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Delicate Work: How To Take Care Of Your Underwear

Published by Ursula Dewey
Published on 12 May 2013

We spend a small fortune on lovely lingerie so looking after it properly is the best way to get the most wear for your money.

Looking after lingerie

how to take care of underwear The thing about lingerie sets - or delicates as they're also known, is the fact that they're just that - fragile! From lace to silk or high quality cotton, lingerie needs to be stored, washed and dried with extra care and attention.

So here's what you need to know...

Storage
Of course we all dream of a New York style walk-in wardrobe but the reality is finding wardrobe space is one of our biggest domestic challenges.

Nonetheless, storing your delicate lingerie in the right way is paramount to maintaining that wow factor.

Keep your lingerie pieces separate from the rest of your clothes, preferably folded carefully in silk paper or other fabric.

If you keep your lingerie in a drawer, cover it with paper or fabric to prevent the wood from pulling on them.

Tips to help maintain your lingerie

Washing your underwear

It’s better to hand-wash your lingerie, but you can machine wash them for speed. Either way, you need to take special care of them.

Hand-washing tips

- Separate colours, whites and blacks for each wash.

- Run the water, make sure that the water is less than 30°C, then soak your underwear for a few minutes.

- Only use gentle washing powder that lathers up without the need for rubbing. Wring out the wet pieces.

- Always rinse with hot water then cold water.

- Gently wring and dry flat on a towel or something that will absorb the water. Light pieces like muslin dry easily on a clothes line, outside or in.

- To dry a bra that you need quickly, use your salad spinner! It’s quick, efficient and won't ruin it, unlike a tumble dryer!

Machine-washing

We don’t always have time to wash our underwear by hand and it’s always tempting to mix it with other clothes. Washing lingerie in a washing machine is possible, as long as you follow certain rules.

- Use washing powder for delicate fabric and make sure it doesn't contain chlorine or perborate.

- Put your underwear in a net or a pillow case to protect it before putting in the machine. Without any protection, your bra underwiring can tear fabric and ruin your washing machine.

- Don’t use tumble dryers. They ruin fabric, fade colours and shrink underwear.

- Always wash at a low temperature and select short programmes for delicate fabric.

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