The Dos and Dont's of Caring for Delicates

Our lingerie is an investment, and should be treated accordingly. Often called delicates due to the lace, silk, and high-quality cotton from which the pieces are made, lingerie should be washed, dried, and stored with extra attention. To help us keep our items in top form, we reached out to the experts at the Charlottesville, Virginia-based lingerie, loungewear, and sleepwear boutique derrière de soie for some advice; here are their recommendations:

If washing by hand (best method!): Soak in lukewarm water for a few minutes before lathering up with gentle washing powder or liquid that does not require rubbing to lather. Rinse well with warm and then cool water (unless using one of the no-rinse liquids such as Soak). Gently wring and then dry flat on a towel or other absorbent material. Note: A salad spinner is a great time-saver if you need that special piece in a hurry, and it won’t cause any damage.
If washing your lingerie in a machine: Opt for a delicate product that does not contain chlorine or perborate. Our favorite is Delicate Wash by The Laundress. Use a lingerie bag or pillowcase to protect your delicates while washing. Bra bands should be hooked, and ideally you will only have 1 per small lingerie bag. Do not wash your delicates with towels or heavy fabric such as denim. Always wash at a low temperature and use the delicate cycle. Lingerie should not be put in the dryer as the heat will shorten the lifespan of any spandex, ruin fabric, fade colors, and potentially cause the garment to shrink.

Beware of snagging. Be careful of wood drawers that might snag delicate fabrics (drawer liners or tissue may help with this).
Think flat, not folded. To preserve the look and functionality of your bras, it is best not to fold them in half but rather lay them flat.
Keep your delicates separate. Consider investing in a lingerie chest, which is perfect for storing your lingerie away from your other clothing.

Color treat. This might sound like an old wives tale, but trust us, it works!: To make the color of your underwear last longer, the first time you wash it you should let it soak in white vinegar for 10 minutes, then rinse again.
Air dry. Dry your underwear naturally, never on a radiator or in a tumble-dryer.
Forget pressing. Don’t iron your panties and bras.
Ban bleach. Never use bleach to whiten your underwear. It discolours the fabric, makes black look yellow, and destroys lace. Use washing powder with whitening agents instead.
Don’t dry clean. Avoid dry cleaning your undies, especially silk ones.

TSG Tip 110:  from derrière de soie in Charlottesville, VA.