Washing your clothes regularly ensures that you always have fresh and clean clothes to wear. This is important because you want to feel comfortable, look presentable, and smell good.
Additionally, the bacteria in dirty clothes can irritate your skin and develop into a rash, so doing the laundry supports your health and hygiene. However, the downside is that the laundering process takes a toll on your clothes.
Laundering clothes will get them clean but it also causes the fibers to get worn and the colors to fade.
As such, some people opt to get a few more wears before washing to extend the garment’s longevity. If you use a washing machine at home, doing your laundry once or twice a week rather than on a daily basis also helps reduce water and electricity consumption.
There are clear benefits to washing your clothes regularly but you also don’t want to wear them out too quickly.
In some cases, you just might be able to reach a happy compromise. If you want to know if it’s time to toss your clothes into the hamper or if it’s okay to wear them again, here’s the right schedule for washing your clothes.
Wash Anything That Clings to Your Skin After Each Wear
Considering how you use your clothes is one guide you can refer to. If the garment directly touches your skin, you need to wash it after each use. Some examples of such single-wear items are underwear, socks, and swimsuits.
Your body naturally produces sebum or oil to keep your skin hydrated and healthy. When your clothes stick close to your skin, they can absorb some of that oil.
If you keep using the same garment several times in a row, this oil plus your sweat and dead skin cells will accumulate on the fabric. This can cause skin irritations like rashes or acne.
On the other hand, bras are a special case. Although they fall under the category of clothes in constant contact with your skin, bras can be worn three to four times before washing. Since bras are made from delicate fabrics and elastics, frequent washing can stretch out the elastics and damage the material.
If You Sweat in It, It’s Part of the Laundry Load
When sweat and the bacteria on your skin mix, they cause a nasty odor to develop. To make sure you don’t carry that funky smell, make sure to wash all clothes that you have sweated in after each wear.
This applies to all types of clothing, especially for workout clothes like sports bras, jerseys, compression tights, training shorts, and leggings. They need to be washed after each exercise session.
If you can’t immediately wash your sweaty clothes, hang them up to dry before tossing them into the laundry hamper. Damp garments increase bacterial growth and can worsen the foul smell.
Sleepwear Can Be Washed After a Few Wears
In the case of sleepwear, you can use them up to three times before washing your pajamas. Since you are only wearing the clothes in bed and won’t be exposed to dirt and germs outside your home, it is acceptable to reuse worn sleepwear.
However, remember not to go beyond getting three wears out of your sleepwear. Even if you routinely shower before changing into your pajamas and going to bed, your clothes can still absorb perspiration, body care products, and bacteria. When pajamas become too dirty but you continue to wear them, your skin can get irritated and develop pimples and other skin-related infections.
Some Types of Fabric Must Be Washed Once Worn
One other factor to consider when figuring out the right time to wash your clothes is to check the material they are made of.
Fabrics like polyester need to be washed after each wear because odor-causing bacteria thrive in synthetic fabrics. To ensure that the stinky smell in a polyester garment does not transfer to your skin, wash it after each use.
On the other hand, some clothes can go unwashed even after wearing them several times. For example, your favorite pair of jeans can be reworn before tossing them into the washing machine. Delaying washing your denim will help to keep the color from fading and retain the condition of the jeans.
Since many denim jeans are made from cotton, washing them too frequently can loosen the fibers and cause the pants to stretch. To make sure this doesn’t happen too soon, you can reuse the same pair of jeans a few times before tossing them into the wash.
Everyday Clothes Can Be Worn More than Once
Clothes you wear to work or around the house can sometimes be reused before laundering. Some examples of these clothing items are shorts, pants, and dresses.
If you wore something for only a few hours, you can still get two to three wears out of them before putting the clothes in the wash. However, if you perspire while wearing the garment or it has visible dirt, it’s best to add it to the laundry. Whether it’s your favorite t-shirt or a pair of compression tights, you only need to wash them once they are dirty.
Knowing the right schedule for washing your clothes allows you to practice good hygiene while extending the lifespan of your garments. This practice can also help you reduce the energy costs of using your washing machine. If you want to get the most out of your laundry time and effort, make sure to wait until you have a full load of dirty clothes to wash.