House and Home

How Many Times Can You Wear Something Before It Needs a Wash?

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We all wash our clothes to keep them (and ourselves) smelling so fresh and oh-so-clean, but there is such a thing as too much washing, and too little.

There are downsides to both extremes: laundering your clothes more than you need to can shorten their lifespan and wear them out quickly, but washing too rarely can be unhygienic and cause a lot of icky bacteria growth.

Here's a general guide to follow:

  • Bras: Wash after three to four wears.
  • Underwear: Wash after every wear.
  • Socks and stockings: Wash after every wear.
  • Sportswear and swimwear: Wash after every wear.
  • Jeans: Wash after every five to six wears. Although there are some that advocate washing as little as possible. In fact, the director of brand concepts and special projects for Levi Strauss & Co. washes his once every six months.
  • Tops: Wash after one to two wears.
  • Dresses: Wash after one to two wears.
  • Leggings: Wash after one to two wears.
  • Pants, skirts and shorts: Wash after three to four wears.
  • Jackets and blazers: Wash after five to six wears.
  • Coats: Wash once every two months of wear.
  • PJs: Wash after three to four wears.

Of course, this guide doesn't apply to the days when excessive sweating or accidental spills happen, and to those who have different hygiene preferences.