Corset Care Explained: Cleaning, Storing & Proper Corset Maintenance

Corset Care Explained

Featured Corset: Emma Black Satin Corset

You wouldn’t buy a house and forgo regular cleaning and maintenance, allowing dust to gather, rodents to invade, and the place to become a shambles, nor would you purchase a vehicle and fail to get oil changes and other engine maintenance. You want to protect your investment to ensure the greatest possible use-value, and in some cases, a return on investment. The same goes for corsets. 

While corsets don’t have nearly the price tag of a real estate or automobile purchase, they can cost a pretty penny when compared to other items in your wardrobe, and if you’re waist training, you want them to last a while. That entails proper corset care, including appropriate cleaning, storage, and maintenance. Here are a few tips to keep you on track for optimal wear and enjoyment of your corsets.

Cleaning Your Corset

There is only one hard and fast rule for corset care: DO NOT USE A WASHING MACHINE! 

Compression garments rely on rigid steel boning and robust textiles to provide the compression and support needed for waist training. Unfortunately, if you machine-wash your corset, the violent spin cycle is enough to warp or bend the boning or even cause tears in the fabric—not because the garment is delicate, but because it’s rigid.

So how do you wash it? For starters, you don’t need to wash your corset after every wear unless you’ve been out sweating in the summer heat. Also, you don’t want to use water. Remember those steel bones we mentioned? Well, steel has iron in it, which means it can rust when it gets wet. Also, since it’s trapped in thick boning channels, it’s not likely to dry very quickly after being doused.

Your best bet is to take your corset for dry cleaning after you’ve worn it a few times or if it seems particularly soiled or odoriferous. If you want to save yourself some trips to the cleaners, try wearing a layer between your skin and your corset, like an undershirt. You can also spot clean sparingly if needed, using warm water and a solvent suitable for the fabric type. Just try to avoid soaking and stay clear of boning channels, if possible.

Methods of Corset Storage

There are two great ways to store your corsets: Flat or hanging. If you have empty drawers or shelf space in your closet, lay them flat or fold them at the laces. Otherwise, you can open the busks and drape them over a hanger at the laces. If you like to air out the fabric, the latter offers the best possible corset care.

Practicing TLCC (Tender Loving Corset Care)

From the moment you get your corset, you probably want to strap it on, cinch it up, and take it for a spin. However, it’s always best to proceed with caution to avoid situations where you could harm your corset or yourself. You wouldn’t hop in a Lamborghini and do donuts if you’d never driven one before, so maybe don’t take your corset from 0 to 60 on the first outing.

What we’re talking about is seasoning your corset. This garment is designed to be robust, so when you first put it on, it’s going to be a little stiff. With proper seasoning, however, it will soon conform to your particular curves and fit like a comfortable, well-worn glove.

Corset care begins on day one, with snug (but not overly tight) lacing and limited wear—say a couple of hours. You’ll want to follow a basic seasoning routine that spans two to three weeks and goes something like this:

  1. Days 1-3: Wear 2 hours a day
  2. Days 4-6: Wear 3 hours a day
  3. Days 7-9: Wear 4 hours a day
  4. Days 10-12: Wear 5 hours a day
  5. Days 13-15: Wear 6 hours a day
  6. Days 16-18: Wear 7 hours a day
  7. Days 19 and beyond: Wear all day (8 hours or more) and begin your waist training regimen

Now, this is just a sample corset seasoning schedule. If you’re new to corset seasoning, you may need more time on any given step, while those who have broken in many a corset might feel comfortable moving at a faster pace. Just do what feels right for you, and in no time, your corset will be ready for all-day wear. As for avoiding wear and tear over time, it’s always best to swap out corsets. That way, you’re not wearing the same one every day, giving each one time to breathe. Of course, in an ideal world, you’d have enough corsets for every day of the week. But considering the expense, a minimum of two or three is a great place to start if you want to improve longevity. With proper cleaning, storage, and maintenance, your corset could last for years to come.

To stay up-to-date with weekly blog posts, waist training tips, and the chance to win one of our monthly corset giveaways, follow us on FacebookInstagram & subscribe to our mailing list today! Want to find the perfect steel boned corset? Shop some of our favorites: underbust corsetsoverbust corsetscorset dresses. You can also shop our corsets by material: cotton corsetsdenim corsetsleather corsetsmesh corsetspvc corsets, and satin corsets. Have questions about getting started with waist training or finding the right size corset? Contact us!