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How To Properly Clean And Care For Your Lingerie To Make It Last As Long As Possible

Oct 21, 2007
There are so many different styles, types and fabrics of lingerie available today that it can be difficult to say what one laundering method works best for all lingerie. In the old days everything was very similar and hand washing with a mild detergent was the best option to keep all your lingerie in top condition. It is much more difficult these days to know which type of lingerie requires which type of washing cycle and which cannot be machine washed at all. It really depends on what kind of fabric and how delicate it is. While the majority of manufacturers put labels on your garments that describe what laundering method to use, you cannot be sure they have your best interests at heart. After all, the sooner the garment wears out, the sooner you have to buy another and the more money they make. If they make their product last forever, they will not be in business long. Remember the infomercial for the indestructible pantyhose? You don't see those anymore do you? Enough said.

Synthetic fabrics like rayon and polyester can be washed in the delicate cycle of your washing machine with a fabric softener instead of detergent. Detergent can be too harsh and diminish the color and vibrancy of your lingerie. Most lingerie items are delicate because of the lace, wires, padding and other materials that will not hold up to aggressive agitation or high temperatures. The factory stitching is not created to endure repeated washing and drying that may make the thread fragile and make the garment fall apart. For some synthetic lingerie items, drying is not a problem. You can just toss the items of lingerie into the dryer on the cool or low heat cycle for a short cycle. These items don't lose their shape or contour when you dry them. This is one of the best types of lingerie to have if you are not the kind of person who likes to sort laundry and hates to hand wash.

Even though cotton is the most commonly used fabric few people know how to properly launder it. The mistakes are most noticeable in the changes to blue jeans and t-shirts. The blue jeans shrink and the t-shirts seem to get shorter and stouter. It is the amount of cotton in the item and whether or not it has been pre-shrunk that determines what cycle and temperature should be used. One of the best things about cotton lingerie is its breathability. Another thing is that it is very resilient. Any percentage of cotton can be safely washed in warm or cold water.

The dryer temperature seems to the biggest threat to your favorite piece of lingerie. Lingerie that has a cotton blend consisting of around 50% is likely to shrink vertically and expand horizontally when exposed to high heat drying. This is not something that will accentuate the sex appeal. There is nothing more uncomfortable and unattractive than having a teddy ride up in the crouch and get baggy around your mid-section. Not a pretty visualization, huh? You will be better off by machine washing on delicate with cool or slightly warm water and then hanging or laying them out on a flat surface to dry. Fabric softener will eliminate the stiffness associated with line drying.
Very delicate silk items can be dry cleaned or even better, hand washed. Hand washing is less expensive and doesn't require taking your "unmentionables" out in public. You should use either wool-lite or some other mild detergent to avoid damaging the fabric.

Put the lingerie into a sink filled with a small amount of the detergent and some cool or gently warmed water and let it soak for a few minutes. Gently swish it around without causing too much friction. Rinse with slightly warm water and roll into a towel and gently pat and squeeze it dry. Put the lingerie into a second towel and repeat the procedure. You should not allow silk to air dry as that will lead to yellowing. To dry silk, careful use of an iron is preferred.

Smooth over the item with a medium/hot iron while it is still moist. This will dry the lingerie and make it feel smooth and smell fresh. Make sure you allow it to cool on a flat surface before wearing.

With a little knowledge and care your expensive lingerie items will last for many years to come. This will allow you to purchase more to add variety and not just to make the manufacturers richer.
About the Author
Gregg Hall is an author living with his beautiful wife and family in Navarre Beach, Florida. Find more about lingerie as well as elite lingerie at http://www.elitelingerieshop.com
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