Delicate work: Five secrets on how to launder your lingerie.

By Ellyn Peratikou

Camisoles, bustiers and of course the unmentionables, we all spend a small fortune on lingerie. But with recent research finding that women spend £836 on the contents of the underwear draw, caring for hosiery properly is essential. From intricate lace to sexy silk or high quality cotton, delicates need to be washed, dried and stored with extra protection. So this winter in approach to the Christmas season, whether your style is Agent Provocateur or M&S intimates, double the life of your lingerie with these five delicate secrets.

Confide in Colour

Neutral, white & black – key lingerie colours are increasingly vulnerable to perspiration and make-up stains, resulting in increased washing and colour fading. To help underwear last longer, let items soak in white vinegar for 10 minutes before the first wash, then rinse before laundering. The acidity of vinegar is a great colour booster and odour eliminator for helping delicate items age gracefully.  

Package with protection

Protect hosiery with straps and under wires by placing them in zippered mesh bags, which will keep them from twisting or snagging.Using a bag with fine mesh such as Wolford Hosiery Wash Bag (£15.00, House of Fraser) will provide extra reassurance that your items are cared for throughout the spin cycle.

Dial Down the Temperature

When laundering underwear garments, it is often tempting to dial up the degrees in order to keep items as fresh as a daisy. These high temperatures can cause delicates to shrink, pucker and misshape, so protect your finery using Dettol Anti-bacterial Laundry Cleanser (£4.50, major supermarket stores) in Soothing Lavender. The additive kills 99.9% of bacteria on rinse cycles as low as 15°C whilst still giving off a fresh fragrance.

Drying the Delicates

Resist the urge to twist and ring your prized processions. Instead pat dry or roll up in a towel to remove excess water before hanging up to finish drying. Use extra care for any items with wires to prevent bending or breaking. Always line dry unless specified on the label.

Sweet Smelling Storage

Toss away those scented drawer liners and sachets whose oils can stain your lingerie. Instead, tuck in an empty bottle of your favourite perfume and wrap it up in a handkerchief to ensure that it doesn’t give off anything but a sweet smelling hint of scent.

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