Do you toss your clothes in the hamper after wearing them once? Well, you may want to stop. It turns out, this is one cleaning task we may actually be doing too much of, according to Carolyn Forte, executive director of the Good Housekeeping Institute’s Home Care and Cleaning Lab.
While there are no hard and fast rules about how often to wash or rewear clothing, she says, “I suspect most people probably wash - or even dry clean - their clothing more often than needed.” Forte goes on to say it’s really a personal choice, but Americans do a lot of laundry and tend to wash things after a wear or two. And washing clothing too frequently can keep it from lasting a long time, plus it’s not great for the environment.
- The average American household does about 300 loads of laundry a year and one single load can use between 7 to 25 gallons of water, depending on the washing machine.
- Washing clothes in hot water uses more energy and using the dryer - instead of air drying - is another big energy guzzler.
But it’s also important not to wait too long to launder clothes, as that can lead to skin issues and stinky problems. Dirty clothes trap sweat, oil, dead skin cells and bacteria, which can lead to clogged pores and acne breakouts, as well as odor issues that can be hard to get rid of, even after washing. So here’s what the experts advise when it comes to laundry:
- What to wash after every wear - A good guideline is that the closer the garment is to your skin, the more often it should be washed. This includes undies, socks, undershirts and workout clothes, as well as anything visibly dirty, stained or smelly.
- What to wash every few wears - Pants, sweaters, blouses, bras and pajamas can typically be worn a couple of times before hitting the laundry, Forte says. Jeans can also be worn a few times, and some experts say you can wait 10 wears or more between washes.
- What you can wash less frequently - Coats, jackets and items worn over other clothing can go longer without washing, as can suits, evening gowns and cocktail dresses. Unless you really work up a sweat or stain them, then they need to be cleaned before wearing again.
Source: Huff Post