If you ask most people that question, you’ll be met with varied responses.

“Well, when they get dirty, of course!”

“It depends on what it is you’re washing.”

“When I can be bothered…”

The truth is, there are no hard and fast rules when it comes to how often you should wash your clothes, and there’s no single deciding factor that tells you when it’s time to switch on the washer and do a load of laundry.

Some people, such as students and teenage boys, like to leave their clothes for days on end in a dirty pile before taking them to the laundry facilities – often more commonly known as their parents house. However, leaving dirty clothes for too long will only result in the spreading of germs and bacteria, which will make your room smell and could even cause mold over time (particularly if you’re leaving wet towels lying around).

So if you’re still wondering how often you should be washing your clothes, the simple answer is: It depends on the item of clothing. Here’s our quick guide for how often you should be washing the different items in your wardrobe.

 

Underwear

With the exception of bras, which can be washed after 3-4 wears, you should wash all your underwear after one wear. Nobody is expecting you to do laundry every single day, but re-wearing the same pair of boxers or socks is highly unhygienic. As long as you have enough underwear to last you for a few days, you can put your used underwear in your laundry bag and dump it in the washer with the rest of your clothes at the end of the week.

 

Jeans

We love wearing jeans – you can dress them up or down! Buy them in various shades, or stick to the traditional blues. One thing we hate is washing our jeans – they’re never the same afterwards and it makes the color fade easier. As a guide, you should wash your jeans after 6-7 wears, or approximately once a week if you’re wearing the same pair every single day. If you’re worried about your favorite pair of jeans getting ruined in the washing machine, turn them inside out, soak them beforehand, and put them on a gentle wash.

 

Sweaters, cardigans and T-shirts

Unless you spill something on them, sweaters and cardigans can generally last for 5-7 wears before you need to wash them. This applies if you’re wearing them over other items, such as T-shirts or shirts. Of course, if you notice that they are starting to smell bad, you can toss them in the basket earlier with the rest of your clothing. T-shirts, perhaps surprisingly, should be washed after every 1-2 wears, since they are in direct contact with your upper body. After wearing a T-shirt for several hours in the summer, you’ll find that wearing it a second time isn’t a very pleasant thought (unless you have no sense of smell).

 

Leggings and yoga pants or gym wear

If you have any sense of hygiene about you, it goes without saying that you need to wash your gym clothes after every wear. If you go to the gym regularly, invest in 2-3 different outfits that you can wear if you want to minimize the amount of laundry you need to do. Leggings worn for leisure purposes can be washed after 1-3 wears – of course, this varies greatly on how long you’ve been wearing them for at a time and how much your body has been sweating.

 

Jackets and coats

Thankfully for everybody who owns a leather jacket, they don’t require much washing. The same applies to coats, including rain coats and thicker winter jackets. It’s recommended that you do wash your jackets and coats, but only once or twice per season. Coats are normally worn over at least one or two layers, so the likelihood of them starting to smell bad is very slim. As with any items, you should wash them as soon as possible if you get any spillages or liquids on them.

 

Pajamas and sleepwear

We tend to think that because we’re not moving around and sweating a lot in our pajamas, they don’t need to be washed very often. They should be washed just as often as bras and sweaters – around every 3-4 wears.

Now you know how often you need to wash your clothes, you can stop wasting time on unnecessary laundry loads and save money on washing powder, as well as water!