Washing Instructions

Wednesday, 7 August 2013  |  Essili

Do you follow the instructions on the label? Do you even read the washing instructions on your lingerie? If the answer is no to either question, then you need to read on.

Modern lingerie looks and even sometimes feels robust but it is more delicate than it looks. It is made up of a complex mix of components which require very specific care. From the metal fastenings and the under wires in the bras to the elastic threads that run through stretch fabric such as Elastane this mix of materials is very unforgiving if you ignore the washing instructions.

Lingerie is not cheap - so why abuse it? Look after your lingerie properly and it will last for a good long time and look as good as new.

Almost all lingerie will be labelled "hand wash" and recommend a low water temperature. Hand washing is more gentle than the agitation of a washing machine. The movement inside the washing machine can cause the under wires in a bra to snag other garments, work their way out of their seam and be lost in the workings of your washing machine or even snap. The lace on the lingerie, although it might be a man made polyester, can be snagged and torn by the interaction with other garments during the washing cycle. The suggested water temperature for washing is low because the elastic fibres in modern lingerie are damaged by heat and will even snap when you wear the garment after washing at too hot a temperature. For this reason you should also never tumble dry lingerie. It just gets too hot for those fragile fibres!

So that is all the things you should not do.... here is what you should do. Read your lingerie washing instructions and if you are not sure what the symbols mean. Here is a good guide to most of the commonly used symbols.

If you are in any doubt at all you cannot go wrong if you follow these rules:

  • Always hand wash lingerie.
  • Use a mild soap not detergent.
  • Wash in warm water, no hotter than 30 degrees C but sometimes colder so you should always check the recommended temperature.
  • Rinse in cold water until clear.
  • Air dry naturally not near a heat source.


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