How to Take Care of Your Underwear


The idea to start taking care of my clothes started with new underwear.

After four years of getting pregnant, gaining weight, breast feeding, losing weight (or not losing weight), repeat, I thought it was time for new underwear.

And because I dropped a C-note on said undies, I wanted to make sure I took good care of them.

And because the world’s landfills don’t need anymore pairs of dirty skivvies.

Okay, let’s start on top with booby-holders.

The big question:  Do I fasten my bras when I wash them?

Answer:  No.  Because you don’t wash them in the washing machine anymore.

At $40+ a bra, I now hand wash them after a few wearings.  Forty dollars!  Plus the joy of dealing with boobs.

Wash similar-colored bras together.  Use a small amount of gentle detergent, like a tablespoon, with cool water.  Swish it around some.  You might take care not to snag anything with your rings.

Soak it for 15 minutes or more.  I’ve usually got a dozen other domestic duties hanging over me so it’s not unheard of for bras to spend an hour or so in the bathroom.  Like the hubs sometimes, I swear…

Really rinse it.  Bras are a bane as it is, no need to add mystery rash.  Plus leftover detergent will break down the fabric, you’ll find yourself reachin’ for $40+ sooner than you planned.  Don’t wring out the water like a dishcloth.  You can squeeze but don’t wring…

Dry on a towel.  Or hanging them off of door knobs all around the house like I’ve been known to do.  I dry all my lingerie inside.  Sunlight, of which we have ample here in Albuquerque, can fade colors.  Some might also have an issue with neighbors checking out their unmentionables but clearly not a concern for me if I’m sharing this post with you online.

Fold a bra in on itself to help it keep its shape.


Learning way too early.

Oh, and speaking of shape, don’t wear the same brassiere two days in a row.  Apparently they need a day off.  Does this apply to mothers too?

Okay, if you are going the machine route, DO hook the bras, put them in a garment bag or pillow case (to keep underwires from hurting your machine) and wash in cool water, on delicate.  But please for the love of God, don’t use the dryer.


Taking care of underwear is easy right?  Throw it in the machine, set to super hot and walk away, right?  Well, maybe not.  I’m not backpacking through Eastern Europe so I’m not going to hand wash undies but I have adopted a slightly less college-like routine.

Washing:  no bleach, no dryers.  The first hurts the fabric (and can turn it yellow), the latter hurts the fabric and might shrink your undies.  Go Lord I

Also used to wash her bunny.

don’t need that.

Wash in a netty, delicates bag.  This is really to keep things from getting wrapped around old school top-loader agitators or rubbing against harder fabrics like your jeans.  But for me it keeps all the undies together so I don’t miss any and accidentally put some in the dryer. [Turn undies inside-out and don’t overload.  You want some movement in there.]

Oh I separate the colors here too.

Wash in warm, not hot (Have you felt the warm cycle of your washer?  It is PLENTY hot) and rinse in cold.  I hang them out to dry in the pantry because our little home affords no other space.

I keep undies in a soft, separate container.  This keeps them away from the sides of the wooden drawers, reducing the chance for any snags.  Or getting caught on buttons or other clothes.  I actually do roll up undies this way.  It’s about the only thing I took with me from my time in military training.  I only have a dozen pairs and when I do this it makes me feel like I’m getting new panties from a lingerie store every week.  If that’s all it takes to make me feel special…

Ideally you should check your all your bras and undies for special care.  And if you happen have anything outside the “wash in water” care, Congrats!  You amaze me!  Silk?  You naughty mommy, you!

July 10, 2014

About Me

About Me

I’ve been passionate about combatting blind consumerism since 2008 and joined the Zero Waste movement by starting this blog in 2013, soon after my second child was born. I think it might have been trying to unwrap a toy or someone’s attempt to sell me a butt-wipe warmer that put me over the edge… read more



  1. IronMike

    This was not what I was thinking about when you responded to last week's post. Dammit!


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published.