If there’s one thing that no woman says no to, it’s fancy innerwear. And, it’s not just pushup bras, satin corsets, or lacy nightwear, but also underwear. From G-strings to feel naughty on the special days to briefs during menstruation - we have a host of different styles of underwear stacked up in our cupboards.

These tiny pieces of mostly hidden clothing are very precious to us. Needless to say, they are difficult to take care of. If fact, it’s heartbreaking to see our dearly beloved lingerie, especially the underwear, getting faded or stained. The reason we are stressing on underwear is that they may get ruined more easily because of vaginal fluids.

The big question is, how can you clean your underwear so that they have a longer life. Lingeries, especially underwear, is extremely delicate, and need great care during washing. Here are some simple tips of cleaning your underwear so that you can retain their quality and look, and make them last for a long time.

1. Separate them by colour

This is the basic rule of cleaning underwear - you can’t just dump them all together. Instead, you need to separate them by colour. If you’re lazy, at least separate them into light and dark colours.

2. Wash after every use

It may sound like a lot of hard work, but wash your precious underwear after every use. Your vaginal discharge contains protein, amino acids, and carbohydrates. The acidic fluid is the reason your underwear gets discoloured. In addition, small amounts of blood during pre-menstrual and post-menstrual phases can also stain them.

3. Handwash them

It’s best to hand wash your underwear. All you need to do is use your sink to clean your delicate darlings with your own hands. This is because the process of machine wash can be quite harsh for the soft fabric of the underwear.

4. Check the settings for machine wash

If you’ve decided you’re not going to handwash your underwear, at least make sure to check the settings. Wash them on a gentle cycle.

5. Use laundry bags

Put your underwear in mesh bags and then wash them, especially if you’re planning on machine washing them. This will protect them from getting tangled, and will also save them from all the harshness of the washing process.

6. Wash separately

Whether you’re machine washing your underwear or not, you should make it a point to clean them separately from other pieces of clothing, even your other lingerie. This is because, research says your body contains 1/10th gram of body waste. This means, you’re spreading chances of E-coli. Even if we don’t consider the vaginal fluids or menstrual blood as unclean, it’s not a good idea to wash other clothes in poo-soaked water.

7. Use mild detergent

Well, considering how the whole point is to make sure that all the lace, spandex, satin, or even cotton does not get harsh treatment, it’s a no-brainer that you should only pick mild detergents for washing your underwears.

8. Try enzymatic laundry stain remover

There are plenty of stain removers available in the market. These are gentle enough not to harm the fibres of the fabric. Just soak your underwear in them before cleaning.

9. Try home remedies

You can also make a grainy paste with baking soda or aspirin and apply it on the stained areas. You can use lemon juice or hydrogen peroxide on light-coloured fabrics. Table salt is a good way to get rid of oil stains.

10. Use cold water

Contrary to popular belief, warm water does not help in cleaning fabric. Instead, it makes stains set. Use cold water instead to wash your underwear.

11. Air dry them

Do not machine dry the underwear. While the fabric can still handle gentle cycle washing, it cannot survive machine drying. Your precious itsy-bitsies will be completely stretched and destroyed. Do not iron them, either. Air dry them by spreading them out on a flat surface. It’s best to avoid hanging them, as well. Also avoid direct sunlight, as it can degrade the shape of the underwear and change the colour.

So now you know how to take proper care of your underwear. Most of these rules also apply to bras, shapewear, etc. Just treat them like the expensive babies that they are, and they will last for a really long time!