Lingerie Washing Guidelines

Properly caring for your lingerie will help keep it looking fresh and fitting well for a longer time. The elasticity of your lingerie breaks down over time, and the laundering methods you use can make a huge difference in the lifespan and quality of your lingerie.


Although most bra labels recommend hand washing, most daily wear bras can be safely machine washed. If your bra has stains, gently rub the stains with a mixture of gentle soap and cold or lukewarm water (don’t use hot water – heat can wear down delicate fabric and elastic). Then, let your bra soak for several minutes. If you’re machine washing your bra, hook it together first so it won’t get tangled with other garments. It’s also a good idea to put your bras in a lingerie wash bag to keep them separated from other garments.

Wash your more delicate and luxury bras by hand with a gentle fabric soap. Soak them for several minutes and then carefully work the suds through the fabric and rinse. Roll your bras in a towel to get rid of excess water before laying them out to dry.

Note: Never machine dry your bras. Always line dry or lay them out to dry.



First, check the label for your panties’ care instructions. Unless they’re made up of delicate materials or have ornate detail, most panties are machine washable. If your panties have stains, use a gentle wash and/or stain treatment and soak them for several minutes. Place them in the washing machine and run them on a delicate cycle with a cold or warm temperature setting (don’t use hot water – heat can break down the delicate fabric and elastic). It’s also a good idea to put your panties in a lingerie wash bag to keep them separated from other items. You can wash cotton underwear in hot water, but it may shorten the life of your panties. Make sure you always air dry your panties.



Although care instructions sometimes say shapewear is machine washable, it’s always best to hand wash your shapewear. If you do choose to machine wash your shapewear, use cold or warm water and don’t use chlorine bleach. Always air or line dry.



Hosiery doesn’t need to be washed as regularly as other undergarments, but it’s a good idea to wash them at least every three days. Begin by soaking your hosiery in a sink full of cool or room temperature water. Add a gentle detergent to the water and carefully swish your hosiery around. Let them soak for about half an hour, then rinse them with cold water, gently wring them out, then hang to dry.


To make sure your lingerie lasts longer, it’s best to...

  • Wash it by hand
  • Put it in a lingerie bag for machine washing
  • Use only cold or warm water
  • Wash delicate lingerie together and separate from heavier fabrics like denim and towels
  • Avoid wringing or twisting lingerie out too tightly – instead, press it gently against the sink
  • Keep light and dark colors separate

Washing Specific Materials



Hand wash in warm water, gently squeeze out moisture and smooth or shake it out. Hang dry on a rust-free hanger and use a warm iron if needed.



Can use hot water and chlorine bleach on white cotton. If machine drying, use moderate to high heat. To make your cottons last longer, you can also wash it on a delicate cycle.



Machine wash warm and tumble dry low. Add fabric softener during the rinse cycle and use a dryer sheet while drying to reduce static.



Most polyester can be machine washed with warm water and dried on low. Polyester can also be dry cleaned.



Most rayon garments should be dry cleaned. But check the care instruction; some items can be hand or machine washed.



Keep separate from other garments with detergents and dyes. It’s best to dry clean silk. If there is no lining or delicate embellishment, it’s safe to wash gently in delicate detergent and tepid water. Don’t use chlorine bleach.



Consult the care instructions on the label first. If hand washing, rinse thoroughly and drip dry. If machine washing, use a low temperature. Iron quickly and on a low setting without letting the iron stay on one spot for too long.


Laundering Symbols and What They Mean


Cotton Wash
(No Bar)
A washtub without a bar indicates that normal (maximum) washing conditions may be used at the appropriate temperature.

Synthetics Wash
(Single Bar)
A single bar beneath the washtub indicates reduced (medium) washing conditions at the appropriate temperature.
Wool Wash
(Double Underline)
A double underline beneath the washtub indicates much reduced (minimum) washing conditions and is designed specifically for machine-washable wool products.
Hand Wash Only Wash by hand.
Any bleach allowed.
Only oxygen bleach/non-chlorine bleach allowed.
Do not bleach.
Hot Iron
Warm Iron
Cool Iron
Dry Cleaning
Must be professionally dry cleaned.

The letters contained within the circle and/or a bar beneath the circle will indicate the solvent and the process to be used by the dry cleaner.
Must be professionally dry cleaned.

The letters contained within the circle and/or a bar beneath the circle will indicate the solvent and the process to be used by the dry cleaner.
Must be professionally wet cleaned only.
Do not dry clean.
Tumble Drying
May be tumble dried.
May be tumble dried with high heat setting.
May be tumble dried with low heat setting.
Do not tumble dry.