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How Many Wears Before You Need to Wash

We all wash our clothes to keep ourselves and our clothes 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: After three to four wears.
  • Underwear: After every wear.
  • Socks and stockings: After every wear.
  • Sportswear and swimwear: After every wear.
  • Jeans: 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: One to two wears.
  • Dresses: One to two wears.
  • Leggings: One to two wears.
  • Pants, skirts, and shorts: Three to four wears.
  • Jackets and blazers: Five to six wears.
  • Coats: Once every two months of wear.
  • PJs: 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.

Image Source: POPSUGAR Photography / Mark Popovich
Product Credit: Stone Cold Fox robe, Eres bra, Vanessa Mooney necklace
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chemin chemin 1 year

But what about dry clean only clothes?! Nothing ever gets the smell out no matter how frequently you dry clean the garment!!!

One-Quill One-Quill 3 years
I agree, sox should only be worn once. My feet are not particularly smelly or sweaty but there are times they get changed twice in the same day. three or four wears? No way! Nor do I go that long wearing an unlaundered bra. I allow one to breathe one day and then wear a different one, but they are only worn twice. My jeans get washed more also, they are the kind with stretch in them and get baggy after one wear otherwise. Matter of fact, everything I have, with maybe the exception of coats gets washed much more often. (I live in a warm climate). No wonder people are so stinky!!! GROSS
Rider3 Rider3 3 years
Gross! I commute on the train. People are stinky enough. Wearing socks twice? WTF? No. You wear something outside of the house, WASH IT. Don't be disgusting. You might not be able to smell yourself, but the person next to you definitely can, and it STINKS.
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