Today, let’s talk about something that lots of people don’t talk about—how to wash your underwear. You’re probably thinking, “But of course I know how to wash my underwear.” But just hear us out. Unless you’re a nudist or Beyoncé-rich, laundering underwear is something that pretty much everybody has to do on a very regular basis. And you probably don’t even think twice about it.
But there’s a way you could be washing your unmentionables in a way that actually extends their lifespan, effectively saving you more money. And we all like saving money, right? Right.
First, here’s what you’re doing wrong.
If you’re like us, you probably just toss all your panties in the washing machine together—maybe, MAYBE, taking the time to sort them by color beforehand. Well, stop doing that! You’re probably spending a pretty penny on your lacy underthings, so you want to make them last as long as humanly possible.
The key, friends, is all in how you wash ’em. Allow us to show you a few tips on how to keep your favorite underwear looking good.
The best possible thing you can do for your skivvies is to scrub ’em by hand.
Only cotton underwear actually benefits from getting tossed in the washing machine. Basically everything else—like your delicate sheer lacy numbers—fares better when you hand wash it.
But if you’re like us, you’re probably thinking, “I’d much rather be watching Love Season 2 on Netflix than tenderly scrubbing each pair of my knickers by hand.” Luckily, all hope is not lost. While some fabrics, like silk and lace, should always be hand-washed, there are ways to wash the rest of your underwear without turning them into sad, stretched-out rags.
If you’re inevitably going to throw some stuff in the washing machine, here’s how you should be doing it.
First, set your washer to the gentle cycle with cold water, and add some gentle detergent. (Look for gentle cycle or delicate cycle on the label.) Once they’ve washed, hang them up to dry.
If you learn nothing else from today, remember this: Tossing your sexy little things in the dryer is just about the worst possible thing you can do. The heat will shrink fabrics, as well as break them down, shortening their life span exponentially. And say goodbye to the elastic in your panties. If you truly want your underwear to last, though, you should tenderly wash them by hand.
Without further ado, ladies, here are the only tips you’ll ever need to hand-wash your underwear.
First, sort your undies by color.
Yup, we’re really going back to basics with this one. Just like with your normal laundry, you should keep your sexy black skivvies away from your white granny panties. Also, if you wash your lights before your darks, you don’t even need to refill the sink.
Use room-temp or cool water.
Basically, if it doesn’t feel good to your skin, it won’t feel good to your undies. And make sure you use just the right amount of detergent (read the package if you’re not sure), otherwise you might have residue left over once you’ve cleaned everything.
Let your hands become the delicate cycle. That means no overly aggressive scrubbing, tugging, stretching, or whatnot.
“If you want the elastic recovery to stay, don’t twist or scrunch too much,” Amelia Allen, a designer at Cosabella, and, therefore, an expert on panties, told Women’s Health. “You can put them in the water, swirl them around a bit between both of your hands, and leave them there to soak for a few minutes.”
Treat ’em well, and they’ll go through all of life’s major milestones with you.
Dry those suckers.
For those extra-dainty pairs, go one step further than just wringing water out. Place your pairs on a towel, and then lay another on top to absorb the water. This way, they’ll retain their shape. You can also just lay them on top of a drying rack once you’ve drained out all the liquid.
Now that doesn’t sound all that hard, does it? This four-step process really doesn’t take all that much longer than just throwing your underwear in with the rest of your clothes, so why not give it a whirl? You might notice that you’re getting way more wear out of your Victoria’s Secret 5-for-$25 panties, and we think that’s awesome.
Plus, you’ll be saving the environment by using good old fashioned elbow grease, instead of an electric washing cycle!