Don't Wash, Just Wear: How Often Should You Wash Clothes


Like most people, you’re probably going to do some (a lot of) laundry this week. And with the layering season in full swing, you're probably gonna go through a whole row of clothing. But do you know, without a shadow of doubt, how often you need to wash every article of clothing you wear? Are you spending too much time/money/water/detergent? What if you can save up just by re-thinking the way you do laundry? Here's the complete lowdown:

 

Your Workout Clothes

Cotton T-shirts like Next Level tees, shorts, socks, and anything else that gets soaked in sweat should get washed after every wear, but if your sport of choice is more low impact or if the garment is made from a performance fabric like water-resistant nylon, you can stretch it to 2-3 wears. Don’t forget to wash your gym bag once a month as well.

 

Your Office Clothes

Your suit can last for about four to five wears before it needs to go to the dry cleaner. Always drop off all coordinating pieces so everything wears at the same speed. Your button-down shirts can last for three to four wears, especially if you’re an undershirt guy. Shirts don’t always need to go to the dry cleaner, but if line-drying and hand-ironing them is too daunting a task, we sympathize. Just ask your dry cleaner to skip the starch so they last longer.

 

Your Whites & Silk Clothes

If you want your white garments to stay that color, you need to wash them frequently, after every wear. Otherwise, dirt and sweat will begin to cloud its original alabaster hue. Similarly, silks absorb sweat like a sponge, so they need a good tumble through the washer after every wear as well.

 

Your Casual Clothes

Pants & sweaters are the workhorses of your wardrobe—they can stand about five wears before they need to go in the wash. T-shirts & Henleys are good for one to two wears, depending on how much you sweat. Jeans can go a whole season without needing a wash—but do wash them occasionally. Stinky jeans are not good for business.

 

Your Winter Gear

Most jackets & coats should be laundered once a season, but if you live in a city, spend a lot of time outdoors, or are wearing it every day, a mid-season rinse might be in order. Down, wool, and canvas coats don’t always need to be professionally laundered, but leather and suede should be handled by a pro. Don’t forget to wash winter hats, scarves, and gloves about once a month during the cold season. Just think of how many places they’ve been, and you’ll understand the need.

 

Your Private Stuff

We know we don’t need to tell you to wash your underwear, socks, and undershirt after every wear—this is non-negotiable stuff. Pajamas can withstand up to four wears, and robes are about the same, as they should be treated like towels and switched out every week at least. Oh, and while we have you, wash your sheets & beddings on a weekly basis as well. There’s no point in diligently washing your clothes if you’re sleeping in dirty sheets at the end of the day.

 

Others:

  • Bath towels should be hung to dry between uses and washed after 3 to 5 normal uses. Towels need to be allowed to dry before they are used again. So, remember to hang up your towel after each use.
  • Bras can be worn 2-3 times before washing. Be sure to give your bra a rest day in between wearing to give the elastic a chance to regain its shape.
  • Tank tops and camisoles should be washed after each wearing.
  • Outdoor work clothes can be worn a few times before washing unless it is hot out and you are sweating or they are visibly dirty or stained.
  • Leggings and tights should be washed after every wear to get rid of the baggy knees.
  • Bathing suits should be washed after every wear.
  • If your clothes get stained, wash, spot clean or dry clean as soon as possible – this will extend the garment’s life which will be greener in the long run since you won’t need to replace the item.

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