When owning lingerie, one of the most important things to remember is that you need to care for it properly. If you treat these delicate items the same way you treat a pair of old jogging shorts, that’s exactly what they’ll end up looking like. To keep your lingerie from looking like a rumpled, ripped up mess, Lingerie Diva recommends that you follow these guidelines. While they may take more time, these washing methods will extend the life of your lingerie — and extend the time you get to enjoy it.
Check Your Labels
The first thing you need to do is check the labels in your lingerie. Manufacturers know their product better than anyone else, so their advice should be taken first, and should be taken seriously. If it says dry clean only, there’s a reason for it.
No Instructions? Follow These:
If you already clipped out your label, or your manufacturers’ instructions aren’t clear, you can keep your lingerie clean and happy by following the advice below.
As a guideline, most lingerie (especially if it’s made of lace) should be hand washed in cold water with mild soap or a detergent made for hand washing, such as Woolite. Remember to fasten any snaps, clasps or buttons while you’re doing this to avoid any snagging or tearing of the material. Give it a good rinse when you’re done, and then let it hang dry. Never machine dry your lingerie, unless told otherwise.
If you have a lot of lingerie, hand washing may seem like an exhausting task. So, you can always try to wash your lingerie using your washing machine’s delicate cycle on cold (not warm!). Use a lingerie bag or small washing bag for your garments so they don’t get caught on anything during the cycle. And again, let your lingerie hang dry.
Dealing with Nylon
Nylon (used in most hosiery) is one of the materials that can be washed using the delicate cycle of your washing machine. It is also one that can be dried in the drier; however, make sure to add a dryer sheet to avoid static electricity. Otherwise, your pantyhose will stick to everything — and that’s never a good thing.
Silk is in a league of its own when it comes to delicacy. This material is extremely sensitive to detergents, so make sure to use a mild soap or silk-specific wash instead. Then, let the lingerie sit in warm water for about five minutes, and rinse with cool water. (A teaspoon of vinegar added to the rinse can sometimes help it remove traces of soap.) Place the lingerie in a towel and keep it flat while it dries.
When it comes to silk, the fabric is fragile, so it’s important to follow these tips:
- Never scrub or wring silk
- Never wear silk in direct sunlight. (It fades easily.)
- Never clean just a spot or section of silk with water — clean the entire garment.
- Never spray perfume on silk
Love Thy Corset
Corsets can be an investment (sometimes worth hundreds of dollars), so you want to treat it as you would your grandmother’s china: with tender love and care. Lingerie Diva’s corsets are made with high-quality steel boning, so too much contact with water can cause it to rust. For the best results, it’s always good to have it dry cleaned by a professional. And even then, ask for it to be washed by hand.
However, to keep dry cleaning bills down, here are a few guidelines to keep your corset fresh and clean:
- Instead of washing your corset every time you wear it, use a damp cloth to clean its lining.
- Try wearing a thin camisole underneath it to prevent any excess perspiration that can dirty it.
- It’s always a good idea to treat your corset with a fabric protector before wearing it. That way if anything spills on it, it can easily be wiped off.