There's more to washing clothes than just throwing them in the washer and setting the timer. Especially when it comes to your undergarments, there's a need for proper care and organization. Even though you might think - why bother with the extra effort when they're actually going to stay hidden? But the harsh truth is that you must be extra careful when dealing with your undies as they are a major part of hygiene. Some of you might have heard that washing your undergarments regularly can tear the lace, loosen the elastics or lead to fading of colour. However, skipping undergarments from your usual load of laundry could cause you more harm than benefits. Washing undergarments in the washing machine should be a part of your daily lifestyle without saying. This guide will discuss all essential pointers on how to properly wash undergarments.
What do the researchers and doctors say?
If you think that tossing your undergarments with the rest of the clothes and giving them a spin with a scoop of detergent is enough to clean them, think again! There's no hiding the fact that your private areas tend to be a bit moist and thus accumulate bacteria, yeast and fungi. With the addition of urine/faeces particles, vaginal discharge and dirt, your unmentionables might be spreading microorganisms to the rest of your laundry. Wearing dirty underwear can lead to painful situations like fungal jock itch and bacterial dermatitis. Bacteria is likely to escape the cold water wash so it is crucial to boost your washing process when it comes to undergarments or sports clothing.
Basic steps to follow while cleaning your undergarments in the washing machine
It is unfair to club all undergarments in a single category but there is a general pattern that you must follow while washing your unmentionables. Regularly cleaning your undergarments in a proper manner can increase their durability and make them more sterilized.
Check the tag on your undergarment - The washing procedure of an undergarment depends on its fabric and strength. Check the clothing tag and make sure that your undergarments are safe to be washed in the washing machine. If you are dealing with delicate lacy items or expensive garments made of silk, you might need to hand wash them.
Remove the stains - It is not uncommon to find your undergarments stained and the best way to ensure proper cleaning in this condition is to pre-treat the spots. Use a liquid laundry detergent or a commercial stain remover and apply it to your undergarment. Gently rub it into the fabric to ensure that it gets thoroughly cleaned. Try not to twist or ring it too hard as it can lead to unnecessary fabric stretching and loosening of the elastics. Carefully squeeze the water out and make sure that there is no detergent residue left on the cloth.
Sort out your underwear - Just like a regular laundry load, you also need to sort out your unmentionables and create different heaps based on fabrics, colours and patterns. Keep the delicates with lace or extra embellishments separate. You must also turn your underwear inside out to confirm effective cleaning. If possible, you can also add these items to a mesh lingerie bag and then add them to the washer. Lingerie bags will keep all your delicates together and prevent them from the worst of the consequences.
Always wash with similar fabrics - Don't mix extra dirty underwear with the normal load while washing clothes. Also, ensure that you aren't adding them with rough fabrics like jeans or rugs. Zippers, studs or other metallic items can get stuck in your underwear and lead to unnecessary wear and tear.
Choose the correct machine setting - Follow the instructions of your garment care tag and choose the right machine setting for the wash cycle. Use only cold or lukewarm water as the hot water can cause colour leakage or extra garment shrinkage. If the wash cycle is too rough, your articles might get beat up in the washing machine and end up with loose strings or misshapen elastic bands.
Pick a suitable detergent - Detergent determines the quality of the wash and helps preserve fabric for a long time while keeping it fresh. You must choose a mild detergent that goes well with your undergarments and does not leave any flaky or powdery residue behind. Remember, a cloth isn't clean till all the soap gets cleared off from it. Choosing a gentle detergent will also help your skin in the long run.
Remove from the washer and hang to dry - Avoid letting your undergarments sit in the washer for a long time or adding them to the dryer. The heat might destroy the fabric, underwire or elastic, thus destroying your underwear. Do not wring or twist them to dry. Instead, lay them on the rack or hang on a wire. Let the garments air-dry overnight.
Bras - Your expensive and dainty bras might not be ideal for machine wash. In that case, check the instructions and take them to the shower with you and gently wash them. Usually, you can wear bras 2-3 times before putting them in the wash. Choose a laundry detergent that does not contain alcohol or bleach. Make sure you hook them before putting in the wash and set your machine on a delicate cycle. Avoid tossing bras in the dryer as it can cause them to lose their original shape.
Cotton - If you are wondering how to clean undergarments made of cotton, follow all the basic steps like separating the lights from the darks. Cotton is usually machine-washable, unlike silk or lace. Put them in a laundry bag or a pillowcase to ensure that the fabric remains soft and wash them in mildly warm water. It is always preferable to hang dry your underwear in the shade.
Delicates - If your wardrobe contains a lot of frilly or lacy lingerie, you might be in for a hand washing routine. Read the washing instructions and make sure you pick the right detergent. Gently wash them without wringing too hard. Clean the soap off and let the garments dry naturally. If you do put them in a washing machine, always use a mesh bag and set it on a delicate cycle.
Washing clothes is a simple yet complicated process. Once you get the hang of it, your clothes will be thoroughly cleaned and last a long time. But if you forgo the wash instructions, laundry might turn into an unproductive chore for you. Especially when it comes to undergarments, one must be extra careful. The hygiene of your privates is also dependent on the way you treat your underwear.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q1 - How to wash your tights properly?
A1 - Just like your delicates, tights also need to be hand-washed gently or they can lose their shape. Rub out the entire garment in soap water and focus on the crotch and feet area. Do not dry them with the sides hanging down as it could cause them to stretch. Loop them around the drying rack or clothesline etc.
Q2 - How to ensure that all the water is squeezed out from the underwear without twisting them?
A2 - You are always advised to squeeze your underwear gently to get rid of extra water. If you want to go a step further, take a towel and press the garment between two sides. Towel sides will absorb any extra water.
Q3 - Should I wash undergarments in hot water?
A3 - No, you should follow the instructions mentioned on the garment tag. Generally, it is advised to use cold or mildly warm water. Hot water can cause stretching in some fabrics.