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Laundry How To

How to Wash Shapewear Safely Without Shrinking or Stretching

Shapewear – it’s one of those magical things that can transform any outfit, smoothing out your silhouette and enhancing those curves.

Shapewear can be pretty expensive and if you don’t care for it properly, it’s not going to last very long.

So what happens when it comes time to wash your shapewear? Do you pop it at the bottom of the laundry basket, never to be seen until you desperately want to wear it again?

Washing shapewear can be a bit tricky, but with the right techniques and products, you can keep your shapewear in perfect shape without shrinking or stretching for years to come.

If you want to know exactly how to wash shapewear, keep on reading!

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Read the Care Label

Before you clean shapewear, make sure you read the care label to ensure that you’re following the washing instructions. These are delicate garments and the care label will let you know specific washing instructions that you should follow to avoid damaging them.

Here are some important things to look for when reading the care instructions:

  • Hand-wash only: If the care label says that the shapewear should be hand-washed only, then you can’t put it in the washing machine. Hand-washing will help to prevent the fibers from overstretching and losing their effectiveness.
  • Machine-washable: If the care label says that the shapewear is machine-washable, then you can wash it in a washing machine. However, you should still follow the manufacturer’s instructions and use a delicate cycle with cool water.
  • Dry-clean only: If the care label says that the shapewear should be dry-cleaned only, then you shouldn’t be washing it yourself. Send it to a professional cleaner to make sure it’s cleaned properly.
  • Bleach: The care label will also indicate whether or not you can use bleach. If the label says “do not bleach,” then you should avoid using anything with bleach in it as it can damage the fabric and cause it to lose its shape.
  • Drying: The care label will also provide instructions on how to dry the shapewear. Some garments may need to be air-dried, while others can be tumble-dried on a low heat setting.

How to Wash Shapewear – Handwashing Shapewear

What you’ll need to hand wash shapewear

  • Mild detergent / baby shampoo
  • Warm water
  • Basin
  • Clean towel

Hand washing is the most gentle way to clean your shapewear and will help to keep its elasticity. Here’s how you can hand wash shapewear:

  • Fill a basin or your sink with lukewarm water. 
  • Add a small amount of mild detergent or baby shampoo.
  • Submerge the shapewear in the soapy water and gently agitate it (switch it around) for a few minutes.
  • Then let the shapewear soak for 10-15 minutes.
  • Rinse thoroughly with cool water until all the soap/detergent is gone.
  • Don’t wring out the shapewear. Instead, gently press out the excess water.
  • Lay the garment flat on a clean towel and roll it up to remove any excess water.
  • Hang the shapewear to air dry, away from direct sunlight or heat sources.

Hand washing your shapewear may take a little more time and effort than machine washing, but it’s definitely worth it to keep your shapewear looking and feeling its best for longer.

Four women in Shapewear

How to Clean Shapewear – Machine Washing Shapewear

What you’ll need to machine wash shapewear

  • Mesh lingerie bag
  • Mild detergent
  • Clean towel

If you’ve got shapewear that can be machine washed, that’ll save you some time! Here are some tips to help you machine wash your shapewear:

  • Set your washing machine to a delicate or gentle cycle to prevent damaging the fabric.
  • Place your shapewear in a mesh wash bag to protect it from getting tangled with other clothes in the wash. If you don’t have a mesh laundry bag, a pillow case will do.
  • Use a gentle detergent that’s free from any harsh chemicals and bleach.
  • Wash your shapewear on a cool setting to prevent the fabric from shrinking.
  • Avoid using fabric softeners during the wash cycle as they can damage the fabric and reduce its elasticity.

After washing, remove your shapewear from the mesh bag or pillow case and gently squeeze out any excess water. Again, don’t wring or twist the fabric as this can damage the elastic fibers in the garment.

Hang your shapewear to air dry or lay it flat on a towel to dry.

Machine washing your shapewear is definitely more convenient, but just make sure to follow these tips to ensure that your shapewear stays in good condition and lasts longer.

If you want to keep your shapewear looking, feeling and fitting its best, then hand washing is still the best option.

Drying Shapewear

  • Avoid using a dryer: High heat can damage the fabric and cause the shapewear to lose its shape.
  • Don’t wring out your shapewear: Wringing out your shapewear can also damage the fabric and cause it to lose its elasticity. Instead, gently squeeze out the excess water.
  • Hang dry: Hang your shapewear on a clothesline or hanger to air dry. Make sure not to hang it in direct sunlight or near a heat source.
  • Don’t iron: Ironing shapewear can also damage the fabric and cause it to become misshapen.
  • Lay flat to dry: If you don’t have a clothesline or hanger you can use, then you can lay your shapewear on a flat surface such as a towel to air-dry.

How to Wash Shapewear FAQs:

These are some of the frequently asked questions about washing shapewear:

Can you wash shapewear in the washing machine?

Yes, you can machine wash your shapewear, but only if it’s safe to do so. Be sure to check the care label before putting the garment in the washing machine and set it to a gentle/delicate cycle.

Can you use fabric softener on shapewear?

No, we recommend avoiding using any fabric softeners or dryer sheets as they can damage the fabric and reduce its elasticity.

Can you put shapewear in the dryer?

We don’t recommend putting your shapewear in the dryer as this can cause the fabric to shrink and lose its shape. Excessive heat is damaging to the fabric, so it’s best to hang dry or lay flat to air-dry.

How often should you wash shapewear?

It’s best to wash your shapewear after each wear. Sweat, body oils and bacteria can build up in the fabric which can cause it to break down or become less effective over time. Washing your shapewear regularly will help keep it looking, feeling fresh.


How to wash shapewear pin

Now that you know how to clean shapewear, you can keep it looking and feeling its best for years to come. With proper care and maintenance, your shapewear will last much longer!

So hopefully, this guide has given you some useful tips on how to safely wash, rinse and dry your shapewear without shrinking or stretching it.


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