How to Wash Underwear So It Lasts Longer

Everything you need to know about washing your underwear
How to Care for Your Underwear So It Lasts Longer! recommended washing machine settings, retractible clothes line, delicates bag and detergent

In lieu of an underwear review this week, I wanted to share a few more tips with you on making your underwear last longer! After all, why go to the trouble of trying to find the most comfortable panties if they don’t last a while?? A big part of it is how you wash and dry your delicates, so today I am breaking down a few easy suggestions for you.

How to Care for Your Underwear So It Lasts Longer

Use a delicates bag

I am a bigggg believer in using delicates bags. I keep mine on a hook next to our laundry bin so that I can easily keep my underwear separate from the rest of the laundry. Now Sean knows that anything in that bag does not go in the dryer… meaning he no longer shrinks my clothing! I actually have two of these bags: one for bras and panties and the other for delicate clothing. It just allows me more flexibility to wash the delicates separately and with different settings.

Wash on cold and use the gentle cycle

Speaking of different settings, I always wash my underwear (and pretty much all of our textiles and clothing) on cold. This helps to prevent color fading and is better for the environment. I also recommend using a gentle cycle on your washing machine so that it agitates the clothing less in the wash.

Invest in gentle detergent

So many people recommend using The Laundress Delicates Wash for underwear and bras. I personally do not use it because I like my Mrs. Meyers and feel like it’s gentle enough. But now that I’m a self-proclaimed underwear scholar, I might need to step up my game! Also, be sure not to use too much because you want the detergent to rinse out completely… and skip the bleach because that can eat away at the fabric and elastic.

Don’t use fabric softener

I am a firm believer in not using fabric softener for any of our laundry, but especially for underwear. Because it’s so close to the skin and other delicate body parts, fabric softener is a big no no. Not only does it reduce the absorbency of the fabric (something to know when it comes to period panties especially!), it also builds up in the fabric over time. This means that it can form a barrier on the fabric that prevents water and soap from absorbing… gross. Not to mention that you never really what weird chemicals, artificial colors, and synthetic fragrances are used in the liquid. Just skip it all together — no one actually needs fabric softener for any laundry in my opinion.

Skip the dryer and line dry instead

Honestly, skip all the other recommendations in this post if it means you’ll actually do this one! The heat of a dryer is the number one culprit of misshapen, shrunken, faded, and worn out underwear. The heat literally breaks down the elastic! Instead, get a drying rack or install a clothes line to air dry your delicates. The retractible clothes lines are awesome because they all but disappear when not in use!

Gently reshape before drying

I also recommend reshaping your underwear when you pull it out of the washing machine and place it to dry. This is especially true with bras! I swear, once you start doing this, you’ll really notice the difference in how your undergarments fit.

Pay attention to fabric content

I love cotton underwear and wear mostly that, so my laundering process is simpler. But if you have synthetics, I highly recommend not using a fabric softener. Fabric softener works by coating the fabric which can diminish some of the features you want a synthetic pair of underwear to have (like moisture wicking). Softeners also don’t rinse out, so that is one more chemical you’d be putting against your delicate skin. No thanks!

Do you have any other tips and tricks to add to this list of ways to make your underwear last longer? Leave a comment and let me know!

Behind The Blog

Joanna Hawley-McBride is a Pacific Northwest-based social media strategist, content creator, and former textile designer. Joanna is the founder and editor-in-chief of Jojotastic, a lifestyle blog focused on Joanna’s work-in-progress cabin, finding the best pair of underwear through #UnderwearThesis, and empowering women to explore nature — all in her signature unfiltered style. Her work has been featured in Domino, CNBC, and Eating Well.

Let's stay in touch:

Shop my picks on Amazon

Shop now

Please note that I use affiliate links at times here, as well as on my social media accounts. This means that if you click on a link to a product and purchase that product, I may receive a commission based on your purchase. I only feature products that truly inspire me. Any products that have been gifted to Jojotastic for review are noted at the bottom of the post. Sponsored posts are noted as such. All opinions are my own and always will be! Thanks for supporting content that keeps Jojotastic going.

Leave a Comment