Once you've put your underwear on, you probably don't give them a second thought. High-quality underwear isn't cheap, though, so it pays to take care of the pairs you own. If you don't want your panties to fade, shrink or stretch out, you'll need to launder them properly. It's safe to clean most underwear in the washing machine. Delicate items, such as those made from silk, fare better when washed by hand.

Non-Delicate Underwear

Step 1

Dab some mild detergent directly into any stains on your underwear. Allow the detergent to soak into the fabric for up to 10 minutes. The detergent loosens stains, making them easier to remove in the washing machine.

Step 2

Turn underwear inside out. If the underwear has lace trim or other embellishments, place it into a mesh laundry bag. The bag will protect the underwear from damage in the washing machine.

Step 3

Put the underwear in the washing machine. Add a capful of mild detergent.

Step 4

Run the washing machine on the gentle cycle with warm water. If you're concerned about sanitizing the underwear, use hot water.

Step 5

Drape underwear over a drying rack after washing, or lay garments flat on a towel to dry. Avoid putting underwear in the dryer. The heat can stretch out the elastic waistband.

Delicate Underwear

Step 1

Massage some detergent into stains on the underwear. Let the detergent set for 10 minutes.

Step 2

Fill a large bowl with warm or cool water. Add a few drops of mild detergent.

Step 3

Submerge the underwear in the water and allow it to soak for several minutes.

Step 4

Squeeze the underwear gently to clean, then rinse it under running water.

Step 5

Press excess water out of the underwear, then dab it with a towel to remove more moisture.

Step 6

Lay the underwear on a towel or hang it up to dry.