Monday, February 20, 2017

Basic lingerie care

We've talked about bra fit, let's talk about bra, or really any intimate apparel, care. Ok, you've invested in some great fitting bras. And maybe it cost you a pretty penny. You want those things to hold up for awhile, right? How you wash and dry your undergarments can affect the fit and how long they'll hold up.
TL; DR version - hand wash, hang dry.
Too much time and effort? I include my favorite short cuts below.

Hand wash

For your really nice stuff, hand washing and air drying is best. Use wash like The Laundress Delicate wash, Caldera's delicate wash, or Soak. Yes knitters, you can use soak on your undergarments! Woolite is fine too but I don't like the smell and I feel like you have to use so much more of it than the other products.
Basically, follow the directions on whatever product you're using. Cold water is always best. Don't mix lights and darks, even in the sink.
When rinsing, don't wring it or twist it! First off that's a hassle. Second, it's better to drain the sink and refill with clean, cold water, and gently swish. Keep doing that until you feel the garment is thoroughly rinsed. I know, it feels like a waste of water. But do a few together and you're still probably using less water than a machine load.
Get yourself a good drying rack. I know the wood ones are cheapest but they also have a tendency to mold. Go for something that is a coated metal or plastic that won't rust easily. I put mine in the tub so dripping water from the bras doesn't flood my floors. Also, it keeps it out of the way. Drying bras flat is ideal, but not always practical. I hang them by the gore on my drying rack and they do just fine.

Washing machine

Like most women, you're probably busy. Or lazy. Or both. I'm both. If this is you, invest in a couple of mesh lingerie bags. Stuff your bras in those. Make sure the bras are hooked - you don't want snags. Wash on delicate cycle, cold water. Do not put them in the dryer!! Let them air dry on your drying rack. Poof, you're done. If your home is as dry as mine, then they'll be dry by morning. If you take nothing else away from this post let it be to air dry your bras. It keeps the elastic from degrading faster than it should.

Other garments

All of the above applies to swimsuits, nylons, tights, leggings, and, yes, even underwear. Yeah, seriously, underwear. (Note, I hate the word panties. With a passion. I don't know why, I just do. This is my blog and on here were calling them underwear or undies.) Most of the time I'm not going to hand wash my every day boring cotton underwear. But I do always put them in a mesh bag in the washing machine and dryer. They just last longer. It keeps the elastic from fraying and they just don't wear out as fast.
My nicer, pretty undies I do hand wash every single time. I feel pretty when I wear them so taking care of them is like I'm returning the favor.
Please wash your nylons and tights. So many women don't or don't do it often enough. If you are wearing anything that close to your body, you need to wash it regularly. Seriously.
Swimsuits do great in the machine in a mesh bag if you don't want to hand wash. I hand wash my bikinis but my trusty one piece goes in the machine.

Hopefully this helps you all get a little longer life span out of your undergarments. They say you should only expect to keep a bra for about a year. But I find that with proper care, they'll hold up much longer.

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