Implementing good laundry habits is crucial to keeping your clothes looking fresh and new. Washing your garments too often can shorten their lifespan, but neglecting your clothing can lead to unpleasant odours and a build-up of bacteria. So how often should you be washing your clothes?


Proper care of clothes through washing helps maintain your garment's quality. Sweat, dead skin cells and dirt accumulate on clothing, creating a breeding ground for bacteria that can cause unpleasant smells.


Regular washing can remove this, keeping you feeling and smelling your best. However, frequent washing can damage delicate fabrics, create colour fading and shorten the lifespan of your clothes.


To Wash or Not To Wash?


The key to success in the laundry room comes down to how you wear your clothes and how often you wear them. Some items like underwear, workout clothes and swimwear require a wash after every use to maintain hygiene and prevent bacterial growth. But other garments can be left a little longer between washes.


Other garments washing frequency should be dictated by the number of wears. Shirts worn as a first layer might benefit from a wash after 1-2 wears depending on your level of activity throughout the day, while dresses can go 1-3 wears before needing a refresh.


Bras typically last longer between washes at 2-3 wears, as well as pyjamas which should be washed after being worn 3-4 times. Sweatshirts can last up to 5-6 wears, especially if worn over another garment, but skirts and jeans take the cake at 5-7 and 6-10 wears respectively, depending on activity level.


This general guide should act as just that, but you should also consider other key factors. Activity level can lead to a build-up of bacteria, especially if you sweat a lot. Garments that are exposed to high levels of activity should be washed more often to prevent unpleasant odours and the build-up of this bad bacteria.


Seasons can also affect washing frequency. Hot, humid weather increases sweat and how frequently you should be washing your clothing. Stains and spills can also affect how frequently you wash your clothes. Stains should be treated promptly to avoid setting, but don't start a wash cycle straight away. There are a couple of steps to follow before washing to better remove stains.


Westinghouse’s EasyCare Front Load Washing Machine displayed in the laundry


What to do in the laundry room

  • Letting stains sit: Waiting to treat stains can make them more difficult to remove as the stain soaks and dries into the fabric.
  • Skipping pre-treating: Always apply a pre-wash stain remover before putting your item through a usual wash. It will help break down the stain better, making it easier to remove in the wash. This is especially necessary for harder-to-remove stains like grass.
  • Using too much detergent: Using more than the recommended amount of detergent can lead to lingering soap residue on clothes and more frequent maintenance of your washing machine.
  • Always using heat: Using hot water can cause a stain to set, making it even more challenging to remove, so avoid hot wash cycles and dryers until a stain is fully removed.


The winter specifics


Winter brings its own set of potential stains like hot drinks and mould. We’re happy to help with these tried-and-true methods for removing winter accidents.


  • Coffee or tea stains: Soak the stain in cold water and pre-treat with a prewash stain remover before washing as usual.
  • Mould stains: Scrape off as much surface mould as possible by gently brushing with a clean bristled brush. Spray white vinegar directly onto the stain and leave to soak for several minutes. If possible, leave to dry in the sun to kill more bacteria. Repeat as needed then wash as usual.
  • Mud: Let the mud dry completely then brush off and pre-treat before washing as usual.


For more laundry success tips check out our blog with Anita Birges where she shares her go-to process to achieving 'laundry basket zero'.
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