Cleaning Your Lingerie

To Clean your lingerie can be a difficult chore. Most nice lingerie pieces are made from intricate lace and delicate fabrics that would be ruined in a washing machine… even if you’re using the gentle cycle. The washing machine works fine for your regular, everyday underwear. But no one wants the washing machine or dryer “to eat” their favorite teddy or expensive corset. All those missing socks are bad enough!


#1 For Cleaning Lingerie: Always Check the Tag

Almost all pieces of clothing have care instructions on a small tag located somewhere inside the garment. You should always follow the recommendations on these tags to keep your lingerie looking sexy. Many of these tags include simple written instructions like “Do not bleach” or “Handwash only.” More and more tags, however, are resorting to icons to cross language barriers.

How to Clean Lingerie Without a Tag

Cleaning lingerie gets a little harder if you’re missing the tag, which happens pretty often as people love to cut those tags off their lingerie. Many people find the tags to be a little itchy, especially in a silky soft babydoll or chemise. Skimpy thongs or crotchless panties just don’t like as a sexy with that little tag getting in the way! But you still need to clean your lingerie without the tag, so what do you do?

When in doubt, handwashing is the best way to clean your lingerie. Handwashing makes sure you don’t tear any delicate lace, snag one those straps, stretch something out or any of the other misadventures that can happen while laundering lingerie. Here’s how to clean your lingerie in six easy steps.

1. Fill a sink with lukewarm water and an alcohol-free detergent specially formulated for handwashing delicates. Never use hot water or bleach. Hot water breaks down elastics and shrinks natural fibers, while bleach is much too harsh for the delicate lingerie fabrics.

2. Add your lingerie to the sink and swish it around a little bit to make sure it’s completely wet. Then let it soak for at least 15 minutes. If it’s a particularly hard to remove stain, you should soak it for about 45 minutes to 1 hour.

3. After you finish soaking the lingerie piece, gently rub the fabric together, paying close attention to any stain or blemish.

4. Rinse the lingerie piece in cool water until the water starts running clear.

5. Gently squeeze or shake the lingerie piece to get rid of any excess water. Please note that squeezing is not the same as wringing. Squeezing involves gently pressing the garment. Wringing means twisting it up in a tight ball. Wringing lingerie will leave wrinkles and damage the fabric.

6. Smooth your lingerie piece out to prevent any wrinkles. Then lay it flat between a pair of clean towels or hang it up to dry. Dryers and delicates don’t mix, so never toss your lingerie in the dryer. Most lingerie is made from light material that dries quickly on its own.

Lingerie Materials

Cleaning Methods


Cotton lingerie is typically designed for everyday wear. This means most cotton lingerie is machine washable and dryer friendly. Just remember to double-check the garment tag to be sure.


Clean by hand using leather care products. Remember to always test the product in an unnoticeable spot before using it. Then let it air dry.


Handwash using warm water and liquid detergent, making sure to clean both sides. Rinse it clean and then hang it up to dry inside out and then the you would wear it.


Some silk lingerie can be handwashed, but it’s generally better to dry clean them.

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