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How to Wash Thermal Underwear

How to Wash Thermal Underwear

If you’ve invested money in thermal underwear, you likely want to protect your investment. Fortunately, keeping your purchase protecting simply means appropriately washing it. With many garments having quite different instructions for washing and care, you want to ensure you don’t accidentally damage your thermals. Let’s take a look at how to wash thermal underwear.

General Information

When you are deciding how to wash your thermal underwear, the default guidance is to simply carefully follow the instructions provided by the manufacturer. After all, the manufacturer has typically tested the product and knows how you should best care for it.

However, this is not always possible, particularly if you have thermal underwear without tags and no longer have the original packaging. Fortunately, how you care for thermal underwear typically varies by the type of fabric it is made with.


Cotton is a very common type of fabric used for thermal underwear because it is very affordable and has some protective benefits. When caring for cotton thermals, the primary consideration is to avoid shrinking as the product has a tendency to do this.

Thus, you will always want to wash it in cold water. Additionally, throwing it in the dryer will lead to shrinkage, sometimes quickly but always over time. Hanging them will cause them to lose shape over the year. Thus, using a drying rack or laying them flat on a towel works good.


Wool is very popular for thermal underwear. With wool, you don’t have to worry as much about shrinking (after all, sheep seem to weather the rain quite well); however, it is still a concern over time. Thus, the instructions are similar to cotton. Wash in cold water and lay on a towel to dry.


Silk is luxurious and often an expensive investment. It is also a very delicate fabric. You will want to hand wash these items or use the delicate cycle of your washing machine. Referring to the manufacturer’s instructions is very important here if possible as some silk recommends hand wash only. Never tumble dry.


Synthetic thermal underwear are by far the easiest to care for. They also dry very quickly. It is recommended to wash them inside out. You may wash with either warm or cold water. Feel free to pop them in your dryer or even hang them dry as they will not lose their shape.

Final Thoughts

It is always important to read the manufacturer’s instructions for care if possible. However, in the event you no longer have this information, these guidelines will help you ensure that you take optimal care of your thermal underwear when washing and drying it.

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