Laundry is my nemesis. That and dishes. I can’t stand either of them. Partly because I rent so I don’t have a washer/dryer in my apartment or even the building. There’s another apartment a couple doors down from me I use, but the things are so old I’m sure if I had a microscope I’d be scared.
Don’t worry, I smell fine.
Taking care of my finer pieces of lingerie is not my favourite thing to do either and I’m definitely not alone. My guess is that over half of us hate doing laundry and the other half lie about it. Just google “How many people hate doing laundry” and there’s validation all over the place.
I’m going to give you all the dirt (hee hee) on how to do the absolute bare minimum without sacrificing the life and love of your lingerie. Ready? Cool.
Hand washing is the best thing for all your neglige. Always. This is a golden rule that no matter what kind of high end fancy thing you have to wash your clothes, hand washing still reigns supreme. Here’s how.
- Grab a (clean) bucket or clean your kitchen or bathroom sink.
- Fill with cold water and an alcohol free detergent. I use about a tablespoon for kitchen sink depth.
You might already feel like you want to give up here. Have no fear. Many brands of detergent don’t contain alcohol, but it’s important. Instead of trying to find a Lingerie Wash, you could go with a happy medium and use a detergent that’s safe for babies instead. They are usually free from perfumes and additives because they’re made for tiny humans and we all know babies get special treatment. Washing in cold water also helps keep fibers from separating and stretching, keeping your clothes around longer than a hot water wash.
Get a job baby.
- Clasp the bra closed and keep your colours and lights separate so they don’t bleed.
- Let soak for about 30-60 minutes depending on the soil level.
- After some time, gently rub the fabric together to remove any dirt or debris.
- For bras, take one of the cups and put it in the palm of one hand. With your fingers of your other hand, gently push as much soap and water out as you can. Do that to each cup in there.
- For teddies, babydolls, corsets and others, do not wring. If I find out you did, I’ll come slap your hand. Instead, bunch up the fabric very loosely in your hand and ever so gently squish out any liquid. You want to be careful not to damage the fabric by stretching it or breaking the fibers.
- Rinse each piece and repeat the gentle pushing of water out until all the water runs clear.
- You’re doing a great job!
- Your lingerie probably has washing instructions on each piece. Usually you’ll be asked to lay flat to dry, drip dry or hang dry. I had to look this up, but the difference between drip dry and hang dry is that drip dry means the garment is soaking wet when put on the line and hang dry means it’s damp.
There! That’s all there is to it. Except now you have to put them away.
- Molded cup bras, bras with underwire, push up and the like should be spooned together. It’ll be the most romantic and comfortable drawer you own. Pretty much every retailer of bras has drawers that look like this. It’s magical.
- Bralettes, triangle cups, capped sleeved bras without underwire can be thrown in. No biggie.
- Any style of lingerie without boning or underwires can be folded as nicely as you can and/or want to.
- Anything with underwire or boning should be hung up to keep their shape and form.
I can hear you now… “But… what if I really really don’t care about my delicate stuff?”
Well that’s a different story that I can totally get behind. Machine washing has a couple stipulations if you’re going to completely ignore the voice of reason. Get yourself a lingerie bag. They’re usually mesh and you toss your delicates in, zip and wash. Do not, I repeat, DO NOT put your stuff in the dryer. It breaks down the elasticity in fabrics quite quickly which can affect the overall fit next time you go to wear them. Keep the water at a maximum luke warm; cold is always best. Pick the delicates cycle. If you don’t have a delicates cycle, I’m afraid you won’t win this battle.
Below I’ve given you a handy go-to on what all those symbols mean.