Buying lingerie can be a lot like buying bathing suits–mostly unenjoyable. I say this because you will stand there in the dressing room, underneath the fluorescent lighting, pulling and tugging at each item hoping that it will lay better, hug your cuves a little less and make your breast look great. Just like a bathing suit, you want these items to emphasize everything that’s perfect and play down all that isn’t. It can be frustrating! But as frustrating as it can be, there’s no greater moment when you find that item (lingerie or bathing suit) that does everything you need it to, looks killer and doesn’t even really break the bank. Then you buy it, wear it as much as possible and love it until it’s seen some better days.

However, because finding these items can occasionally be a rarity, you need to take extra good care of them to ensure you can get the longest life out of them. Do you know how to properly take care of your lingerie? No? No worries. Use these tips for your expensive bras, your Adam and Eve bustiers and even your delicate panties.

When you first buy a new piece of lingerie you may feel like it’s safe to wear right away. However, you should actually wash it first in order to protect your skin. Many lingerie garments are coated with chemicals that will be imperative to wash off before you put it close to your most intimate of parts. Use this washing process for the first time and then every time from there on out. The amount you wash your lingerie is up to you, but for items that receive more wear like bras, it’s recommended that you wash them about every two to three weeks.

First, separate by color, like you do with all your normal clothing. You don’t want to accidentally turn some of your white garments into a brown, dingy mess.

Make a few color water baths (depending on the amount of lingerie or differing colors. You can use the washing machine or tub if you have a lot of the same color, but be sure to not actually turn the washing machine on.

Add detergent that’s made with delicate clothing in mind, to all of your cold water baths. Make sure you swirl around so it dissolves completely.

Then remove any detachable metal pieces (don’t worry about the hook and eyes or underwire). This will help keep these pieces from rusting over time. No Bueno.

Submerge each piece once they have been fully prepped and let them soak in the water for about 10 minutes. Move each item around once it has soaked and worked the detergent in the pieces. Be careful not to squeeze or distort the padded cups as this could permanently destroy the shape of your garments.

Thoroughly rinse out all of the detergents once you feel like you have properly soaked and scrubbed each piece. Don’t be conservative with the water. Make sure you get ALL of the detergents out. Failing to do so could cause your skin to get irritated the next time you wear it.

Finally, you can either lay flat to dry, hang to dry or throw it in a lingerie bag to put in the dryer. However, most items, especially ones with boning, extensive metal or spandex should not be placed in the dryer. Your best bet is to lay it flat in its exact shape to dry.

When they finished drying, put them neatly way in their shape.

Following these steps will help add life to your lingerie as well as ensure that it’s clean and safe to wear!

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