It’s easier to make common laundry mistakes than you may think. This is true even when it comes to simple decisions like how often to do your laundry. If you’re not doing your laundry often enough, your clothes and linens may become smelly, discolored or uncomfortable. But if you’re doing your laundry too often, you could be putting needless wear and tear on your articles and appliances while wasting energy, water, detergent and money. Opinions differ (sometimes significantly) on where the “just right” mark for laundry schedules is, but here are some general guidelines for how often to launder your items:
- T-shirts, tank tops and camisoles: after every wear
- Outer clothes: after a few wears
- Jeans: after three wears
- Leggings and tights: after every wear
- Underwear and socks: after every wear
- Bras: after 2 to 3 wears
- Workout apparel: after every wear
- Items prone to discoloration (e.g. whites and silks): after every wear
- Suits: after 3 to 4 wears for wool and 4 to 5 wears for synthetics
- Pajamas: after three to four wears
- Bedsheets: at least every two weeks
- Bath towels: after 3 to 5 uses
As with many rules, there are exceptions to these. Higher levels of activity and hot or dirty environments will call for more frequent cleaning. Items that become stained or discolored should be washed or dry cleaned as soon as possible. Anything that develops an odor (failing the proverbial “sniff test”) is also due for the laundry heap. Pajamas and bedsheets may need to be washed more often if used by those who are heavy night sweaters and less often for those who shower before bed.
Keep it clean out there!