How Often Should I Do the Laundry?

We humans, if you think about it, can be pretty gross. Did you know we shed about 500 millions skins cells each day? We sweat on average a liter per day. And because of this we create a feast for bacteria to live in our clothes and our skin (if you wear you clothes day after day before washing.)

So with all that gross stuff now staring at you through your pile of dirty laundry. Let’s get on with some stuff to help you manage your pile and create some harmony within your home and closet. After all you did spend the money on the wardrobe now it’s time to keep the clothes you purchased lasting you years instead of months.

  1. How should you wash laundry?
    Good housekeeping has a blog listing some best laundry practices that are a great standard for everything:
    • Separate clothes: not just by color but keep in mind what the label of the clothing states i.e. you don’t want to wash your black bra with black jeans – the material can wear down the bra and even create snagging
    • Don’t overload the machine: garments need to gently spin in the washer so the suds can do their job of cleaning/sanitizing the garments
    • Clean the washing machine regularly: we use a natural cleanser through our “clean washer” cycle on our machine.
    • Select the right temp for the job: just because you have a detergent that cleans in cold water doesn’t mean that is how you should wash your clothes. Hot water works best to remove stains, stench or germs. Again make sure to read the label on the clothes so you don’t create fading or shrinking.
    • Don’t use one detergent for everything: I love woolite for my delicates and hand washables, vinegar to help with oder and Oxi for stains.
  2. How often should you wash your laundry?
    Use the below list as a standard – wash immediately if there is stains or spills. Also you may need to change the frequency depending on how often you sweat, change in medications or if you have been sick.
    • Every wear: tights, shirts, blouses, leggings/yoga pants, t-shirts, socks & underwear
    • Every 3 wears: Pj’s (if you shower before bed), bath towels (if hung dry), bras, slips, camisole, dresses, skirts, sweaters, blazers/jackets, jeans & dress pants
    • Every Day (these are bacteria breeding grounds): dish towels, hand towels & wash cloths
    • Every Week: Sheets, pillowcases & bath mats (wash in high heat if you have been ill)
    • Every Month: Bathrobe, mattress pad & pillow liners
    • Every 3 months: Shower curtain (I do mine every month), throw blankets, throw rugs & outerwear
    • Every 6 months: Pillows & Comforter (unless you have pets like me then we wash ours monthly)
  3. Daily load of laundry or once/week
    *obviously if you have to coin op it this doesn’t apply to you – but at minimum you should be going to the laundry mat weekly
    • Start a load of laundry each day to avoid the bacteria growing factory – this helps us as we live in a tiny home (228 sqft). We don’t have the “space” to have a large pile of laundry and it can stink up the home pretty quick if not washed regularly
    • Try doing a theme each day to keep you on track i.e. Monday bedding, Tuesday bathroom, Wednesday whites, Thursday lights & Friday darks – this leaves your weekend free or to play catch up
    • If you wait to do your hand towels and washrags weekly make sure to add some vinegar to your wash to kill some bacteria that has started to breed in the fabric
  4. Tips to help:
    • Before adding to the laundry hamper – remove pins, buckles, zip zippers, close snaps and hooks, and secure velcro. This will keep the rest of your laundry from “snagging” and un-needed wear or rips.
      Also empty pockets, un-roll socks, turn vinyl shirts inside out, tie sashes.
      Remember to place your delicate items in a mesh bag and turn delicate items such as sweaters and shirts to prevent pilling.
      Keep stain remover by your hamper so you can spray or roll on the stain. This helps to keep the stain from setting before washing.
    • Consider a “family closet” close to your laundry room (or in your laundry room) – this blogger Ashley Mills with The Handmade Home has inspired me to create our family closet. Imagine after doing the laundry not hauling it all around to the various rooms to put away – it’s all right there.
    • Get the kids involved! Teaching them early how to sort, wash and dry will give them tools they need as they age! It also gives them pride in what they wear and how to care for their clothes.
    • Pick out your outfits the night before so you know if you need to wash and item to wear – it keeps you from last minute mends or changing outfits.
    • Keep your dirty laundry in the laundry room – when you change clothes just take the dirty laundry to the laundry room to keep them out of your bedroom.
    • Pre-sort your laundry – This is where you can get lost in Pinterest, but here are some of my favorites:

If you’re a lover of doing laundry make sure to give us some of your favorite tips below in the comments (and I would love to see pictures for inspiration.) I hope this helps you all with your laundry pile…I know it helps with mine.

Tell me some of your tips and techniques of your laundry journey below!

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