Are you one of those women who (like me) just throws your bras in the washing machine with the rest of your clothes? We’ve all been there – a lot of women don’t realize how delicate some of their intimate apparel is and most won’t take the extra steps to learn how to care for them properly. We’ve broken it down into a few simple steps based on the item of clothing you will wash - so let’s take a look.
Why does underwear disintegrate so fast?
A staple in our daily lives, our underwear seems to wear out faster than our other pieces of clothing, and there's a valid reason for this. Starting with panties, these garments are designed for close contact with our bodies. As a result, they are frequently exposed to body oils, perspiration, and other bodily fluids that can break down fibers over time. The delicate fabrics - such as the lace and silk you can find in your thongs collection - can also be particularly vulnerable to wear and tear.
Plus, the elastic bands in the waist and leg openings undergo frequent stretching every time we wear or remove them, causing them to lose their shape or elasticity faster.
Bras, on the other hand, have their unique challenges. They are structured garments designed to support the weight of the breasts, leading to significant strain on their materials. The straps, hooks, and underwire can be points of stress, especially in bras that are worn frequently or don't fit perfectly. When combined with the effects of body oils and sweat, even the strongest of materials can face degradation. Regular washing, while essential for hygiene, can further weaken the fibers, especially if not done gently or if the bra is not properly protected in a mesh laundry bag.
How to Make Your Underwear Last Longer
So, want your favorite pantie and bra combo to last more than just a few months? Here are some of our top tips to keep your underwear in tip-top condition for as long as possible:
Hand-wash your Bras
I know it sounds like more work, but five minutes will make all the difference in extending the lifetime of your favorite bra. If you choose to take the hand-washing approach:
1. First, dab any stains with easy care soap and water and gently rub.
2. Soak for a few minutes in the sink and gently work the suds into the fabric. Rinse.
3. Get rid of any excess water by gently folding your bra against a towel before laying it out to dry.
If you choose to use a washing machine:
1. Wash on gentle cold
2. Hook your bra together to avoid it snagging on other items mid-cycle.
3. Using a mesh lingerie bag can also decrease the harm caused by a washer.
Never put your bras in the dryer
We know it’s more convenient, but the heat breaks down the elastic and spandex, making your bras fall apart very quickly. Let them dry naturally instead.
Don’t fold your bras
Storing your bras lying flat in their original shape (not folded in half) is also crucial in preserving them. This way, the fabric has room to breathe and the cups will not lose their shape.
Hand-wash your underwear
It may sound ridiculous at first, but the way you wash your underwear can also affect the fit and look of the fabric - they are called “delicates” for a reason! If you have the time, hand-washing your panties is as beneficial as hand-washing your bras. Here’s how to do it”
If you notice any stains, take off your underwear and immediately soak it in cold water – the longer you don’t, the harder the stain will be to remove. Once scrubbed out, it can be washed with other intimates later on.
Use a gentle detergent but avoid fabric softener and bleach – it’s way too harsh and will damage the garment.
Separate your undies by fabric
While cotton is a more durable fabric, washing your silk or lace delicates with your white cotton panties will cause detrimental damage to both, so it’s a good idea to seperate your lingerie by fabric when washing them. Lingerie bags are also a good idea for washing machine use; they’ll keep your intimates protected and give them a gentler cleaning while preventing tearing, fading, and general damage.
The Bottom Line
Washing your delicates probably isn’t something you think about daily, but when it goes wrong, it can go really wrong. By taking these extra precautionary measures, you can save yourself a lot of time, stress and money and always your intimates looking brand new.
How to get a stain out of underwear?
To remove stains from underwear, the key is to act as soon as possible. Cold water is your best ally in this process. Start by rinsing the stain under cold water, rubbing the fabric gently. Avoid using hot water as it can set the stain. After rinsing, apply a few drops of mild detergent or soap to the stain, gently rubbing it in. Let it sit for a few minutes, then rinse again. If the stain remains, consider soaking the underwear in cold water with a bit of salt or hydrogen peroxide. After soaking, wash as usual, but make sure to check the stain before drying. Heat from the dryer can set the stain permanently.
How often should you replace your underwear?
Even with the best care, underwear has a finite lifespan. On average, most experts recommend replacing underwear every 6-12 months. Over time, the fabric loses its elasticity, and for hygiene reasons, it's beneficial to renew your underwear collection. If you notice holes, fraying, or excessive stretching, it's time to consider getting a new pair.