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How to Wash Underwear

Written by Stephen Hunt

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HOW TO WASH UNDERWEAR: INTRODUCTION

Clean underwear is important. No one wants to wear a dirty pair, so you need to wash your underwear regularly. However, it’s not as simple as just tossing your underwear into a washing machine, hitting the button, and letting it go. Because underwear is often made from delicate materials, you need to treat it delicately. 

Keep reading to learn how to wash your underwear properly!


HOW OFTEN SHOULD I WASH MY UNDERWEAR?

It is shocking that a large percentage of the population re-wears worn underwear after it has been in contact with their genitals all day. If it is worn “below the belt”, wash your underwear after every use. Washing your underwear regularly helps prevent bacteria from building up that could make you sick and smell badly. Hygiene 101, people!


MACHINE OR HAND WASH?

Although hand washing is often the best way to wash any garment, you do not need to wash your underwear by hand unless the care instructions specifically ask for it. Some fabrics, like lace, should be washed by hand, however most men’s underwear is fine to wash with a machine as long as you make sure to use the delicate cycle so the machine is gentle on your undergarments.


DON’T OVERLOAD YOUR WASHING MACHINE!

Overloading the washing machine will not allow your underwear to be cleaned properly. You need to give it some space to let the water and soap move around freely and come into contact with all parts of the underwear. This allows it to be thoroughly cleaned. 

Overloading your washing machine can also damage whatever you’re washing. Coarse, rougher fabrics like denim or a heavy towel will rub up against the delicate fabric of your underwear and, over time, this constant rubbing will damage your underwear and shorten its lifespan. 


TEMPERATURE OF THE WATER

You should wash your underwear in cold water, whenever possible. Excessive heat will cause your underwear to lose elasticity and shape, which shortens its lifespan. If you want your underwear looking as new as possible, wash in cold water. No one wants dingy duds. 


WHAT KIND OF DETERGENT/SOAP?

Regular, all-purpose detergent is fine, however make sure you refer to the care label on your underwear to make sure it does not require a specific soap. Since underwear directly touches sensitive areas on the human body, to avoid irritation, you do not want to use too strong of a deterrent.

Scent is totally up to you; we won’t judge if you want to smell like a flower, babbling brook, a campfire, or nothing at all.  

As for bleach, do not wash your underwear with chlorine bleach. This will quickly degrade your fabric. 


DRYING

You can dry your underwear in three different ways - tumble dry, air dry, or a combination of the two; any of these drying options get the job done. However, if you decide to tumble dry, make sure the temperature setting is on low or “damp dry”. Excessive heat will wear down the fibers of your underwear and cause them to shrink and become misshapen. It is also a good idea to remove the underwear from the dryer whilst it is still slightly damp and then allow it to finish air drying by hanging on a drying rack, clothes line, or laying on a smooth surface. Avoid any rough surfaces or racks; smooth surfaces help the fabric retain its shape and, thus, last longer. 

Finally, avoid drying your underwear in direct sunlight. This is something that most people don’t know but it is so important if you want your underwear to have a long and happy lifespan. Sunlight causes nylon to become yellow, degrades spandex, and fades colors. Indirect sunlight helps prevent all these issues, which allows your underwear to retain its shape and color as long as possible. 

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So there you have it - everything you need to know to wash your underwear properly. It’s not rocket science, so once you get in the routine of washing it with cold water on the delicate cycle and drying on low, you’ll be an underwear washing pro. If you are still unsure about how to care for your underwear, refer to the care instructions on the label of your garment. For example, all Hunt Underwear products have an easy to read care label that lists the best way to clean your underwear. 

Remember - the better you take care of your underwear, the longer it will last, and long lasting underwear saves you money :).