With the amount of types of lingerie there are today and all the possible fabric types, it hard to say what washing style is best for all. At one point there was only one kind and hand washing with a mild detergent was the best option to keep the garments body, shape, and elasticity. Now a days, it is much more difficult to know what type of lingerie requires what type a wash cycle or cannot be washed at all. It truly depends on what type of fabric and delicacy it has. Most manufactures will put the proper labels on your garment but that doesn't mean that they will stand up to use and time using this method. You have to remember that when you purchase a lingerie outfit or anything else the manufacturer is hoping it gets well used and therefore washed and will need quicker replacement. What company would make something that lasts forever, they would not be in business long. They bank on the fact that you will be back to by that favorite bra and panty set or teddy.
If you are going to stick with synthetic fabrics such as Rayon and Polyester, then you would want to wash them in the delicate cycle with a fabric softener rather than detergent. Detergent can be harsh and drain the color and vibrancy out of you lingerie. This type of cycle will not use a harsh agitating rhythm to get your delicates clean. Most of these garments are delicate in the fact that they have lace, wire, padding, water, and other materials that cannot withstand extreme agitation or temperatures. Not to mention that simple factory designed stitching is not made to withstand repeated wetting and drying that makes the thread brittle and not hold the garment together. With many synthetic materials drying is not an issue. You will be able to throw your lingerie in the dryer on a cool or low heat cycle for 20 minutes and not have an issue. These types of fabrics do not lose their shape or contour with drying. They wear and wash well even in a machine cycle and can even be abused by throwing in the wash with other types of clothing. This is one of the best types of lingerie to have if you are not the kind of person who cares about what clothes go together or hate the idea of hand washing.
As common as cotton is these days, very few people know how to wash it right. Most women notice the difference in what happens to their favorite blue jeans and T-shirt. The blue jeans seem to shrink and the T-shirt seems to get shorter and fatter. It is amount of cotton in the clothing and whether it has been pre-shrunk or not that makes the difference on what cycle if any that one uses. The great thing about cotton lingerie other than its breathability is the fact that it is ultra durable. Washing cotton no matter what the percentage in warm or cold water never seems to be an issue in what the outcome will be. It is the drying that seems to hold the most damage and vulnerability to your favorite lingerie piece. Most lingerie that has a cotton blend is at least 50% that when subjected to heat can shrink vertical wise and expand horizontally. This can be a bad thing as far as sexy is concerned. There is nothing worse than having your favorite teddy ride up in the crouch and sag and wrinkle around your mid-section. This type of lingerie is best to clean machine wash on delicate with cool or luke warm water and then hang or lay out to dry on a flat surface. If you use the fabric softener then you won't have to worry about stiffness.
For those extremely delicate silk articles of lingerie you will want to either have them dry cleaned or for the person willing to do the job right, hand wash. If you have opted for the least expensive route then you will want to make sure you have the proper necessities. You will want to use some wool-lite or very mild detergent to make sure you don't damage the fabric. Put the lingerie into the sink and let it soak. Gently wash with out excessively rubbing it. Rinse with luke warm water and roll into a towel and twist dry. Put the lingerie into a second towel twist dry it some more. Never let silk air dry it will yellow if it does. To dry silk us an iron. While the lingerie is still damp go over it with a medium/hot iron. This will leave the lingerie dry and smooth and smelling fresh. Make sure you lay it out on the bed or other flat surface to cool before wearing
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