You've spent a pretty penny on pretty panties and beautiful bras. It would be a shame to see your lovely lace, silk, and satin knickers disintegrate in the wash after only one wear, so it's important to take special care of the most delicate duds in your drawer.
First and foremost, read the tags. If your bras and panties are "dry clean only," don't throw them in the wash with your sturdier things. If you can't drop the cash to dry clean, invest in a home dry cleaning system like Dryel ($12.50 for a starter kit) that utilizes the heat from your dryer and a dry cleaners' formula stain removal cloth.
If your undies call for hand washing, fill your sink with cold water and a wash specially formulated to tackle special care fabrics. Le Blanc Silk & Lingerie Wash ($33) doesn't contain bleach or caustics, so elasticity and color are perfectly preserved. The wash won't leave a soapy residue, but still rinse your garments in cool water, then lay flat and out of direct sunlight to dry.
Thinking about throwing your underthings in the washing machine? That's fine for some pieces, but take extra precautions by putting your panties in a mesh lingerie wash bag ($5.50) and your bras in a cylinder-shaped bra bag ($8) to ensure they don't get tangled or stretched. Stick with the cold water cycle and choose a delicate setting if available. Also make sure all clasps and closures are fastened; you don't want your bras or garters to snag and tear your laundry.
Finally, if you're on the go, keep your lingerie in good shape by investing in a silk-lined travel bag with pockets for your bras and panties. Zazendi's Swirl-print lingerie envelope ($50) is almost too pretty to stow in your luggage and will keep your delicates looking brand spanking new. A little travel tip: slip balled pairs of socks under your bras to help them keep their cup shape and keep them from getting unflatteringly flattened in your suitcase.
And for more knicker saving info, take a peek at our Laundry Guide.