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How to Safely Launder Lingerie and Intimates

Easy care of fine lingerie means finding a detergent that cleans well but is gentle on delicate fabric and skin. This article discusses why Heritage Park Laundry Detergent is a great option for washing intimates of all kinds.

There’s no doubt about it: slipping into fine lingerie is one of life’s great pleasures. Beautiful lingerie can boost your mood, confidence, and your sense of empowerment. Of course, it also feels fabulous. The U.S. lingerie market is valued at approximately $9 billion in 2022, with strong growth projected for the future. Whether we’re shopping time-honored brands like Victoria’s Secret or Frederick's of Hollywood; subscribing to curated deliveries from Adore Me or Burgundy Fox; creating fun, customizable pieces from Lolli Popitt; or exploring celebrity offerings like Rihanna’s Savage x Fenty or Kim Kardashian’s Skims, one thing is clear: lingerie is a national obsession.

The only downside for lingerie lovers? Worrying about how to safely -- and effectively -- clean fine lingerie and delicates. Should you machine wash or hand wash? If you go with a washing machine, what cycle?

Safely wash your expensive lingerie and intimates with Heritage Park Laundry Detergent

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The Clean Team at Heritage Park Laundry Essentials is here with great news:

  1. You can skip the fancy, overpriced dedicated lingerie-only detergents for washing bras, underwear, and other delicate garments.
  2. You absolutely should wash your lingerie with a gentle detergent made to clean and care for fine fabrics like Heritage Park All-Purpose fragrance free formula.
  3. Many luxury garments can be washed in your machine on a delicate cycle in a mesh laundry bag (see below) with a mild detergent like ours.

Easy care of your lingerie and intimates begins with choosing the right detergent. Read on to learn more about why Heritage Park is perfect for your fine washables. We also deliver easy-to-follow instructions hand washing and machine washing lingerie, panties, bras, shape-wear, socks, tights, and hosiery.

Heritage Park All-Purpose Laundry Detergent: Perfect for Lingerie (and Your Skin)

Your “intimate apparel” is appropriately named; it touches the most sensitive parts of your skin. Using harsh detergents can damage delicate fabric and irritate your skin. Fragrance Free Heritage Park All-Purpose Detergent is different. Its concentrated, pH-neutral formula is hypoallergenic, non-irritating, and dermatologist tested. Our detergents contain no dyes, sulfates, phosphates, chlorine, bleach or brighteners. Instead, they are made with a short list of natural and naturally sourced, plant-based ingredients (read more about our ingredients here). Heritage Park All-Purpose can effectively clean your delicate items while protecting them -- and your skin -- from damage. It’s even safe to use on baby clothing and bedding! (Note: we also produce All-Purpose Detergent in Shore Breeze for those who prefer a light and subtle scent).

At Heritage Park, we are committed to making gentle, quality, detergent products and offering complete transparency to our customers. Our stewardship guidelines are founded on this trust. Safe, natural, and healthy products don't just happen. They come from a commitment to your family's health and safety and a deliberate, thoughtful selection of ingredients. We developed our All-Purpose Detergent to be gentle on people, pets, and our planet. (And, of course, we are proudly Leaping Bunny approved as never testing our products on animals).

Heritage Park All-Purpose Laundry Detergent is perfect for washing lingerie

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Laundry Enzymes: Our Secret Weapon for Treating Stains

At the same time, any detergent carrying the Heritage Park name needs to get the job done. So how do we do it? With the cleaning power of natural enzymes. Similar to the enzymes in saliva that break down food as we chew, laundry enzymes are incredibly effective at treating stains, particularly biological stains like blood, sweat, and other body fluid.

Both versions of our All-Purpose Laundry detergent contain a proprietary blend of natural enzymes, each of which target a specific type of stain. Most stains -- especially biological stains -- are protein based. Enzymes work to break down protein-based stains and release them from fabric. While we can’t give away our secrets, we can share that our enzyme blend contains, among other enzymes, protease, which specifically targets biological stains. You can learn more about how enzymes work here: How do Enzymes in Laundry Detergent Break Down and Remove Tough Stains.

When NOT to Use an Enzyme Detergent: Protein-Based Fabric Like Silk

As wonderful and effective as laundry enzymes are, they should not be used for regular laundering of fabrics like wool and cashmere or your pure silk lingerie. Laundry enzymes work by breaking down proteins in stains. These fabrics are themselves protein based. Prolonged use of enzyme detergents will eventually damage the delicate fibers of silk lingerie. For a washable silk undergarment, we recommend using our Luxury Silk and Wool Detergent which is hypoallergenic and fragrance free (also available in Lavender Mist which is gently scented with natural essential oil).

With that said, you can treat biological stains on silk lingerie on a limited basis with our enzyme detergent. We recommend adding detergent and water to a spray bottle and spot treating the stain prior to laundering.

7 Steps for Washing Lingerie and Fine Intimates
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7 Steps for Washing Lingerie and Fine Intimates

Follow these seven easy steps to successfully wash your lingerie at home in the washing machine:

  1. Always read the care label before machine washing and follow directions (everyday bras, for example, may go easily in the machine, while fancier models with lace and wire require hand washing. Certain brands of shapewear, including Spanks, also recommend washing by hand).
  2. If your item has any removable charms or adornments you want to make sure to remove those before washing. Tie any strings or ribbons to prevent tangling.
  3. Pre-treat any stains as needed.
  4. Place your items in a lingerie bag, also known as a fine mesh laundry bag. A mesh bag will protect delicate fabric from tearing and snagging inside the machine. Learn more about how and why to use a mesh lingerie wash bag here. Put no more than two or three items in each bag (depending on size) and don’t overload your machine).
  5. Add the appropriate amount of Heritage Park detergent (never use fabric softener or dryer sheets; these can leave unpleasant build-up on fabric and your machines)
  6. Use a delicate wash cycle and cool or warm water. Hot water can break down fine fabric.
  7. Hang your items to air dry away from direct sunlight on a drying rack or dry on a clean white towel. Avoid putting these delicate items in the dryer since many contain elastics that give them a contoured fit and this material can be damaged over time by the heat of a dryer.

If you are hand washing bras or delicate items, a mesh bag is not needed. Pre-treat stains as needed. Fill a container or sink with cool water or lukewarm water and dissolve the appropriate amount of detergent. Place items in and gently “swish” around; leave them to soak for no more than five minutes unless necessary to remove stains. Rinse in cold water and blot to remove excess water (do not wring!). Lay flat or use a drying rack.

Questions About Delicate Lingerie Care? Contact Us!

If you have questions about the care of your lingerie, bra, clothing, or home linens, feel free to contact us at The Heritage Park Clean Team is here to offer answers and assistance!

Heritage Park Laundry Essentials

At Heritage Park, caring for fine fabric is our passion. As lifelong collectors of luxury sheets, towels, and cloths, we found many commercially available "gentle detergents" either damaged our fabrics or didn't get the job done, leaving stains. We knew we could do better. So we developed a formula with the perfect balance of powerful -- yet safe -- ingredients designed to remove tough, set-in stains while gently washing delicates. Please connect with us at (800) 977-1841 or visit our store with any product feedback or cleaning questions.

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