How to handwash underwear

Posted by SOCKSHOP

If, like us, you’re prone to throwing all your underwear into the washing machine for the sake of convenience, it’s time for an intervention! Your delicates are, well, delicate. That means they need to be treated with the utmost care to ensure they last the distance. SOCKSHOP is here to give you some easy-to-follow tips on how to handwash underwear.

How to hand wash underwear
What’s that? You’re far too busy to hand wash your underwear? It’s fiddly, boring and you’ve got 1001 better things to do, you say?! We hear you! But trust us, as unglamorous as this blog topic might be, it’s going to be worth your while sticking around if you have any interest in keeping your most glamorous (and expensive!) underwear in peak condition. So listen up as we explain the best way to handwash your skimpies.

What types of underwear need to be handwashed?

In actual fact, the vast majority of underwear can be cleaned in a washing machine. Cotton, jersey, bamboo (although we do recommend a delicate cycle for bamboo due to its soft and lightweight nature); they can all be washed on your normal spin cycle. Just be sure to read the label and follow the care instructions to a tee. It’s only really those delicate items of underwear, made from silk or lace, and lingerie that need to be handwashed. This will help to preserve their shape, colour and detailing for the long haul.

Why you should avoid machine washing delicates

If you’re still not convinced about hand washing your delicates, let’s look at some of the ways machine washing wreaks havoc with your elegant intimates. Here’s the rub (if you’ll excuse the pun!), your most delicate underwear is going to get snagged in your washing machine and all that excessive agitation will slowly but surely destroy the delicate fabrics, and any lacy detailing, of your most prized undergarments. 

The issues don’t end there either. Because with machine washing (and drying for that matter), the stretchy elements of your underwear fabrics will begin to sag and eventually tear altogether. Before you know it, any elastic will simply stretch out of shape and will never regain its original shape. Some of the colours may also bleed. Are the few extra minutes gained worth all these problems? Aha, now you’re on board!

What to use to handwash underwear

When you set out to handwash your underwear, you’re going to need the following:
  • Sink or bathtub 

  • Cold water

  • Gentle laundry detergent 

  • Towels 

  • Clothes horse or hangers 

How to handwash silk and lace underwear

Now that you have everything you need at hand, simply follow this step-by-step guide to handwashing silk, lace and delicate underwear to get the most enjoyment out of your delicates.

  1. Fill your sink with cold water. Delicate items like silk or lace underwear need to be washed in cold water to be absolutely sure that they won’t shrink and that their colours won’t fade.

  1. Add some gentle laundry detergent. Try to use a small amount of detergent that’s been specially formulated for handwashing delicate fabrics. Swish the water around until the detergent dissolves.

  2. Soak and scrub the underwear. Allow your garments to soak for a maximum of 30 minutes. Give them the occasional swoosh around to loosen any dirt and remember to gently scrub the gusset.

  3. Remove from the water and towel dry. Don’t wring out your underwear, it’ll only damage them. Squeeze out the water, roll them in a clean towel, and either hang them up or lay them on another towel to dry.

How to handwash bras and lingerie

Machine washing your bras will put you on the fast-track to developing misshapen, and ultimately uncomfortable, lingerie. Follow these handwashing tips instead for longer-lasting comfort and support.

  1. Fill your sink or bath with cold water. Follow the care instructions on the label, but if it’s a silk or lacy bra then you’re going to want to opt for a sink-full of cold water to be on the safe side.

  2. Detergent, soak and scrub. Add some gentle laundry detergent and leave the bra to soak for around 15 minutes. Be sure to work the soap suds into the cups and hard-to-reach areas.

  3. Rinse the bra off in cold water. After the allotted soaking time is up, drain the sink and rinse the bra under the cold water tap until all the soap suds have been removed and the water runs clear.

  4. Squeeze out the water and towel dry. Finally, switch off the tap and gently squeeze out the excess water from the cups and straps. Then pat the bra dry with a clean towel, reshape everything, and dry flat.

Buy machine washable underwear at SOCKSHOP

If, after reading our hints and tips on how to hand wash underwear, it still seems like too much of a palaver to lather your skimpies, perhaps you’d prefer some gorgeous machine washable underwear from SOCKSHOP instead?! We have a wide range of lovely briefs, hipsters, shorts and bras from some of the biggest household names, like Sloggi and Lazy Panda, in skin-soft and breathable cotton or sustainable and antibacterial bamboo

Shop our selection of underwear for ladies and men, and forget we ever mentioned handwashing! For more information about any of our products or for help with orders, please contact us on 08000 195 667.


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