When it comes to washing clothing, it can be hard to find the balance between not washing often enough and so having dirty clothes, and over-washing and so risking damaging garments or simply wasting water.
Of course, if a garment is particularly stained or sweaty, it should be washed immediately, but there are likely some garments that you are washing when you don’t really need to.
The exact frequency that you should wash a garment will depend on its type and should be based on the number of times it’s been worn. If you aren’t sure how often to wash something, this guide is for you.
Underwear, Socks and Bras
Garments like underwear, socks, and undershirts should all be washed after every use. These garments are always in contact with your skin, and so will quickly soak up sweat and end up less than fresh.
Bras do not necessarily need washing as often, you can usually get away with washing them every 3 to 4 uses, however, this is only really recommended if the weather is cool, and you don’t sweat very much. In the summer months, you should wash bras much more frequently.
Workout clothing or sportswear can end up very sweaty and covered in grass staining, mud, and grime. It is therefore recommended that you wash these garments after every use to keep them fresh and hygienic.
Jeans can be a tricky one to work out when they need washing as they can still look clean, even after multiple uses. To keep jeans fresh, you should aim to wash them every four or five uses, unless they look or smell dirty.
In the past, people have always been concerned about over-washing denim because it can fade, however, most jeans today are treated and so unlikely to be affected in this way.
If you are concerned about washing your jeans, wash them inside out, on as short a cycle as possible, and use a colour care detergent.
Shirts and Blouses
In the cooler months, you can often wash shirts and blouses every two uses, however, if it is hot or you sweat a lot, wash the garments after every use.
Sweaters and Hoodies
How frequently sweaters and hoodies should be washed will depend on how you wear them.
If you always have a t-shirt underneath, you can likely wear sweaters or hoodies up to six times before needing to wash them. If you do not wear a t-shirt underneath, you should wash them every 1 to 2 uses.
Suit Jackets, Blazers and Casual Jackets
As garments like suit jackets and blazers are worn as outer layers, they can usually get away with being washed every 5 to 6 wears. However, if you end up with a small stain or just want to refresh the jacket, you can do so with a short delicate wash.
If your jacket needs to be dry cleaned, consult the care label, or ask the dry cleaners for advice for your specific garment.
Pyjamas and other nightwear can be easily forgotten since one of the first things most people do in the morning is get changed. Overnight, pyjamas are exposed to sweat and a lot of dead skin cells, and so these should be washed every 3 to 4 wears.
T-Shirts, Tank Tops and Camisoles
T-shirts, tank tops, and camisoles all usually sit close to the skin, and so are prone to picking up sweat. As a result, these garments should be washed after every use.
Tops and Dresses
How frequently tops and dresses should be washed will depend on the type and the material. Tops and dresses should be washed every 1 to 3 wears. Formal dresses, however, should be washed after every use.
Hats, Gloves and Scarves
Hats, gloves, and scarves are rarely exposed to a great deal of dirt or even sweat, and so you can normally get away with washing these between 3 and 5 times across all of winter. If you do sweat a lot or find the garments smell damp or dirty, wash them more frequently.
If you are now wondering whether you are over or under washing other laundry, here is some guidance:
- Bath towels should be washed once a week
- Hand towels are used more often, and so should be washed every 2 to 3 days
- Face towels should be ideally washed after every use
- Tea towels should be washed as frequently as possible, especially if they stay damp or are used on dirty surfaces
- Bedding should be washed weekly
Lover of coffee, painting, and all things cute and fluffy. I’m always on the lookout for easier, more gentle ways to tackle awful household chores.