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How to Wash Your Underwear in a Washing Machine

Undies can be tricky, so here are some tips!


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You’ve probably heard that simply tossing underwear in the washing machine is wrong… this is correct! There are many other reasons for this, but the most important one is that some underwear need special care. And we know clean underwear is one of those essentials in life; but there are right and wrong ways to wash your underwear in the washing machine. Careless washing will wear out your underwear’s elasticity, color, and durability. So, read on for tips on how to wash underwear in the washing machine.

Oh, and whether you decide to machine-wash or handwash your underwear, remember to choose a gentle or mild detergent since underwear has direct contact with our skin!



Washing Underwear in the Washing Machine:

Sort your underwear into categories:

  1. Cotton Underwear

    Separate into dark colors and white/light colors, and wash separately. Machine wash warm (not hot), and best to hang out to dry. If you must tumble dry, do so at low heat.

  2. Microfiber and Other Synthetic Fabrics

    Any synthetic fabrics made of nylon, polyamide, and spandex are stretchy and quick-drying but can melt in the heat. Wash in cool water, on a basic cycle. Do not tumble dry. Only air-dry in the shade.

  3. Bras

    Read the garment care tags to see if your bra can be machine-washed. Many bras should only be washed on a delicate cycle. You may want to zip up any delicate bras in a mesh bag for protection. Hook your bras closed before washing, so they don’t snag on anything else. Bras should always be hung dry, as the heat and action from a tumble-dryer can permanently misshape most bras.

  4. Delicate Lingerie, Sheer, or Mesh Undergarments

    We recommend hand washing these items, especially anything silk or particularly lacy or frilly. If the garment care tags say machine-wash is okay, machine wash them only on the most delicate cycle and zip up in a protective bag. Dry by laying them flat.

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If you choose to hand-wash underwear, remember not to wring or twist these items, as that will damage them. Instead, squeeze or press the water out.

Other tips on washing underwear in the washing machine:

  • Read the garment care tag.

  • Pre-treat any stains immediately.

  • Turn your underwear inside out.

  • Delicate garments like lingerie and some bras should be zipped into a mesh bag for protection.

  • Don’t wash with other clothes as these can damage your underwear during the cycle.

Originally published