Caring for your new steel-boned corset is paramount to adding to the life and longevity of it. While the steel bones do offer ample compression and strength, they need to be well taken care of in order to ensure that you get the most out of your corset. The sort of care that you apply while wearing and seasoning, maintaining the cleanliness of it, as well as how to know when your corset has reached the end of its lifetime are all vital to ensure that you are maximizing the time that you have with your steel-boned corset.
Should I season my corset?
Yes! We wholly recommend seasoning your corset, even if you are only looking to use it for fashion or back support and so aren’t making as great of a reduction from your natural waist. It is so important when you are looking to extend the life and longevity of your corset that you take your seasoning nice and slow and don’t rush the process. Seasoning is as much for your body to get used to the corset as it is for the corset to get used to your body; it allows the materials of the corset to slowly form to your body over time, so that once you are able to fully close the back of the corset, it’s fitted to your shape.
Over-tightening, or rushing the seasoning process, can result in early signs of wear and tear in your corset, such as the front or back busk splitting or warping of the bones. Not to mention, cinching too much too soon can cause you pain and discomfort, and corseting should never be painful!
It’s hard to hide my laces. Can I wrap and tie them around the corset to keep them out of the way?
The laces can sometimes be difficult to hide, we know, but we strongly suggest tucking them up and under the hip or top of your corset rather than wrapping and tying them around the middle of your corset. When you apply the pressure of the laces in this way, even alternating to try and lighten it up a little, it can cause undue stress on the front of your corset and cause it to split through the front busk.
You may also want to consider our satin ribbon laces, as those tend to tie and lie a bit flatter under clothing as well. Lucy’s video on how to hide your laces is also a great resource for finding ways to hide your laces!
Do I always have to unlace my corset all the way?
Yes. It is so important to make sure you fully unlace your corset before you put it on and before you take it off. While sturdy and strong, neglecting to unlace your corset when taking it on and off can cause warping throughout the front busk. Your steel-boned corset is strong enough to train your waist or encourage you into better posture, which means that if you try and clasp the busk or take it off prior to unlacing it all the way, it can warp and bend the front busk.
Can I put my corset in the wash?
No! Your corset has both flat and spiral steel bones throughout it, and long-standing exposure to water can cause rust in those bones, which compromises the integrity of your corset. Not only that, but the steel bones of your corset make it difficult for something like a washing machine to actually get it completely clean, because there are so many layers of fabric and materials that the water has to work through.
You can get your corset dry-cleaned. This is the safest way to get your corset thoroughly cleaned!
Is it alright to wear my corset against my skin?
While it’s not unsafe to wear your corset right against your skin, it does greatly increase the chance for the oils in your skin and odors to sink into the fabric of your corset. This can change the life expectancy of your corset and make it difficult to keep clean. We always recommend wearing a layer of fabric between yourself and your corset to ensure that you’re keeping it as clean as possible; a tank-top or t-shirt is always a great option. We also carry seamless bamboo liners; they’re quite comfy and breathable, and make the perfect pairing to go under your corset.
What are some safe ways to get rid of corset odors or stains?
There are a couple of ways to get rid of odors in your corset, without having to worry about taking it to get dry-cleaned. We here at OC HQ prefer to use unscented Febreeze to spray our corsets down if they start to get a little scent to them, focused mostly on the inner lining of your corset (the part that sits against you); you can also use a 1:1 ratio of cheap vodka and water in a spray bottle to achieve a similar effect. You just want to make sure that after spraying your corset, you keep it out to dry before storing it back away, to ensure that no moisture is left trapped in it!
Concerning stains, we find that a Tide pen always works wonders for the smaller spots. In some fabrics, like satin, it might be beneficial to try and “blend out” the edges of the spot you focus the Tide pen on, just to ensure that there’s no strange spots left over from using the bleach.
How should corsets be stored?
The easiest way to store your corset, tangle-free and without concern, is on a clothes hanger in your corset. As mentioned before, if you take time spot cleaning or spraying your corset with Febreeze to get rid of orders, you’ll want to make sure it’s fully dry before setting it in your closet to ensure that there isn’t any moisture trapped. If you’re intending to keep your corset in your closet for quite some time before wearing it again, you can always drape a plastic bag over your corset on the hanger to try and ensure that you don’t get an additional dust lingering on the fabrics!
For more long-term storage, as well, keeping them snug in travel cases can be helpful (whether you’re on the go or just looking for a safe way to store it for a while). We carry two sizes of corset travel cases to help suit all of your corseting needs!
Can rotating through corsets help lengthen their lifetime?
Definitely! When you’re seasoning two corsets, of course it’s always important to listen to your body and give it ample breaks. Any time a corset is worn, it adds a bit of wear to its lifecycle; switching or rotating between two or more corsets can ensure that the wear is dispersed throughout the corsets.
How do I know when my corset has reached the end of its life?
While strong and sturdy, there definitely comes a point where your corset has reached the end of its time with you. Usually, you’ll be able to tell right away: if it doesn’t fit you anymore, either because it’s been worn so much that it loses the compression it was offering you before or because our bodies like to just go ahead and change on us, it’s probably time to take a fresh set of measurements and get a new recommendation.
Additionally, any time that you see components of your corset breaking, this is a good signal that it’s time. The front busk tearing, the grommets cracking or shredding your laces, or warping in the bones are all signs that a corset has reached the end. These are the kinds of normal wear and tear that happen over extended periods of time, and proper care of your corset can ensure that you get the most time with it as possible!