Ask the Panty Panel: Why can’t I machine wash and dry my Hanky Panky thongs?

Ask the Panty Panel:
Why can’t I machine wash and dry my Hanky Panky thongs?

Our waistband lace is a nylon-spandex blend. The spandex fiber gives the thong its amazing stretch and recovery, helping it to hug your curves perfectly, without cutting in or binding. While spandex is truly a “miracle fiber” (it can stretch to 500x its length and still snap back to its original dimensions), it is somewhat fragile.

Because lace has such an open and delicate construction, the spandex fibers are a crucial part of the fabric structure. When the spandex eventually wears out, it will render the lace band unstable.

At the molecular level, the polymer chains that make up spandex fiber look like jumbled up spaghetti. When the fiber is stretched, the polymer chains straighten out. When it is released, the polymer chains snap back to their natural jumbled spaghetti-like state.

The molecular bonds that keep these chains together are relatively strong. However, heat (from hot water or machine drying) and alkaline environments (from caustic detergents and bleaches) cause these bonds to break, leaving the chains shorter, and the fiber loses its elasticity. Eventually the chains will become so short that the integrity of the fiber is irreparably compromised and loses all recovery.

This is why we emphatically suggest that you never use harsh detergents or bleach (which are alkaline). Our specially formulated lingerie wash is pH neutral and was created to gently clean stretch fibers. The extreme heat and agitation of machine drying is also deadly to stretch fibers.

Best practice is to hand wash in cool water with our lingerie wash, rinse twice to ensure removal of all detergent and lay flat or hang to dry. This will ensure your panties a reasonably long life.

We recognize that this is more time than some people are willing to dedicate to caring for their under-things. If you must machine wash, please use the gentle cycle, a mild, pH neutral detergent and protect your lingerie from snags and undue stress by placing it in a wash bag. After the cycle is completed, Please hang or lay flat to dry. Machine drying will wear out your lingerie very quickly and will eventually destroy it.


Have a question for our Panty Panel of Hanky Panky Experts? Send it to with “Ask the Experts” in the subject line. If your question is featured on the blog, we will send you a complimentary gift!

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