How often should you wash underwear and similar clothes?

When it comes to socks, underwear and undershirts, the wash schedule is non-negotiable. The best time to wash these clothes is after every use. This is because these items are in close contact with your skin and sweat – washing them after every use keeps them smelling fresh.

Some items, like bras, can be worn 3-4 times before washing, but only if the weather is cool and you don’t sweat much. Women’s lingerie should be washed using a delicate cycle or washed by hand. Dry lingerie on an indoor drying rack to protect it from sunlight. You can also use a low heat or delicate dryer cycle.

A load of clothes in a top load washing machine during a cycle.

How often should you wash jeans, sweaters, workout clothes and other daily wear?

Unlike underwear, some of your clothes can be worn multiple times before they need to be washed again. Still, it’s important to wash your clothes on the right schedule to help ensure they look their best. Also, keep in mind that any stained or soiled clothes should be washed as soon as possible. Some basic guidelines are as follows:

  • Shirts and blouses: 1-2 wearings
  • Dress pants or slacks: 2-3 wearings
  • Jeans: 4-5 wearings
  • Sweaters: Up to 6 wearings, if an undershirt is worn. 1-2 washings if worn without an undershirt.
  • Suits/blazers/casual jackets: 5-6 wearings
  • Workout clothes: 1 wearing
  • Sleepwear: 2-3 wearings
A person rinses a striped garment using their washing machine.

How often should you wash sheets and towels?

You don’t wear sheets, towels or washcloths, but it’s still important to wash these items frequently – not only do they have close contact with your body, but they can also absorb water or sweat and become breeding grounds for bacteria. Wash towels after no more than 3 uses, and wash your sheets once a week. Be sure to use hot water and dry towels and sheets on high heat to help kill bacteria and keep these important items as clean as possible.

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