All clothing is an investment, whether it’s outerwear or underwear. That’s why it’s important to care for your garments properly, especially if you want to make the most out of every purchase. Unlike outerwear, though, your shapewear, bras, and panties are made with special or delicate fabrics and materials that require a certain level of care. Learn how to keep your underthings in great condition by reading our guide below.
Quality shapewear for women is made with various elastic materials such as Lycra and elastane to create resistance against bulging, especially in the hips, legs, thighs, and torso areas. Taking care of them properly is crucial to maintaining their shape, elasticity, and effectiveness. Here’s how:
Keep a Steady Rotation
Rotating several pieces of shapewear through your wardrobe gives each garment a chance to breathe and return to its original shape between uses. This is especially important if you’re someone who wears shapers on a daily basis. With several pieces of shapewear in your repertoire, you’ll be able to keep your collection from wearing out too fast. It’s more hygienic, too.
Hand-Washing is Best
Even if the care labels on your shapers say that they’re machine-washable, taking the time to wash them by hand is still your best bet to ensure their longevity. Almost all delicate items, including shapewear, don’t take well to the centrifugal motion that washing machines employ.
To wash your shapewear by hand, fill a basin or your sink with cool water and use a mild detergent intended for delicate items. Baby shampoo also works in a pinch if you don’t have a gentle laundry soap on hand. Try not to treat your garments too roughly; instead, just swirl them around the soapy water for a few minutes before rinsing them well. Air-dry your shapers, either flat on a drying rack or by hanging them on a clothesline, and keep them away from direct heat and sunlight.
Harsh detergents and chlorine-based bleaches can destroy elastics, so make sure to read the ingredients list of any product before using it on your shapewear. If you do decide to clean them in a washing machine, it’s also a good idea to keep your shapers away from any metal pieces such as bra hooks and clasps. Those pieces can snag against the materials of your shapers and cause rips and tears. Whenever possible, put your shapewear in their own dedicated lingerie mesh bag or protector. That way, you can keep them separate from your other underthings in the washing machine.
Women usually have two types of bras on rotation: regular ones for everyday wear, and more delicate ones made with fabrics like silk, satin, and lace for special occasions.
Wash Your Most Delicate Pieces by Hand
Your sheerest, laciest bras are likely also your most expensive pieces. To keep them in great shape, never toss them in the machine with your regular laundry. The same goes for underwire bras, as well as bras equipped with gel padding. The movement in the tub can cause the wire to twist and bend out of shape. Said movement could also puncture the gel inserts, resulting in leaks.
All these are why you should wash them by hand, following the same instructions detailed above for shapewear. To dry your bras, roll them up in a towel, one at a time, to get rid of excess water. Never twist or wring your bras, as these actions can ruin the cups’ shape.
Protect Your Everyday Bras from the Washing Machine
Everyday bras made with cotton and other sturdy fabrics can be washed in the machine, provided that you have a lingerie mesh bag for them. Before dropping them into the bag, though, make sure that the bras are hooked to prevent them from snagging against your other clothes. Use a mild detergent, run the washing machine on a delicate cycle, and make sure to only use cool water, as heat can break down the spandex and elastic materials.
Panties are made with a wide variety of materials and fabrics. It’s best to read the care labels for each one to figure out the most ideal way to handle them. In general, they’ll last longer when washed by hand in cold water with a mild detergent, just like your other delicates.
Pre-Treat Stains Before Washing
To remove stains caused by blood, vaginal discharges, lotions, or medicines out of your favorite underthings, tackle them immediately before they have time to set in. To that end, it’s a good idea to make a habit of rinsing your underwear out in cool water right after wearing them. You can use the same soap or body wash that you use on yourself to remove any stubborn stains that won’t come out with just water.
Delicate items require delicate handling, so take the time to wash and dry your underthings with care. If you do, you can expect them to continue serving you well for years to come.