The first thing you should do is check the care label, which is normally found sewn into a seam. Always read this label carefully before washing your lingerie. We've compiled this list of tips to help you out, but always follow the care instructions from the manufacturer.

To Machine Wash or Not?

Many people agonize about whether it's safe to machine wash lingerie. In general, we advise to only hand wash lingerie to keep it in tip-top condition for as long as possible. However, it does depend on the type and quality of the materials used, so make sure you check the care label. Bustiers, corsets and basques should always be washed by hand.

If you do decide to wash your lingerie in the washing machine, here are some tips for doing as little damage as possible:

Lovehoney Spoil Me Satin Babydoll Set Plum- It sounds obvious, but it's important to separate colors into white, dark and separate colors for each wash. You don't want your white chemise coming out of the machine a pink color!

- Inspect your machine settings. It's best to set the machine to a delicate or wool setting with a low water temperature and gentle spin cycle. The higher the temperature, the more likely your items will shrink or have the dye run - best to stick with a 30 degree wash.

- Only wash your delicates with similarly lightweight fabrics - save the jeans for another load!

- For machine washable bras, fasten hooks and eyes to avoid tangling or snagging.

- Put your garments in a net bag or a pillow case before popping them in the machine. Without any protection, your bra underwiring can tear fabric and ruin your washing machine, and detailing on lingerie can get caught and ripped.

How to Hand Wash Lingerie and Delicates

No need to panic if your lingerie comes with a "Hand Wash Only" label. It may take a little extra effort, but hand washing is better for your undies in the long run. Here are some tips for easy hand washing:

Lovehoney Fishnet Mini Dress- Start off by filling your sink with cold or warm (not hot!) water and add a little gentle detergent or lingerie cleanser. Baby shampoo makes an excellent alternative to specialized cleanser if you're on a budget.

- Soak your lingerie for about 10 minutes before gently rubbing stained or dirty areas. Then, rinse in cool water until the water runs clear.

- Lace should be treated slightly differently from most other fabrics. Before you hand wash lace you should take the time to pre-treat any stains. You can use a stain remover, but remember to check if it's suitable for use with lace.

- Then, simply fill a sink with some warm water, add gentle soap and gently agitate the lace. Move the fabric around in the soapy water with your hand.

- After you have washed the lace you can empty the sink and refill it with cool water to rinse the garment.

How to Dry Lingerie

- Never, ever, ever put your lingerie in the tumble dryer! The heat of the dryer breaks down the Lycra, spandex and elastic (which is what makes the fabric stretchy), drastically shortening the life of your new underwear. If you do accidentally tumble dry your delicates, you may notice any lace disintegrates slightly.

- Do not wring lingerie. Wringing, even hand wringing, can cause wrinkles and creases which may be difficult to get out. It is better to gently squeeze out the excess water or press the garment between two clean, dry towels to remove the excess water and then allow it to dry naturally.

- Line drying or drip dry is always the best choice when it comes to lingerie. Place your garment flat on clothes horse in a well-ventilated area to dry naturally. Be careful when hanging your delicate fabric up - clothes pegs can leave marks.

- Avoid drying your lingerie in direct sunlight, as you may find the item becomes discolored over time.

- If you want to dry a bra but are short on time, try using a salad spinner! It's quick, efficient and won't ruin it, unlike a tumble dryer.

Need more help caring for your lingerie?

You can Contact Customer Care, who will be able to give you the best advice on how to look after your new lingerie. You can send an email, telephone or live chat to an experienced advisor 24/7.

Contact Lovehoney Customer Care

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Written by Lovehoney. For collaborative posts between Lovehoney team members and guest authors
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Originally published on May 2, 2017. Updated on Aug 6, 2020