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How Often Should You Wash Your Clothes?

By Goedekershomelife @goedekers

Whenever they're dirty of course! But what determines when clothes are actually dirty? Visible dirt yes, but what about your favorite pair of jeans, or that bra that fits you just right, or your lucky hat? Those items may not particularly look dirty per se but at some point they need to be washed. So how often should you wash your clothes?

Before we get into the exact answer to that question, we'd like to discuss a couple other popular questions...

Can you overwash clothes?
Often Should Wash Your Clothes?

Absolutely! Every garment does not need to be washed after every wear. In fact, washing some items too much causes them to wear prematurely, lose their color vibrancy quickly, or make them more susceptible to damage.

Do you have to follow washing instructions?

Labels on clothes are suggested ways to care for that particular piece. These directions provide the best care practices one should take to clean that item. Clothing manufacturers are only required to place one care instruction on the tag, meaning that may not solely be the way to properly care for it.

So do you have to follow these directions? Not necessarily, considering that many are suggestive, however, you'll be taking a risk if you choose to care for it another way.

Note: Dry Clean Only or anything "only" for that sake means exactly what it says. When in doubt, follow the instructions!

Often Should Wash Your Clothes?

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How often should you wash your clothes?

Let's get down to the real reason you're here... To answer the question, how often should you wash your clothes; it depends on the clothing item. Below, find a guide that helps you answer the question for the various types of clothing you have.


This may be a no brainer but underwear should be washed after one wear. This doesn't mean you have to do laundry every day, but wearing underwear more than once is unhygienic. You should have enough pairs to last you at least a week and by the end of the week, you can wash your underwear with the remainder of your laundry.


Not to be mistaken with underwear, bras can actually be worn 3-4 times before being placed in the washing machine. Now, this timeframe is based on a woman's personal hygiene. If you sweat more often you may want to wash a little sooner, however, washing every day is not necessary. Instead, it is suggested that you include a rest day in between each wear so the elastic can regain its shape.

Pajamas and Sleepwear

You're only sleeping in these items so technically they don't get dirty right? Not exactly. Though you may not sweat in your sleep or move around much, your pajamas should be washed about the same amount as your bras, after 3-4 times of wearing.

T-Shirts and Sweaters

Often Should Wash Your Clothes?
Though grouped together, these items have different time frames of how often they should be washed. T-shirts should be washed after 1-2 wears due to its direct contact with your skin, and specifically your underarms. In the summertime after each wear is most appropriate. Contrarily, sweater and vests or cardigans can be worn 5-7 times before being washed. This is primarily because they are worn over a t-shirt. If not, they may be washed sooner.


Admit it, you rarely wash your jeans... While you don't have to wash your jeans nearly as much as other clothes you wear daily, you should at least wash them after 6-7 wears. If you are concerned about them losing their color or shape, turn them inside out, soak them in a vinegar/water mix, and wash on a gentle cycle.

Leggings and Gym Wear

Leggings generally can be worn 1-3 times before needing to be washed. On the other hand, we believe it goes without saying that gym clothes should be washed after every wear. This doesn't mean you have to wash gym clothes every day, we suggest investing in a few items if you workout regularly and washing them all at the end of the week unless they're extremely smelly.

Coats and Jackets

You may never think to wash your coat our outwear until it gets a stain or you spill something on it. Don't worry, you only need to wash your jacket or coat once or twice a season. Due to them being an outer layer it is rare that they come into contact with body fluids or oils that would cause them to absorb a smell.

General Rule: You may have already come to this conclusion, but if you get a stain, spillage or smell in any clothing item it is time for you to wash it.
Often Should Wash Your Clothes?

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