How often you should do laundry depends on what you’re washing. Clothes you wear close to the skin, like underwear, socks and bras, should be washed frequently, while other types of clothing can be worn multiple times before washing. Read on for more info on how often to wash clothes.

How often should you wash underwear, socks and bras?

Underwear, socks and undershirts should be washed after every use, while bras can be worn 3-4 times before washing. Since underwear, socks and undershirts are in close contact with your skin and sweat, washing them after every use keeps them smelling fresh.

Bras can be washed less frequently—after 3-4 wearings—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?

Clothes like jeans, sweaters and jackets can be worn multiple times before they need to be washed again. Still, it’s important to know how often you should wash your clothes to help ensure they look their best. Also, keep in mind that any stained or soiled clothes should be washed as soon as possible. Here are some basic guidelines on how often to wash clothes:

  • Shirts and blouses: after 1-2 wearings
  • Dress pants or slacks: after 2-3 wearings
  • Jeans: after 4-5 wearings
  • Sweaters: up to 6 wearings, if worn with an undershirt; 1-2 wearings if worn without an undershirt
  • Suits/blazers/casual jackets: after 5-6 wearings
  • Workout clothes: after 1 wearing
  • Sleepwear: after 2-3 wearings

Care tip:

If your dryer has a steam cycle you can use it to quickly refresh clothes such as jeans or dress pants without washing them.

A person rinses a striped garment using their washing machine.

How often should you wash sheets and towels?

Wash your sheets once a week and wash your towels after no more than 3 uses. Even though you don’t wear these items, it’s important to wash them 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. Be sure to wash in 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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