Before you drop your trousers into the laundry basket, consider your choice well. Is this item of clothing actually dirty? How am I qualified to preach to you about when to wash your clothes? I am a certified clean person with over 20 years experience of wearing clothes and 5 years experience in laundry.
Washing machines use about 20 – 40 gallons of water per load. If you do your laundry on the warm setting, that amount of water is also heated. That’s a strain on both your water and electricity bills. Ask DEWA (or SEWA or MEW or whatever).
But let’s say you don’t care about planet Earth.
Washing your clothes too much will cause them to wear out faster. The fabric will stretch out. The colors will fade. Lint will develop. In other words, your clothes age faster if washed too often.
Here’s a quick guide on how and when to wash clothes.
If they smell, wash them
This one is obvious. Have a sniff of the “problem areas.” If you notice a smell, wash. Needless to say, this is more of a problem during the summer. Bacteria breaks down your sweat into smelly compounds. Lovely.
Wash tops and camisoles often
Some areas produce apocrine sweat. No, not apricot sweat. Apocrine sweat is sweat that is particularly delicious to bacteria. It’s in these areas where we stink the most. These areas are armpits, boobs, and the nether regions. Tops and camisoles (aka faneela) touch the first two areas the most, so they need washing often.
Wash your underwear and socks every day. Duh.
Wash jeans almost never
Yes, jeans do come into contact with the nether regions. But that’s why we wear underwear with two layers covering the area. So for the sake of your jeans, listen to the CEO of Levi’s. He revealed he hadn’t washed his jeans in over a year.
Okay, maybe don’t wait a year. When your jeans start to smell like they belong in the laundry basket, wash them. This is especially the case during the summer. When you feel like you’re peeling off your jeans, they need a wash.
Also, “jegging” type jeans are likely to become dirtier faster. So wash these more often.
Use a stain stick
Ketchup, Bolognese sauce, tea. Splat in the middle of your freshly washed top. Is it just me or does this happen more often when you’re wearing light-colored clothes? Instead of throwing it in the wash, use a stain remover stick to go over the stain.
So spare your clothes the scrunch, tumble, and drain. Save yourself the sort, load, hang, and fold. If it stinks, wash it. On the complicated and controversial topic of bras, keep an eye out for our bra series.