When it comes to washing your lingerie, what’s your approach? Do you wash it separately, do it by hand, give it it’s very own wash cycle? Or do you just throw it into the machine with the rest of the laundry for the day, leaving it to fend for itself? All of these are options of course, but did you know that how you wash, care for and even store your lingerie can have an effect on its lifespan, and even how well it fits you? This is even more true of some of your fancier items, like lace bras, corsets and shapewear. And when these intimate items often come with a high price tag, you want to preserve them as much as possible! So the big question is, how should you be caring for your lingerie to keep it at its best?
Don’t Wash Bras After Each Wear
For some people, this might sound a bit gross, but if you want to make sure your lingerie lasts, you need to hold off on the wash cycle. Like your hair, you don’t need to wash them every day. It might sound a little unsanitary, but the constant washing actually breaks down the materials that provide support, and in the long run they damage the bras structure. This leads to the dreaded crumpled cups, bobbly bands and stretched straps. Instead, you should be looking to wash your bra’s every six to seven wears (unless you get particularly sweaty while wearing it) to keep it looking good for longer.
Hand Wash Your Lingerie
If you’ve been washing your lingerie by throwing it in the washing machine, even on its own, then we’re sorry to say you’ve been doing it wrong. The rough and tumble environment of the washing machine will do nothing but damage your precious undergarments. Instead, it’s best to hand wash your delicates to keep them clean and avoid damage. That might sound time-consuming and like a lot of effort, but we promise you, it’s not. In reality, all you need to do is fill a bowl with lukewarm water and a delicate washing powder (you can get some that’s designed for lingerie in your local supermarket), swirl your lingerie around in it for about a minute, wring them out and lay them flat to dry. You could also try putting them inside a dust bag or pillowcase and washing them on the ‘hand wash’ setting of your washing machine, but you still risk some damage this way.
Avoid The Tumble Drier
NEVER EVER USE THE TUMBLE DRIER. This is one of the golden rules for lingerie. Even if you ignore the rest of the advice in this article, you need to remember this one. The intense heat from a tumble drier damages the elastic in any kind of lingerie, and eventually breaks it down so that it doesn’t stretch or give at all. If you tumble dry all the time, the elastic will break and flake away. Given that elasticity is what lingerie is all about, this isn’t good! Instead, dry your lingerie lying down flat. Or, if that’s not possible, hang it up to drip dry. It might take a little longer, but your lingerie will thank you for it.
Stack It And Hang It
Once your lingerie is clean and dry, it’s time to store it until you’re ready to wear it again. Most people will happily throw their lingerie into a drawer and pile other things on top, around and underneath it. But if you’re looking to preserve the life of your lingerie, then this isn’t the best option for you. Granted, things like knickers, lower shapewear, stockings and so on won’t be hurt by folding them up in a drawer, but any lingerie with a bra element or a stiff, shaping aspect (like boning in a corset) needs a bit more attention. There are 2 ways you can store this kind of garment to prolong its life:
- The first is stacking in a drawer. Instead of just throwing them in, we recommend standing them upright inside the drawer (never folded in half) and nestling them together. This is called ‘spooning’ and involves placing the cups inside one another to keep their shape better.
- Another option is hanging them. Now, for your everyday bras, this is probably a bit extravagant, and you could easily keep them fresh with the spooning technique. But for those extra special items, hanging them in your wardrobe will make them last a lot longer. Items like silk bras, chemises, corsets or other silky, sturdy or delicate items are protected from scrunching and damage if they are hung up, making sure they last as long as you want them to.
And there you have it! With these simple tips, you can increase the lifetime of your favourite lingerie pieces. At Elle Courbee, we provide a wide range of plus sized lingerie to suit every occasion. From your daily wear bras to those ‘for that special someone’ pieces that you want to preserve forever. Each of our products comes with a care label, so you can make sure they last as long as possible and keep their shape and feel too. For more care tips, or to find out more about our range of products, just get in touch with us today.