Woman doing laundry

How Often Do You Need to Do Laundry for One Person?

The amount of time that passes between clothes washes will vary depending on each individual and what it is that they are doing in their day to day lives.

Laundry is very subjective, but it is recommended that you should be doing at least one load of laundry a week, depending on how often you re-wear clothes and what kind of daily lifestyle you have.

Doing your laundry on a weekly basis is important in order to ensure that there is no bacteria build-up on your clothes and that they continue to both feel and smell fresh.

The following list sets out various types of clothing items and other garments and at what intervals they should ideally be washed.

How Often Should You Wash Different Clothes?

Wear these once before washing

Socks in laundry basket

Certain items of clothing will need to be washed much more regularly than others. Items like underwear, socks, and undershirts should be washed after every time that you wear them, as this is the most hygienic option for clothes that are so close to your skin for long periods of time.

Other things that should be washed after one use are exercise clothes, work clothes if you work in an environment with a lot of bacteria, and clothes that are worn for particularly long periods, or whilst travelling.

Finally, swimwear and any other delicates should also be washed after every use.


Wash after two to three uses

Shirts drying on line

Jumpers, bras, shirts, blouses and sleepwear can be washed after two or three wears rather than every time. This approach can help stop your laundry hamper from getting too full too often.

Towels should also be washed after around three uses to ensure that bacteria is not accumulating on the fabric.


Wash these after four or five uses

Jeans in washing machine

Jeans and suits/blazers only need to be washed after four or five wears. The less you wash your jeans the better as they will stay soft and supple for much longer. If you wash jeans too often, they will start to feel stiff and starchy.

Suits and blazers are more of a challenge to wash and usually need a delicate or cold cycle, so it can be useful to leave these items for several wears before having to wash them. Ideally, you will then be able to build up a full load of items that require a similar wash cycle.


Wash once a week or bi-monthly

Drying sheets in garden

There are also certain things that need to be washed at least on a weekly basis, such as your sheets and other bedding.

Most experts recommend washing sheets at least once a week, but at the maximum, they should be washed once a month.

These should also be washed on a long, hot cycle and with a trusted detergent to ensure that all bacteria, germs, and mites are properly eradicated.


How Many Loads Should You Have When You Do Your Laundry?

This is something that will also be dependent on the types of clothes you are washing.

It’s always a good idea to separate your brights, darks, and lights to ensure that your whites aren’t ruined by any colours that may run and to make sure that your brighter clothes remain that way for as long as possible.

Be aware that certain clothing items may need to be washed at different temperatures or in different cycles than others. Read the labels of anything you’re uncertain about to ensure that you’re including them in the correct wash cycle.



If you live alone, it makes it much easier to do laundry less frequently than if you’re part of a bigger household.

Laundry can be left until the hamper is full, usually every week, and you’re unlikely to have to spend too much time deciding which items belong in which cycle.