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Why Should You Use a Lingerie Wash?

Disclosure: This article is sponsored by Eucalan

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Lingerie wash is the sort of product most people don't understand the point of. "What's wrong with regular laundry detergent?" is a typical question. "Why is lingerie wash so expensive?" is often next. But lingerie is unique in the world of fashion, and in the same way a leather handbag or a pair of pearl earrings would require special treatment, so too does intimate apparel.

Because lingerie is worn directly next to the skin all day, it absorbs oils, perspiration, fragrances, and surface dirt (things like skin cells and the like). If left on your underwear too long, all these impurities can leave a lasting impression, not just in the form of stains or discoloration, but also in frayed, worn-out or overstretched fabrics. You see, oil - not just naturally produced skin oil, but also lotion, body oil, and fragrance - breaks down elastic fibers. Those elastic fibers are what gives lingerie its ability to "snap back," i.e. the reason why a bra or a pair of knickers isn't completely useless after a few hours of wear. Washing away those oils keeps the elastic fibers from degrading, and gives the garment a chance to "relax" or resume it's original shape.

Eucalan Gift Pack

But we all know that regular laundry detergent, or even hand soap, is enough to wash away oil, so what makes lingerie wash so special? Well, lingerie is incredibly delicate. Even the very cheapest undergarments are made from exceptionally soft fabrics because they have to lay against the most sensitive parts of the body. The tradeoff for this delicacy and softness, however, is that these fabrics don't hold up well to "regular" laundry habits. Traditional detergents are too harsh, and can damage these soft fibers. The vigorous motion of a washer can rip, twist, bend and damage fine details or fragile stitching. Meanwhile, the high temperature and tumbling action of a dryer can ruin elastic. Modern day machine washing saves a lot of time when it comes to everyday clothes, but for intimate apparel, handwashing is still the best solution. Everything else shortens the lifespan of the garment.

There are lots of lingerie washes out there, and I've tried them all, but the thing that really sets Eucalan apart is its all-natural formula. There are no dyes, no brighteners, no enzymes, no bleach, and no synthetic fragrances. Even the bottle is transparent - what you see is what you get. All their scents are made from pure essential oils. In fact, the name Eucalan is derived from Eucalyptus, their original scent, and Lanolin, a natural conditioner. And while I'm talking about it here on TLA as a lingerie wash, Eucalan is perfect for all delicate items - from cashmere, to baby clothes, to silk, to upholstery.

Eucalan all sizes

The best part about using Eucalan, however, is that it's a 1-step process. You just add a little bit of Eucalan to the wash basin, let it soak for 15 minutes, gently squeeze, and then hang your garment to dry. No rinsing required! This part is important, not just because it saves you time, but also because it means less agitation of your delicate lingerie. And less agitation equals less breakage and damage. Eucalan can do this because their formula is free of harsh additives and fillers; there's nothing in their cleanser to hurt or damage your skin.

Eucalan is currently available in 5 fragrance options: eucalyptus, lavender, grapefruit, jasmine and unscented. The company also offers stain-treating wipes (I personally travel with these, and they're a lifesaver). While the company doesn't sell directly to consumers, you can find a complete list of their stockists here, and they're sold all over the world.


If you're going to invest in beautiful lingerie, it only makes sense to invest in taking care of it too. Eucalan makes the process of cleaning your lingerie easy and safe. If you've been wondering about trying a lingerie wash, start with Eucalan.

Have you ever tried a lingerie wash? If so, what did you think? And what tips do you have for handwashing your lingerie?


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Cora Harrington

Founder and Editor in Chief of The Lingerie Addict. Author of In Intimate Detail: How to Choose, Wear, and Love Lingerie. I believe lingerie is fashion too, and that everyone who wants it deserves gorgeous lingerie.

8 Comments on this post

  1. SYuna says:

    I’m a novice to the lingerie world, so at someone’s suggestion I tried Forever New (the Delicate Fabric Wash version) and I’ve been VERY pleased with the results. The ingredients list, or better said the LACK of nasty ingredients, is a big plus when it comes to my overly sensitive skin.

    The only downside is that it does leave a powerful, distinct smell despite making no claims to any specific fragrance. Strangely enough it doesn’t linger on the garment itself after air drying, which is a godsend, but I have to run a ducted fan and rinse the unit where I washed the garment several times to get it to go away.

    I’d be interested to see how Eucalan’s unscented version holds up to this product. It’s always good to have a backup or alternative just in case. I’m glad your blog received this sponsorship so that I could learn a little bit about it, so thank you!

  2. HoveringCatArmy says:

    I have been using Soak to handwash lingerie lately, it doesn’t need rinsing either but I usually do that anyway just in case.
    Lingerie washes that can be used for other sensitive laundry like knitted scarves are always nice, I might try Eucalan one day to see which I prefer.

  3. Margaret says:

    I have a bunch of Eucalan left from cloth diapering my daughter and wasn’t sure what to do with it. Had no idea I could use it on my lingerie – thanks for this tip!

  4. Rebecca says:

    What’s the difference between a lingerie wash like Euclan and a general delicate wash like Woolite? I understand not using regular laundry detergent, but I’m somewhat reluctant to pay for lingerie wash when delicate wash is cheaper and more widely available.

    • Cora says:

      I’ve heard several people say that Woolite is still pretty harsh to use on lingerie, especially compared to a lingerie wash, and creates some of the same issues as regular detergents (such as breaking down elastic fibers). I think Woolite was originally formulated to clean items made from wool, and if that’s the case, then it may not be delicate enough for intimates. But it’s always worth doing an experiment or a test and seeing what works for you.

  5. lia says:

    I’ve been using Eucalan for a while now and I have nothing bad (and everything good!) to say about their products. I do have one tip I’d recommend. I’ve found that handwashing lingerie does not remove all grime from the gusset regardless of the lingerie wash brand. So I use a soft bristled toothbrush to gently scrub the gusset and it only takes a few seconds for each knicker. I feel a little bit embarrassed to talk about that, but it is natural and may help someone else!

    • Cora says:

      Oh, that’s a good tip! Thank you for sharing it.

    • Tegan says:

      I have the same issue. I machine wash my everyday underpants with the rest of my clothes in corresponding colors at a cool temperature, and I have to check them to make sure they’re clean. At least half the time they’re not, so before I dry them I hand rinse in the laundry sink and do any necessary rubbing. I don’t know what it is about vaginal secretions that regular laundry soap doesn’t deal with them properly :(

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