washing clothes

How To Wash Your Underwear

by Paige Gruszka

Washing your clothes. You don’t have to do it, if you want to get technical, but your friends will slowly disappear if you never do. You’ll start to stink and people will forget how funny you are because their eyes will burn with your bodily stench. Let’s just agree that we really should wash our clothes. (The tags on our clothes generally recommend it too.)

There are a few different ways to get those duds clean:

  • Machine washing and drying
  • Dry cleaning
  • Hand washing
  • Throwing away the item and buying more (Mother Nature’s least favorite option)

Let’s dig into the internet's most pressing questions and answers on washing.

How do I know which washing method to use?

There is one golden rule you should always follow when you’re ready to wash an item of clothing. READ THE TAG. Most of the time, the tag on your clothing will provide you with instructions on how to wash the garment. If there is no tag on your clothing then your best bet is to hand wash the item.

Should I wash my new underwear before wearing it?

Yes. Genitals can be sensitive, that’s why it’s a great idea to wash your new underwear before wearing it. This will help to make sure there are no lingering germs or harsh chemicals. Plus, freshening up something that’s going down South is never a bad idea!

How do I get stains out of my underwear?

Most underwear stains are protein stains which can be made from discharge or sexual fluids, period blood stains or poop stains. All of these can be treated the same way: with an enzymatic stain remover. Check out the best way to remove period stains here. The techniques for period stains can be replicated for the other types of stains as well.

Fun Fact: Your saliva contains enzymes which can break down proteins that exist in your own blood. Next time you have a small blood stain, try spitting on the spot and gently rubbing to remove the stain. Try it, it works.

How should I wash my underwear?

First and foremost: read the tag on your undies and wash according to the written instructions. You can also search for a cleaning method based on the fabric type as your washing technique can change depending on the type of fabric your panties are made from. Lingerie items made from lace, padded bras with underwire and items made from delicate materials such as silk must be specifically taken care of. If you choose to ignore the instructions on a tag it may lead to damage, shrinkage and snagging. When in doubt: hand wash.

hand wash your clothes

What temperature should I use to wash my underwear?

Read your underwear tag. That tag is your North Star to ensure that your garment stays happy and healthy for the duration of its life. If your tag doesn’t tell you what temperature to wash at, a good rule of thumb is to use warm water as it is a great middle ground. Hot water could shrink your clothing and cause colors to bleed while cold water could be too cold to efficiently rinse the detergent.

Here are a few more quick facts to help you decide:

  • Stained clothing: Treat the stain, then use cool/cold water (warm water can make a stain set) and do NOT put the garment in the dryer if the stain is still visible
  • Energy efficiency: Heating water for your washing machine uses lots of energy. The most sustainable option is to go cool/cold!
read the tag

How do I hand wash my underwear / clothing?

Hand washing underwear and other clothing is a great way to make sure your items are well taken care of. Hand washing is a less rough option than a washing machine and can even be quicker. Any item that is machine washable can also be washed by hand. Follow these steps when you’re ready to properly wash your underwear by hand.

  1. Make sure your sink is clean. (no food residue, toothpaste spots, etc.)
  2. Read the care label to determine the temperature of your water.
  3. Treat any stains with stain remover.
  4. Fill your sink with water and add in a dash of detergent while the water is running. Make sure the detergent is fully dissolved before adding in your underwear.
  5. Fully immerse your underwear and swish it around in the bubbly water. Gently rub the fabric to loosen any dirt or stains then let it soak for five minutes.
  6. Drain the soapy water then rinse your underwear with cool water until there are no more bubbles left.
  7. Do not wring your underwear dry as it could damage the fabric. Instead, lay down a clean dry towel with the wet underwear on top. Roll both the towel and the underwear up while gently pressing down to release the water into the towel. Unroll and place the damp underwear on a new dry towel and allow it to air dry the rest of the way.
  8. Admire your clean underwear.

If you don’t have a washing machine at home, hand washing is a great way to avoid another trip to the laundromat or another trip to your mom’s house to freeload a free load. If you’re tired of doing laundry all of the time, start an underwear subscription. You get a new pair every month, save 35%, get free shipping, access to exclusive prints and can cancel anytime. Check out our women’s underwear subscription or Ball Hammock® pouch underwear subscription. Fearing that commitment? Check out singular pairs of women’s undies and men’s Ball Hammocks™ for all your crotchal needs.

Stay Weird & Get Squeaky Clean

Shinesty Image