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How to Wash Lingerie

Many already know the secret powers that lingerie possesses. When you slip on a pair of luxurious underwear or your favorite push-up bra, you’re fueling your inner goddess. As a result, you can walk into any room with a sense of power, pride, and irresistible allure.

Lingerie takes care of you when you’re looking to indulge your sensual side—so why not return the favor?

Intimate apparel requires washing care as special as the occasions it ignites. And knowing how to wash lingerie safely and effectively ensures your intimates (and secret powers) stay intact.

Let’s unwrap this special edition of lingerie laundry day.

How to Wash Lingerie Bottoms

The thought of washing delicates can feel dangerous as delicate panties, briefs, and thongs are susceptible to holes, rips, and tears.

But don’t let these dainty elements keep you from conquering laundry day. With a few tricks and some organizational methods, your lingerie bottoms will be well on their way to clean and fresh-as-new.

Sort Fabric Type

The first thing you’ll want to do before washing lingerie bottoms is to separate them by fabric type. Many people make the mistake of throwing all of their delicates in the washing machine in the delicate cycle. However, only a few types of delicate fabrics should even go in the washing machine.

Some fabrics that can go in the washing machine include:

  • Cotton
  • Silk
  • Nylon

Underwear with sheer fabrics, lace, or small embellishments should be washed by hand. But before we learn how to hand wash lingerie, let’s go over some machine-washing basics for delicates.

Find pleasure in the small things! Shop our intimates now!

Machine Washing Lingerie Bottoms

You shouldn’t feel afraid of the washing machine, but you do need to use it carefully. Overheating, agitation, and overwhelming cleaning chemicals can all damage underwear.

Keep your undergarments safe by practicing these general guidelines:

  • Wash in cool water or warm water – Delicates can deteriorate easily when exposed to hot water. Therefore, you should always opt for a cool setting or warm1 wash cycle. Your panties may have more specific instructions on their care label, so double-check for those.
  • Use gentle detergent – When washing sustainable lingerie, you should always use a gentle detergent. Harsh chemicals may lead to shrinking, tearing, or faded fabric. Steer clear of sulfates and bleach and opt for a detergent2 with a more neutral pH balance.
  • Wash in a mesh bag – Give your delicates some extra protection with a mesh bag. Place multiple pairs of underwear in the bag (make sure you don't overload) and put the machine on a delicate cycle. The mesh pouch allows the delicates to move around while lessening the risk of heat damage, stretching, or tangling.
  • Air dry, never tumble – Overheating can cause certain fabrics to melt or shrink—so skip the dryer altogether! You should always air-dry lingerie. A drying rack, hangers, or clotheslines usually provide the best results.

These practices should yield panty-perfect results. When in doubt, rely on the care instructions found on the tag of your underwear garment. If instructions need further clarification, you can always look up the distributor for care instructions on their website.

Pretreating Stains

Make sure to see any stains before throwing your panties in the washing machine. Using a soft brush, scrub your gentle detergent to scrub the affected area. If you don't have a brush, place the detergent on the stain, gently rub the fabric, and build up a lather.

Allow the stain to soak up the detergent for about 15 minutes before continuing with washing.

Hand Washing Lingerie Bottoms

Extra delicate materials require a gentle touch. Sorry washing machine, you'll have to sit this one out. It's time to get our hands soapy.

Hand washing underwear may feel slightly more involved than machine washing, but it's just as easy. Clean your favorite delicates without fear of damage by following these steps:

  • Prepare the bath – You can use a sink, bath, or bucket to wash your garments by hand. Whichever you use, make sure it's thoroughly cleaned. Stop the drain and fill it with cool or warm water. Add a touch of gentle detergent and let the water build the bubbles.
  • Quickly soak – Allow your panties to soak in the soapy water for at least five minutes. You shouldn't leave them for more than 10 minutes, as oversoaking may cause embellishments to fall off.
  • Rinse thoroughly – Once enough time has passed, you can gently squish the material to help the soap penetrate fully. Then, rinse the underwear with cool water.
  • Gently dry – Squish out (don't wring) any excess water. You can soak up the remaining water with an absorbent microfiber towel. Once it's damp, instead of wet, move the underwear to a drying rack or lay it flat to dry.

And just like that, you've got a perfectly clean pair of panties. We've got to hand it to you: you make hand-washing look like a piece of cake.

How to Wash Lingerie Tops

Though lingerie bottoms may have delicate materials or decorations, they're pretty straightforward in their construction.

Bras and other lingerie tops, on the other hand, are a whole different game. Designed to fit your breasts, chest, and shoulders, bras work hard to maintain their pristine balance. Therefore, slight shrinkage or a damaged underwire could be detrimental to the fit.

An ill-fitting bra could distract from or feel uncomfortable to your silhouette, so treat them with extra care by washing them gently and thoughtfully.

Machine Washing Lingerie Tops

While most bras are better suited for hand washing, a few can go in the washing machine without a problem. Sports bras, wireless bralettes, and synthetic bras can survive the washer in a mesh bag.

Even so, they can still accrue damage if not treated with care. Taking a few extra steps before turning on the washing machine could save your everyday bra from snagging or stretching.

You can avoid unnecessary harm to your bra by:

  • Sort fabrics – Delicate fabric in bras acts like magnets to fabrics that pill easily. If you wash your bras with cotton, wool, or knitted fabric, you may find your bra covered in bits of loose material. 3Nip this problem in the bud by separating your bras from these fabrics.
  • Wash in a mesh bag – The washing machine can be a dangerous place for bras due to their construction. Straps, fabrics, or hooks can catch the inside of the device and cause stretching or snapping. Cut down on snagging by utilizing the mesh bag and hooking your bra before washing.
  • Separate padding – Padding is equally essential to construction as the rest of the bra (and equally as likely to absorb sweat and dirt). Take the padding out and wash them along with the bra in the mesh bag. Once the cycle is complete, allow the cups to air dry thoroughly before re-inserting them.

When it comes to bras, you can never be too careful – especially when there’s a washing machine involved. If you’re after an even gentler approach, we’ve got just the method for you.

Hand Washing Lingerie Tops

Hand washing remains the preferred method for most lingerie tops and bras, especially ones with underwires or delicate materials. Like silk underwear, you should always opt for cool to warm water, a gentle detergent, and air drying.

Take these extra tips into account when washing your tops by hand:

  • Take out cups and wash them separately
  • Don’t wash more than two bras at a time
  • Never wring your bra (it can damage the shape)
  • Air-dry bras and tops on a rack or a hanger
  • When dried, store them flat to help your lingerie keep its shape

By hand washing your intimates, you’re putting the power into your own hands. With thoughtful care practices, you can ensure your lingerie tops keep their shape, style, and appeal for years.

The intimates didn't hold the secret powers after all—It's been you all along.

How Often to Wash Lingerie

Now that you know how to wash your lingerie in a snap, you may want to push laundry day up to today. While we understand your excitement, you'll want to refrain from overwashing your intimates. Too much moisture can weaken delicate materials over time, so you should only wash them when they need it.

Typically, bras should get washed after 2 to 3 wears.4 Feel free to factor in their soil levels, such as sweat absorption or stains that need attention.

Underwear bottoms, on the other hand, should get washed after every use. Since underwear absorbs more bodily fluids, keeping them clean is critical.

Unlock Your Secret Lingerie Power with Gooseberry

By learning how to care for your lingerie, you're ultimately taking care of yourself. Prioritizing intimates that make you feel bold, sexy, and powerful allows you the freedom to do so in your everyday life.

Free yourself with empowering intimates from Gooseberry.

Along with careful washing techniques, you need quality lingerie that brings out your best qualities. At Gooseberry, we have sensual intimates for every mood. Our collections are curated to fulfill your innermost desires, whether you're after feminine flair or daring drama.

Browse our collections and discover your power today.


  1. The Spruce. The Best Washing Machine Temperature for Laundry.
  2. The Folde. What Is The Best Laundry Detergent for Delicate Laundry?
  3. Reader’s Digest. How to Remove and Prevent Pilling From Your Clothes.
  4. Insider. How Often You Should Really Need to Wash Your Bras, Jeans, and Sweaters, According to Experts.

Best Fabric For Underwear

There are a host of factors that come into play when it’s time to cycle a fresh supply of underwear into your delicates drawer. Coupled with style and fit, material can have a make-or-break impact on whether you feel cozy and at ease in your skivvies—and, as it turns out, whether you’re taking proper care of the area it covers.

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Best Fabric For Underwear

There are a host of factors that come into play when it’s time to cycle a fresh supply of underwear into your delicates drawer. Coupled with style and fit, material can have a make-or-break impact on whether you feel cozy and at ease in your skivvies—and, as it turns out, whether you’re taking proper care of the area it covers.

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