How often should you wash your clothes? Jeans, jumpers and more…

May 25, 2020. Wondering how often is often enough? Most people have their own rhythms when it comes to how often they wash their clothes, but here are some simple guidelines to maintain good health and hygiene. Our clothes are a haven for dust mites and bug debris – sounds unappealing we know, but all creatures need something to feast on and dust mites along with small insects find a haven in our clothes.

Interesting fact: Did you know that at least 70% of household dust is actually human skin cells and that we shed 10 grams of dead skin cells per week?

If you’re inclined to do away with fast fashion and get the most out of the investment in your wardrobe, washing regularly keeps bugs away and maintains your clothes for the long term. On the other hand, too much washing is also unnecessary and will wear out your clothes sooner than later. So, what’s the balance?

Here are our guidelines on how often to wash your clothes to both keep them clean and looking good for longer.

Jeans – every 5 wears

How often to wash your jeans remains a debatable topic since jeans became a staple wardrobe item. Opinions range from washing rarely to washing regularly. In our experience, jeans washed in lukewarm water every 5 wears keeps the bugs away and jeans intact for many years.

Everyday work skirts and pants – every 5 wears

Work pants and skirts are often made from more resilient synthetic fibres and not so prone to staining. Also, you need to get a decent amount of wear from your everyday basics before you pop them in the washing machine.

Shirts and blouses – every 1-2 wears

This depends on how much you sweat. If it’s a considerable amount, then you need you wash the item after every wear as sweat stains that are left in the armpits of shirts and blouses can stain permanently if not washed regularly enough.

Woollens – every 6 wears

Woollen jumpers, dresses and other knits should be washed less regularly. Wool has a lanolin in it which is the wax produced by sheep to protect their wool and the skin from rain. Lanolin also prevents bacteria from forming (too hard for bugs to hold onto) therefore preventing bad smells from forming. That’s why hikers and outdoors people choose wool as underlayers, they don’t smell even after a big day hiking!

Cottons tops and pants – every 1-2 wears

Cotton pants, tops and t-shirts need more regular washing. Cotton is light and absorbs moisture, sweat and grime more so that thicker fibres.

Your whites – after every wear

If you like your whites white, then you need to wash them after every wear. Unfortunately skin oils, sweat and other dirt causes permanent stains or a sub-white hue in white fabrics. Washing after every wear will keep them nice and white.

Pyjamas – twice a week

If you like to hang around in your PJ’s in the morning, roll around with the kids or the dog on the floor at night, then twice a week makes sense. But of course if you’re pristine with your PJ’s only getting into and out of them when you are actually going to bed and waking up, once a week might be enough.

Underwear and workout clothes – every wear of course!

Needless to say, most people would agree that every time you wear them, they need a good wash!

Coats and jackets – every 10 wears

Realistically and practically, you need to get some wear out of your coats and jackets between washes. Since coats and jackets are not close to your skin, you can get away with washing them less frequently.

If you have woollen coats and jackets, also consider hanging them in the sunshine and fresh air a couple of times a week. This will freshen them up, remove smells and you might only need to get them laundered every couple of months depending on how much you wear them.

State of the art washing machines and dryers – fast, effective and gentle on your clothes

All of our laundromats have state of the art washing machines that wash from cold to 60C, and dryers that can dry up to 87C. These temperatures kill viruses and bugs and keep your clothes clean and fresh. We wouldn’t recommend super-hot temperatures unless there was a good reason, but we’d definitely recommend regular washing.

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