There’s nothing quite like a brand new pair of underwear: the colors are vibrant, the fabric is soft, the elastic fits perfectly, and best of all — your package feels good and looks great. Though over time it’s almost impossible to maintain the look and feel of just-bought undies, there are definitely a few ways to keep them looking fresh.
“Delicates” is commonly thought of as anything relating to women’s underwear, but the term is just as applicable for men’s undergarments because, well, men’s underwear can be delicate. Follow these easy do’s and don’t’s for washing your underwear; the results will speak for themselves, hopefully in more ways than one.
1. DO Check The Labels: Not all underwear is made equally. There are different types of fabrics on the market today that all require different care. You want underwear that lasts as many months as dollars spent? We thought so. Follow the instructions.
2. DO Know Your Material: Can’t read your tags? Here’s a quick breakdown of how you should be washing different types of fabrics:
100% Cotton: Separate lights from darks, and wash separately. Machine wash in warm (not hot) water and air dry in the shade. If you’re in a hurry, tumble dry on the lowest heat setting and remove as soon as dry.
Stretch Cotton: Separate lights from darks, and wash separately. Machine wash in cold to warm water, and don’t use bleach or fabric softener; air dry.
Microfiber: Wash in cold to warm water on a very basic cycle or permanent press. Synthetics dry very quickly and don’t tolerate heat very well, in fact they can even melt in the dryer. That’s why it’s always best to skip drying your synthetic underwear all together.
Natural Fibers (Modal, Bamboo, etc): Separate lights from darks, and wash separately.
Sheer or Mesh Fabrics: These fabrics are more delicate than others and run the risk of rips and tears if washed with rough materials like jeans or towels. Wash them in the delicates cycle in cold to warm water and air dry on a flat surface.
3. DON’T Use A Hot Dryer: As you can see above most fabrics need to be air dried, or tumble dried on the lowest setting possible. The reason? A hot dryer not only fades colors, but can also create friction that will stretch the fabric, elastic, and waistband.
4. DON’T Dry In Direct Sunlight: UVA and UVB rays aren’t just damaging to our skin, they also can damage fabric by fading colors and weakening them. That’s why it’s always best to air dry in the shade.
5. DON’T Use Bleach or Fabric Softener: When the time comes to wash your undies, neither are necessary and can do lots of damage. Bleach is a harsh chemical that will damage delicate items like underwear and should only be used sparingly when necessary. While using fabric softener on your underwear seems like a good idea in theory, the softening agents and fragrances leave damaging residue.
6. DO Hand Wash When Possible: If you’re on the fence about how to properly care for a particular pair of underwear, hand washing is always a safe bet. Without the harsh conditions of a washing machine, underwear remains looking newer for much longer. Not only that, but this means they’ll fit just as well as the first wear…
Photo Credit: The Underwear Expert