Easy Tips for Hand-Washing Underwear in Your Bathroom Sink

Use our step-by-step guide to hand-wash your underwear to keep it clean, stain-free & smelling fresh.

Published December 15, 2022
Seamless female panties in the hands of the girl

Your undies are an important clothing article, and some cost a small fortune. So, don't put them through the rigorous agitation of the washer if you don't need to. But does hand-washing truly get them clean?

Hand washing your underwear will get them just as clean as throwing them in the washer with the added benefit of possibly helping them last longer. It's also quick and easy. So, if you're into keeping your undies fresh and making them last, it's time to learn how to wash them by hand. No, you don't need to find a river and a rock. Your sink works perfectly!

Undies Hand Washing Quick Start Guide

If you only have a minute, this at-a-glance table will provide the info you need to get started, or you can learn extra tips and tricks with in-depth methods.

To... You'll Need... Method
Hand wash 1 tablespoon mild laundry detergent, white towel Soak in cold water and detergent. Rinse. Roll in towel to remove moisture. Air dry.
Remove blood stains from white undies Cold water + hydrogen peroxide, or lemon juice Soak in cold water overnight to remove as much stain as possible. If needed, saturate a cloth with ingredient of choice and blot stain. Rinse & air dry.
Remove blood stains from colorful undies Cold water + baking soda/water paste Soak in cold water overnight to remove as much stain as possible. Spread paste on stain and let sit for 30 minutes. Rinse & air dry.
Remove poo stains Cold water + enzyme cleaner Add cleaner directly to stain & let it sit for an hour. Rinse & hand wash.
Remove odor Hot water + ¼ cup baking soda (colors) or ¼ cup white vinegar (whites) Add ¼ cup of baking soda or vinegar to hot water. Soak for an hour. Rinse & hand wash.

Simple Steps to Hand Wash Underwear With Ease

You peek at the care tag on your new undies, and it recommends hand washing. It's okay. No need to panic. Your effort will be quick and minimal. Most of the time, handwashing is all about soaking.

You'll Need

  • Mild laundry detergent (silk or delicates detergent recommended)
  • Sink with plug
  • White towel


  1. Sort the undies into like colors. You'll wash each color separately.
  2. Plug the sink and fill it with cool water. (Cold water is best to avoid setting any stains.)
  3. Add a tablespoon of detergent.
  4. Add undies and swish them around in the water.
  5. Use your finger to pay special attention to the gusset (crotch fabric).
  6. Allow them to soak for 15 to 45 minutes.
  7. Swish them around in the water again.
  8. Pull the plug and rinse with clean, cool water.
  9. Lay your underwear on a white towel.
  10. Roll them to remove any excess water.
  11. Hang to dry.

And that's it, my friends. Hand washing is so simple.

Woman reading handwash label on blue bodysuit

How to Remove Blood Stains From Underwear

Despite your best efforts, you had a leak in your favorite undies. Don't worry! They aren't destined for the trash. You can get blood stains out if you act fast. Before you even reach for a cleaner, run your favorite undies under cold water. Never use hot - it's just going to bind the blood to the fabric and negate your efforts.

  1. Put the stain directly under cold water.
  2. Use your fingers to help break up the stain.
  3. Soak the underwear in cold water overnight.
  4. Treat with hydrogen peroxide, baking soda, lemon juice, or saliva (see below) and hand wash.

Hydrogen Peroxide

You pulled your underwear out of the cold water and still notice a bit of dark stain. It's time to reach for hydrogen peroxide and a white cloth. Use a gentle hand, especially with your delicates. Don't use hydrogen peroxide on colorful fabric, since it can fade the colors.

  1. Soak a corner of the washcloth in hydrogen peroxide.
  2. Dab at what remains of the stain.
  3. Repeat until the stain lifts.
  4. Rinse with cold water.
  5. Allow to air dry.

Lemon Juice

If you don't have baking soda, raid your refrigerator for lemon juice or a lemon to help. Steer clear of lemon juice for dark or vibrant colors.

  1. Pour lemon juice on a cloth.
  2. Blot the stain.
  3. Allow it to sit for ten minutes.
  4. Repeat until the stain is gone.
  5. Rinse with cold water and air dry.

Baking Soda

If you have dark or colorful undies that you wouldn't want to risk fading, baking soda will be your bestie. It's great for getting rid of a blood stains for dark or vibrant underwear because it won't harm the colors.

  1. Add enough water to the baking soda to create a paste.
  2. Apply it to the stain.
  3. Allow it to sit for 30 minutes.
  4. Rinse with cold water.
  5. Allow undies to air dry.

Easy Methods for Removing Poo Stains

Skid marks happen to the best of us. It's part of being human. Now it's time to act like they never existed at all.

You'll Need

  • Scraper
  • Enzyme detergent
  • Patience

Patience is a big one here. It might take a few tries to make the stain disappear completely, but with persistence, it will.


  1. Use a disposable knife or something flat to scrap off any remaining particles.
  2. Use cold water on the back of the stain to push out as much as possible.
  3. Add an enzyme cleaner directly to the stain.
  4. Allow them to soak in cold water for an hour or more.
  5. Check the area.
  6. Repeat as needed.
  7. Hand wash it as normal.
  8. Allow to air dry to ensure no stain sets.
Panties on string

Easily Get Odors Out of Your Undies

You always want to give underwear a sniff test. If you can smell them from a mile away or have an athletic teen in your household, you'll need to give them some extra TLC to remove the stink.

You'll Need

Baking soda and white vinegar are some of the best odor fighters. They can easily get rid of sweat or urine odors.


  1. Check your materials to ensure they can handle white vinegar and hot water.
  2. Steer clear of the acidic white vinegar and use baking soda for delicate materials.
  3. Add a ¼ to ½ cup of baking soda or white vinegar to your hot washing water.
  4. Allow your unmentionables to soak for at least an hour.
  5. Agitate and rinse with cold water.
  6. Rinse well to remove any lingering white vinegar or baking soda.
  7. Allow to air dry.
  8. Repeat if you notice any lingering smells.

Tricks to Get Stains Out of the Gusset

Did you know that extra fabric in the crotch area of your undies has a name? It's called the gusset, and it's prone to stains. Over time, you'll notice a darkening of the gusset despite your best efforts. It's designed to absorb any excess moisture, so it's going to happen. However, you can attempt to keep this area as clean as possible.

  • Create a mixture of baking soda and laundry detergent. Apply it to the area and let it soak for an hour.
  • Pat the area with hydrogen peroxide and let it soak for at least 20 minutes.
  • Add white vinegar to this fabric and let it soak for 30 minutes.
  • Crush an aspirin and add baking soda. Add water to make a paste. Apply it to the gusset to absorb stains.
  • Apply lemon juice to the stain and let it soak for about an hour.
  • Add salt water to the area and rub it with your fingers. Allow it to sit for at least an hour.

Tips to Clean Your Underwear and Keep Them Fresh

You might think there's no need to hand wash your underwear, but it's so much better for them. The agitation of the washer, even on the delicate cycle, can shorten the life of your undies. Hand washing won't take much time, especially if you try a few of these tricks.

  • Check the label to ensure it doesn't say dry clean only.
  • Use cold water if in doubt, since this is safe on most wool and silks.
  • Lay your undies flat so they maintain their shape.
  • Reshape your underwear before drying.
  • Roll undies in a towel to soak up moisture rather than wringing them out.
  • Let underwear soak to ensure you get germs out.
  • Rinse underwear thoroughly to avoid any scratchy soap or lingering white vinegar odors.

Hand Washing Your Unmentionables

They might be called unmentionables, but we've to mentioned them. Washing your underwear after each wear is important for hygiene. But the washer can be harsh on the delicate fabrics of your lingerie. Give them a good hand washing and say goodbye to germs and odors.

Easy Tips for Hand-Washing Underwear in Your Bathroom Sink