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The Right Way To Wash Underwear

The Right Way To Wash Underwear
Published on April 14, 2022

Washing underwear is more complicated than it looks. It might seem like the easiest way to deal with dirty underwear is to throw it in the washer and let the machine do its work. But it’s not as simple as that. A gung-ho approach to washing delicates is a sure shot way for your clothes to lose their elasticity, comfort and quality of material. All this makes it sound like washing underwear is the kind of job that requires some sort of engineering marvel. It’s really not. All it takes to take care of underwear is knowing the basics. So let’s get into it.

Signs of wear & tear in underwear

The first thing you’d want to do is do an inventory of your wardrobe. Classify your underwear into delicates and non-delicates. There are certain types of fabric such as silk, linen, and certain natural fibres which are quite thin and usually cannot stand washing in the machine. These are called delicates. You’re better off washing these under the sink. Give them a long soak in soapy water if you want to get them extra clean. But you don’t have to learn how to hand wash underwear.

Now, getting down to business — cotton is not usually considered a delicate fabric. There are certain cotton underwear that could be considered delicate because of how thin the lining is. But generally speaking, you don’t need to relearn how to wash underwear in the washing machine. The thing is — if you’re aware of your size, brand new dry fit underwear usually fits like a dream. The colours are vibrant, the elastic is intact and the fabric is fresh & soft. But this honeymoon period doesn’t often last and the number one reason is the improper use of the washing machine. 

How to hand wash underwear

Most people are quite careless about underwear as opposed to the other clothes they buy. When it comes to laundry, underwear and socks are often an afterthought. Which is why after a few cycles, the colours usually fade, the elastic has lost its spring and the fabric feels saggy and worn down. Basically, you’re setting yourself up for disappointment. So how do we avoid that?

Common washing mistakes and solutions

DaMENSCH’s innovative underwear products are sold under the Deo-Soft brand. There are three products that fall under the Deo-Soft umbrella, namely briefs, trunks and boxer briefs. When it comes to briefs and trunks, the underwear is composed of a blend of supima cotton and micro modal fabric. Supima cotton is a world class long fibre cotton, that has significant strength of fabric and usually last a long time. The micromodal fabric adds to the softness. 

But with great softness comes great responsibility. Make sure you read the wash care instructions on the back of the pack when you buy the product to learn the correct way on how to wash underwear. There are four clear instructions — machine wash gently, line dry in shade, don’t use bleach & do not iron or print or dry clean. These may seem like do’s, but they’re actually don’ts. Let’s break down each of these instructions to examine why they are important to the care of the product. 

First of all, in today’s age of fuzzy logic washing machines, most people are quick to dump a whole load of their clothes into the washing machine, turn on the power, and let the machine automatically figure out a cycle for itself. Usually, the machine makes this calculation based on the volume of the load, and follows the same standard cycle. This is the first mistake. 

The normal wash cycle, which runs by default, uses a high agitation rate and higher wash temperature to get the mess out of clothes that you wear every day. This might be necessary for jackets, bedsheets, jeans and such, but it’s a little too much for your underwear to handle. Remember, the normal wash cycle is not a one size fits all solution. For underwear, use the gentle wash cycle, or delicate wash cycle. This uses a low agitation rate and wash temperature. Essentially, it’s a wash cycle that’s useful if you don’t know how to hand wash underwear. This will do plenty to get dirt, grease and sweat off your underwear. The soap does most of the work. The low agitation rate protects the fabric, and makes your underwear last longer.

How to wash underwear

The second thing to pay attention to is the drying. We’ve all been in a situation where we do panic laundry — you realize you need your clothes to dry fast, and quite literally, make hay while the sun shines. Every bachelor has a foldable laundry stand that they drape their clothes on and leave out in the sun. This is not the best way to dry clothes. Direct exposure to sunlight for many hours is a foolproof recipe for fading. Instead, choose to dry your clothes, well spaced out, on a clothesline in the shade. Your clothes might take slightly longer to dry, but it’s absolutely worth it for their overall longevity. 

Don’t use bleach — this one is obvious. One might be tempted to use bleach to get stubborn stains out of clothes, but this is bad news for underwear. Bleach is harsh and has a detrimental effect on the fabric and colours, particularly on the colours. Dry-cleaning is also a quick-fix laundry solution usually done by people who are traveling, or need a large quantity of laundry done for dry fit underwear. The chemical used in dry-cleaning, Perchloroethylene, or PERC for short, is quite harsh on clothes, in addition to being a neurotoxin and carcinogen. So it’s better to do multiple cycles at home if you don’t know how to hand wash underwear.

Benefits of proper wash care

We’d recommend following it quite strictly. It does take a little more effort than regular laundry, but over the long term, washing your underwear properly saves a lot of money, time and frustration. Of course, you don’t have to be a hundred percent careful every time. For example, our boxer briefs are composed of a mix of modal and spandex. This fabric can take a bit more of a beating. You can let the machine do the washing, but gentle wash is recommended. Whatever you do, don’t use a brush! It’s harsh. 

Pro tip: Having a separate day to wash underwear goes a long way towards longetivity of the fabric and colours, because you’re more likely to take proper care and follow wash care instructions if you do it on a dedicated time of the week. Innerwear can last a long time if treated well, just like other clothes. They might be called delicate, but that doesn’t mean they go bad easily. They just need different care. 

Happy washing!

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