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Leg Avenue

How to Wash Lingerie the Right Way

Picture this! You’ve found your ideal lingerie set, whether it’s a feminine babydoll or a seductive bra and panty set. Your lingerie fits you perfectly: it’s not too long, not too short; not too tight, not too loose. The only thing stopping you from wearing it is the fear of ruining your garment’s perfect form by washing it.

You don’t want to repeat history by having your favorite lingerie stretched like a potato sack or shrunk three sizes after a wash. But laundering lingerie doesn’t have to mean making it unwearable.

Here are a few TLC tips to keep your lingerie looking new:



Despite what you may think, you don’t have to wash a bra every time you wear it. When it is time for a wash, the ideal method is to wash your bras by hand. If you simply don’t have time (like most of us!), make sure you put your bras inside a mesh lingerie bag before putting them in the washing machine. Most importantly, be sure you close the clasp on each bra first. This will keep your bras from coming out of the machine in a huge twisted knot. Wash on the gentle cycle in cold or warm water.

Always air-dry your bras, and never put your bras—or any lingerie for that matter—in the dryer. The dryer’s heat breaks down spandex and elastic, stretching out your bras and making them flimsy.


Just as you separate all your regular clothes by color when you launder them, you should wash like-colored underwear together. If you must wash non-delicate underwear in the washing machine, turn the underwear inside out and place it in a mesh bag. Run the garments through a gentle cycle in lukewarm or cool water.

The best method for washing delicate underwear is by soaking like-colored underwear in water. Wash with a little soap and rinse thoroughly.

Despite what you may have been taught, you should avoid harsh treatment of your underwear in washing and drying. Do not use bleach or fabric softener, and do not dry your underwear in direct sunlight. All of these can damage your garments.


This feminine, elegant garment comes in a variety of materials that are extremely sensitive to harsh laundry soaps. Therefore, for best results you must give it the proper care. If your babydoll is made of silk, as many are, be certain that you use a silk-specific detergent when hand-washing it. Gently but thoroughly wash all areas to avoid staining the garment. When you are finished, let the babydoll sit in lukewarm or cool water for five minutes, then rinse with cold water.

Just like bras, babydolls must be air-dried.


To avoid snags and rips, wash nylons, tights, and socks in lukewarm water by hand. Separate hosiery by lights and darks, just as you would separate your everyday clothes. To dry, lay tights or stockings on a flat surface, preferably a towel.

When in doubt on how to wash lingerie, always opt to care for it by hand. Hand-washing is the safest method for lingerie care and the best way to keep your garments looking like new. The little extra time you spend on properly caring for your garments will preserve them, giving you many more opportunities to wear and enjoy them.

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