Waist trainers are a type of undergarment that’s designed to flatten your stomach. If anything, they’re similar to girdles. Made of thick fabric, they’re worn around the midsection and held in place with velcro, hook, or lacing system.
While results can be seen immediately, most people wear it over a period of months to ‘train’ their waist. For example, it’s not uncommon for individuals to wear it for just an hour or so a day in the beginning. From there, they’ll eventually add to the time. The idea is that it’ll give you a smaller, sleeker waist.
What Materials Are Waist Trainers Made Of?
Waist trainers are often made from a strong, yet flexible material such as polyester or nylon. Spandex is also added for additional elasticity.
Polyester is a synthetic fabric that’s derived from petroleum. Unlike cotton, it doesn’t stretch, tear, or pill easily. It’s strong, durable, and retains its shape well, which makes it an ideal choice for waist trainers. Also, it has moisture-wicking abilities. In other words, sweat won’t be trapped on your skin; it’ll be pulled to the surface where it can evaporate.
Nylon is known for its elasticity. It’s also strong—even more so than polyester. And it has excellent abrasion resistance. Not to mention that it repels water. The only thing is that it doesn’t do well with heat (the fibers can warp or melt if exposed to extreme temperatures).
Spandex is soft, lightweight, and stretchy. Also known as elastane, it’s often used to make compressive garments such as sports bras, swimwear, and dancewear. It’s also incorporated in most waist trainers. If anything, it’s responsible for the extra-firm compression that you get from the garment. One thing to note, however, is that it’s not very breathable. Fortunately, this isn’t usually a problem as it’s typically mixed with other fibers.
Where Can You Buy Waist Trainers?
A number of brands offer waist trainers. We’ll be going over some of the most popular ones below.
Hourglass Angel: Hourglass Angel is best known for their workout waist trainers, all of which are designed to move with your body. Featuring flexible steel boning, they’ll flatten your tummy and create a flattering hourglass shape. The cotton-spandex lining will also absorb moisture so that you’ll feel comfortable during your workout.
Ann Chery: Ann Cherry is a Colombian brand that offers waist trainers, post-operative shapewear, and corrective lingerie. A leader in the South American market, they’ve been in the shapewear market for nearly four decades.
Ann Michell: Ann Michelle offers a wide range of compressive garments including waist trainers. Based in Colombia, they also sell bodysuits, fitness belts, latex vests, girdles, and more.
FeelingGirl: FeelinGirl sells various types of shapewear such as waist trainers, shorts, vests, girdles, and panties. Not only that, but they offer latex bodysuits as well.
Atsuku Kudo: Atsuku Kudo is a fashion store that specializes in latex womenswear. Based in London, they also offer dresses, gloves, stockings, and more.
Caring For Your Waist Trainer
It’s recommended that you wash your waist trainer at least three times a week. That way, you won’t have to worry about the possibility of bacterial growth, which can potentially damage the fabric. And don’t leave it in a pile on the floor with your other clothes. Not only is it unhygienic but the garment can also develop an odor.
And if you can, buy more than one waist trainer. That’ll allow you to alternate them daily so that they’ll last longer (you want to let them rest between each wear).
Washing Your Waist Trainer: What’s the Best Way to Do It?
Ideally, you want to wash your waist trainer by hand—that’ll prevent the spandex fibers from getting damaged (which can happen if you use the machine). With that said, you can throw it in the washer in a pinch. If anything, you just don’t want to make it a habit.
Note: Some waist trainers don’t contain spandex. If that’s the case, you can wash them normally with other clothes.
Option 1: Washing Your Waist Trainer By Hand
Start by filling a bucket with cool water (you can also use a sink or washbasin). Avoid hot water as it can compromise the spandex material. Mix in half a scoop of ACTIVE detergent and swish the water a couple of times to dissolve the powder.
Place the waist trainer in the bucket so that it’s completely covered and let it soak for 10 to 15 minutes. Rinse thoroughly afterward with cold water; there shouldn’t be any soap suds left when you’re finished.
Tip: If necessary, you can clean the waist trainer with a towel. Dip it in the soapy water and use it to lather the garment (for the best results, open it up on a flat surface) with detergent. Repeat until you’ve cleaned all the surfaces.
Once it’s clean, lay it on a clean towel. Press down gently to remove the excess moisture. You can then place it on a laundry rack to air dry. Don’t place it directly in the sun as that can damage the elastic fibers. And never use the dryer. The high temperature will permanently damage the garment. Not only will it shrink, but it can also damage the steel bones that are part of the trainer.
Option 2: Putting Your Waist Trainer In the Washing Machine
Close all hooks and clasps and place your waist trainer in a mesh bag—it’ll offer an extra layer of protection so that the material won’t get damaged. It’ll also protect the steel bones from the agitator. Never put the garment into the washer directly.
Close the zipper all the way and place the bag in the washing machine. Next, add a few towels; they’ll balance the weight and prevent the waist trainer from hitting against the sides of the washer. It’s not recommended that you wash them with other garments.
Once everything is in, measure one scoopful of ACTIVE detergent. Pour it into the dispenser drawer (or directly to the drum) and select a gentle cycle. This is super important; you want to keep agitation to a minimum so that your garment won’t get damaged. Also, make sure to use cold water—hot water can and will compromise the elastic fibers.
Tip: Don’t leave your waist trainer in the washing machine. Take it out as soon as the cycle is done, otherwise, bacteria can grow and you’ll have to wash it all over again.
Let the machine run once you’ve chosen your wash settings. Wait for it to finish before retrieving the mesh bag. And don’t use the dryer. Allow it to air dry on a laundry rack instead. Or if you want, you can lay it flat on a clean towel.
How to Remove Stains From Your Waist Trainer
Accidentally spilled something on your trainer? Don’t worry, there are a few things that you can do to remove it.
Use Mild Soap/Detergent
You can remove stubborn stains with an old toothbrush. Start by wetting it with water. Apply some soap (you can also use ACTIVE detergent- just dissolve a bit in some water) onto the bristles and use it to scrub the undergarment. Make sure to do so gently. The last thing that you want is to damage the surface while you’re cleaning the item.
Rinse the area with cool water after scrubbing. Check to see if the stain is still visible. If it is, repeat the above steps. Once the stain is gone, you can wash the item as normal.
Use Baking Soda and White Vinegar
Mix equal parts of white vinegar and baking soda; you should end up with a paste. Gently rub it onto the spot and let it sit for 15-20 minutes. Not only will it lift the stain, but it’ll also get rid of any odors. Rinse the area thoroughly with cold water afterward.
If necessary, repeat the above steps. Wash normally afterward.
Storing Your Waist Trainer Properly
It’s important that you store your waist trainer properly after washing. Ideally, you want to keep it in a dry and clean place where it won’t be exposed to sunlight. Also, you want to keep moisture to a minimum. That’ll prevent mildew and mold from growing on the fabric.
Tip: Make sure that the garment is completely dry before putting it away. Any kind of moisture will result in mildew/mold growth. Not only will that cause it to smell, but it can also affect the integrity of the fabric.
The Best Laundry Detergent For Waist Trainers
Waist trainers are made from synthetic fabrics. Given that, it’s best to use a product that’s specifically designed for these types of fibers—and ACTIVE detergent fits the bill perfectly. Not only is it made for these types of garments (it contains enzymes that are capable of physically dissolving gunk such as sweat), but it’s also plant-based and 100% natural. It doesn’t contain any fillers or artificial fragrances so you won’t have to worry about it irritating your skin. Also, it’s much better for the environment!