As much as I hate cold weather I do love to wear tights. However, tights are one of the hardest things to wash because you have to take special care of them. First of all there is the debate of how often you should wash your tights. Some people wash them between each wear, and others barely ever wash them at all. For me, how often I wash them varies each time. I try to wash my tights after every few wears.Its not as simple as just throwing them in the washer though.
Sometimes I will wash a pair after only one or two wears if I am also washing other pairs that I have worn more often. It is easier and much less time consuming to just wash them all one after another than each one on separate days.
Washing tights and stockings can be nerve wracking because they are made of such a delicate material. While I try to not splurge too much on an article of clothing I know I could easily destroy the firs time I wear them, some of my tights were a little pricey and I am careful to keep them in good shape.
To safely wash your tights and not have to worry about tears and runs simple take each pair and individually soak them in a sink full of lukewarm water.
Now, add a laundry detergent that is both strong and gentle. Something made especially for delicates is ideal. Pour this into the sink and let your tights sit and soak in it for around a half hour.
Once your tights are completely soap and water logged, remove them from the sink and rinse them in cold water. Rinse until all the suds are gone.
Now, simple wring them nice and gently to remove as much water as possible. It's a good idea to remove any rings from your fingers that might catch on your tights and snag them. Also, be careful if you have long fingernails.
Hang your now clean tights in your shower or over a towel rack to dry.
If you really don't have time to hand wash you tights and stockings you can risk putting them in the washing machine. However, always put them inside a bag made especially for washing delicates, or a pillowcase if you don't have one.
Turn the tights inside out.
Add a small amount of Woolite or other liquid detergent to warm water. DO NOT use hot water - this can case shrinkage.
Immerse the tights and gently rub them together for several minutes, paying particular attention to the crotch and feet.
Rinse throughly in warm water till clear.
Roll the tights into a ball and gently squeeze.
Place the tights stretched out on a clean, dry towel. Roll the towel up and press on it hard to help remove any excess water.
Unroll the towel and block the tights on the towel or place them on a hosiery drying rack and gently pull them in to shape.
Allow to dry.
Machine washing is not recomended - but if you are going to machine wash use the gentle cycle and dry as above.
Hosiery Care -
1. Never ever attempt to put on stocking or tights with torn nails, fake nails or overly long nails. Nails must be neat and short or wear some sort of gloves.
2. Always wash tights and stockings by hand especially vintage ones. I find that washing them in a machine (even in one of those special bags) can cause nicks and runs.
3. After buying vintage tights new in the packet, check for discolourations. These can sometimes be removed by washing, as the colour bleeds.
4. Also with vintage tights make sure that you stretch them with your hand before attempting to put them on your leg.
5. Another washing tips - keep the water fairly cool-warm and separate lights and darks, just as you would with clothes.
6. I've been told that the best way to dry stocking/tights is flat (on a towel..) but I occasionally like to hang them on the line. Being a tall-ish girl, I find that this light stretching gives me a bit of extra length.