We all know we should be giving our smalls extra care and attention when it comes to washing, but corsets require even more TLC than your average lingerie. For starters, they’re definitely not cheap so the last thing you want to do is ruin your brand new corset after its first wear!
Here’s how to keep your corset lovely and clean, without doing it any damage…
1. Be sure to hand-wash
I hope this one’s obvious! A lot of love and care has gone into crafting each and every corset, and piling that into a machine that spins around at 1000 revolutions a minute is definitely not going to do it any favors! Eyelets can catch, laces can get tangled and just that constant battering from being spun around is sure to do some damage.
I’ve been guilty of popping my everyday lingerie in the washer every now and then, but when it comes to my corsets I always hand-wash. It takes just ten minutes and your corset will last years longer!
2. Use a mild detergent
Not sure of the difference between bio and non-bio? Biological washing powders contain enzymes that ‘eat’ the dirt off your clothes, but then can also eat away at the fabric a little bit and over time this will leave any garment looking threadbare and old!
Be sure to use a gentle, non-bio washing powder or, better still, a specially formulated hand-washing powder as that will be gentle on your hands too.
3. Don’t heat dry
If you can’t machine wash, then obviously you can’t tumble dry, but neither should you pop your corset on top of a radiator or hang it out to dry in the midday sun. Extreme heat can warp the steel boning, making the corset not only less perfectly-shaped but also less comfortable to wear. The heat can also warp the fabric itself depending on what it’s made from.
Instead, once you’ve hand-washed your corset, wrap it up in a soft, fluffy towel and squeeze gently to remove as much of the excess water. Then lay the corset flat – don’t hang – over a clothes horse as you wood with any garment than can lose its shape such as wool.
4. Don’t deep-wash every time
If you follow the three steps above you’ll great increase the longevity of your corset. However, no matter how careful you are you’ll age your corset a little bit with every single wash so for best results, only wash your corset when you really need to, not after every wear.
If you’ve only had the corset on for an hour or two, it probably doesn’t need washing. If you plan to wear it all day, wear a tube liner underneath which will stop it coming into direct contact with your skin so that it stays cleaner for longer.
To give your corset a quick spruce up without giving it a full, deep clean, you can remove slight odors by spritzing diluted rubbing alcohol or dusting talcum powder onto the inside. Remove small stains with a stain-remover, but only after you’ve tested a tiny amount somewhere inconspicuous to make sure it won’t damage the fabric – natural fabrics such as silk are notorious for discoloring with stain remover!
5. Get it dry-cleaned
Finally, if you simply don’t have the time to care for your corset properly, or it’s got a pretty big stain you can’t remove by hand-washing, a corset can be dry-cleaned. However, the chemicals used in dry-cleaning aren’t great so as with any type of washing, this should only be done every once in a while.
Be sure to ask your dry cleaner if they’ve got experience with corsets, as not all of them do and they’ll rarely refund you if the process goes wrong!
Do you have any other tips on cleaning your corset? I’d love to hear them!