There’s a lot more to caring for your underwear than tossing it in the washer and dryer. A variety of factors, including additives, hot water, and mid-summer air drying, can wreak havoc on your favorite pair of undies and speed up the unsightly fading process.
Fortunately, we’re here to help. If you want to keep the color longer in your favorite pair of underwear (whether it’s a bright selection from our Pop Collection or a stylish LUX offering), read on for eight easy tips to stop fading and ensure vivid designs.
Turn Your Underwear Inside Out
We get it: When washing a week’s worth of underwear, this quick step can seemingly take hours. That said, it’s worth the effort: By turning underwear inside out, you’re minimizing the exterior exposure to other fabrics and guarding against damage. Any damage or fiber breakdowns will occur on the inside of your underwear, where it’s out of sight and out of mind.
Skip the Bleach and Fabric Softener
We know you love bleach and fabric softener, but for all their benefits, the liquids are damaging your underwear. Regular bleach wears on your underwear and causes fiber breakdowns, which may lead to fading in time. Fabric softener, meanwhile, may make your fabric feel softer to the touch—but its chemicals are mixing with your fibers and causing damage with each load. Not just that, but it might cause irritation if you have sensitive skin.
(We’re biased, but why use fabric softener when you can have underwear as naturally soft, comfortable, and durable as our LUX Drift Collection? The boxers, briefs, and jock strap are made from a Lenzing MicroModal that offers superior comfort—even after numerous trips through the washing machine.)
Separate Colors—Even With Cold Water
We know you’re pressed for time, but take a few minutes to separate dark and brightly-colored fabrics from white or more muted colors. Even with cold water, it can add months or years to the life of your underwear by limiting its exposure to other dyes.
Separate Materials, Whenever Possible
Don’t just wash brights and colors in separate loads; separate materials whenever possible, as well.
Washing delicate underwear with rougher materials (such as denim) can break down the undergarments’ materials that must faster, which increases fading and eventually breaks down the fabric.
In a perfect world, you’d wash underwear on its own and away from other clothes. Doing so reduces exposure to harsher materials and slows the breakdown process.
Wash in Cold Water
Don’t overlook the importance of cold water when adjusting your washer settings. The lower the heat, the less strain you’re putting on your fabrics—and the fewer fiber breakdowns you’ll experience. This, in turn, improves the longevity of a particular fabric and slows fading.
Follow the Label Instructions
When in doubt, check the label, which should include proper washing instructions. The manufacturer will have provided specific, easy-to-follow directions for getting the most from your underwear and ensuring it doesn’t fade, shrink, pill, or break down with repeated washings.
Hang Dry, Whenever Possible
Tumble drying, even at your machine’s lowest settings, damages your underwear fibers and speeds up the fading process over time. If possible, hang dry your underwear. Even if inside, doing so lengthens its life and prevents fading.
That said, try not to dry in direct sunlight at the height of summer. The sun’s UV rays help break down fibers and can cause lasting damage when underwear is air dried repeatedly, so take care to keep your underwear from the sunniest spots in your yard.
Make the Most of Your Dryer
If you must tumble dry your underwear, don’t wait for the cycle to finish. Check your load after 15 to 20 minutes; if the underwear is dry, remove it immediately. Leaving underwear in the dryer after it’s completely dry only compounds the damage done by the dryer and improves the odds it will speed up the fading process.