Caring For Mastectomy Lingerie and Breast Forms

Lingerie is a delicate matter in more ways than one. Being made from such soft, pretty materials is great for comfort and appearance, but this means you need to take excellent care of your lingerie to prevent damage and improve longevity.

Each individual item will have its own specific care instructions provided on the tags by the supplier. However, a little extra help never hurt anyone, so we’ve created some care guidelines for lingerie and breast forms to give you more guidance should you need it.

Hand Washing

Avoid machine washing an item that specifies it should be hand washed, if you can. Even on a delicate wash, the cycle will most likely be too harsh and could end up damaging your garment. Instead, these hand washing guidelines should ensure your lingerie is kept clean and in top condition:

  • Before you start hand-washing, make sure you remove any jewellery and ensure your nails are in good condition without any sharp edges that could catch on delicate fabrics.
  • Fill a clean, sizeable container (e.g. a sink or bucket) with mild, bleach-free detergent.
  • Gently soak the lingerie in the soapy water, swirling it around to ensure it’s saturated. You can also gently rub the garments with your fingers, but be careful not to be too rough.
  • You can now leave the lingerie to soak for up to an hour.
  • Gently rinse the garments under clean, running water when they are done soaking.

Machine Washing

Most forms of lingerie will be hand wash only, but washing your delicates by hand every time is a little unrealistic for most of us! If you do need to machine wash your items occasionally, we recommend the following tips that could help extend the life of your items:

  • Use a detergent that is formulated especially for delicate items. This should be mild and bleach-free.
  • Turn items inside out. This can help prevent fading and lint buildup.
  • Use a delicates bag to prevent items from becoming tangled. You could also try washing your delicates on a separate wash from the the rest of your clothes to help minimise damage.
  • Place the washing bag in the machine and select a low temperature and the delicate cycle.


Lingerie should be dried carefully as well as washed carefully. Drying your items in the improper way won’t cause any damage, so hanging them up now and then should be fine, but it can cause them to lose shape and sit awkwardly on your body.

Try following these steps to help your lingerie maintain its shape for longer:

  • Use a towel to blot off any excess moisture. You can try rolling up the towel with the item inside to do this. Gently unroll the towel, then leave to dry naturally.
  • Do not dry your delicates on or over a direct heat source such as a radiator or fan heater.
  • Be careful when hanging lingerie to dry. Some items may lose their shape if they are hung to dry.
  • Never tumble dry lingerie items. The heat and motion of a tumble dryer can destroy delicate fabrics and cause some garments to lose their shape or shrink.
  • If you don’t have time to dry your garments properly then hanging them up is a better option than tumble drying.

Breast Form Care

Breast forms are designed to be resilient and withstand the wear and tear of daily life, but we’ve put together some tips you can use to care for your breast forms that should help keep them in top condition:

  • Wash your breast form every day with soap and water. The general rule of thumb is that whatever you wash yourself with should be fine to wash your breast form with too - treat it like your body.
  • Gently dry with a towel or soft cloth.
  • When not wearing your breast form, leave it in the cradle provided to help maintain its shape.
  • If your breast form is an adhesive, you should use a special type of cleanser that is designed for adhesives. This is usually supplied with the original purchase and more can be purchased separately from the supplier when needed.
  • Do not use bleach or any other cleaning solvents on your breast forms as these can damage the material.
  • Take care when handling your breast form so that you don’t accidentally damage it with your fingernails, rings or any other jewellery such as pinning brooches. If the outer layer is damaged it may cause the breast form to leak.  

If you take proper care of your lingerie and breast forms they should last you a long time. Love your garment and it’ll love you back, but remember: it’s not the end of the world if you have to throw them in the regular wash occasionally - we all do it!