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Clean underwear in a washing machine

How to Wash Underwear

Keep Your Family’s Undies Clean with This Guide

Keeping your family’s clothes clean is very important — especially their undies — but do you know how to wash underwear and keep it clean, hygienic, and intact?

Persil are here to show you that washing underwear doesn’t have to be confusing. Whether you’ve always wanted to know how to hand wash underwear, the best temperature to wash underwear at or how to wash underwear to kill bacteria, we’ve got some great advice and handy tips to share.

Follow our advice and make washing underwear quick and simple.


Washing underwear often gets a bit of a bad reputation for being difficult. Why? Well, there are a few reasons why underwear may not be your favourite type of clothing to wash.

Firstly, when it comes to washing some types of underwear, like washing bras, you may be concerned that the delicate fabric could become damaged in the washing machine. Secondly, you may not be sure how to properly kill off any germs and bacteria. And finally, you may feel confused about whether these clothes can be washed with your normal laundry.

Don’t worry. We’ll cover all this here in our simple ‘how to wash underwear’ guide.


Washing underwear in the washing machine is usually no problem for underwear made out of cotton or synthetic fibres – simply follow the directions on the garment care tag. However, washing underwear in the sink (or a handwashing basin or bucket) is the recommended method for any items that are made out of delicate fabrics, like lace or silk. Always check the garment care tag beforehand if you're unsure.

  • To begin washing underwear in the sink, fill the sink basin with lukewarm water mixed with a dose of detergent that is designed for washing delicate fabrics, like 

  • Soak the underwear for 30 minutes, before swishing it around gently to loosen any dirt.

  • Rinse the underwear thoroughly until you are sure that all the detergent has been removed.

  • Gently squeeze out the underwear, without wringing, before hanging it up to air dry.


If you’re dealing with delicate fabrics, like lace trims, you may be wondering whether it’s best to machine wash or hand wash underwear. Just follow these tips to help you:

  • Always check the care label to see if your underwear can be machine washed. 

  • In most cases, washing underwear in the machine should produce great results but extra delicate items might recommend a softer handwash.

  • Put items in a laundry bag or pillowcase. This can help prevent snagging and damage to the material while items are being tossed about in the washing machine drum.

  • Measure and add your favourite Persil detergent to your washing machine.

  • If items are suitable for machine washing, you'll need to know how to hand wash underwear in the sink. Start by using the right amount of a gentle, handwashing detergent. 

  • Always remember that the recommended detergent dose for handwashing is slightly less than it is for machine washing. If you’re using Persil liquid, for example, you should dilute 17ml of detergent in 5 litres of water for handwashing or use 35ml (1 capful) in the machine. Adding too much detergent can leave a soapy residue so be careful!


A common question that’s often asked is “should you wash underwear separately from other items of clothing?” There’s really no hard and fast rule, and it all comes down to personal preference. Some considerations you might want to make are:

  • Are there likely to be accidents? If you’ve got children who are potty training, accidents can happen. Soiled underwear is always best washed separately from other clothing.

  • Do you have enough underwear to fill a load of laundry? Putting your machine on without a full load can waste water, energy, and detergent! Either choose a shorter cycle or “half load” option on your machine or consider handwashing if you really must wash these items separately for other clothes.

With these tips on how to wash underwear at home, getting your bras and undies clean will be easier than ever!