How Often Should You Really Be Washing Your Clothes?

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Honesty hour, ladies: We've all wondered how long we can go without washing our clothes before it's unavoidable. We mean, flipping your pajamas inside-out is a great hack when you're feeling particularly lazy, but there are only so many times you can ignore the washing machine altogether. You may think that leaving your bras as is for a week is perfectly fine, but how often should you be washing your clothes really?

Well, we're breaking it down for the sake of lazy girls everywhere, getting to the bottom of when detergent should become your new bestie. Lucky for us, it doesn't seem to be as often as we thought.

Let's get super science-y about this for a moment, shall we? Thanks to the adorable nerds over at Brit Lab, we know that how often we wash depends on where on our bodies those clothes go and how nasty that part of that body can get.
ewWe get stinky from a variety of sources. If you're running around all day and sweating off a few pounds, then there is no question that your clothes should go straight in the wash. But other than that, our clothes tend to get dirty from our own general grossness. Your body sheds a lot of skin cells and secretes a lot of oil and bacteria. And yeah, it all winds up back in your clothes.

We sweat all over, but the particularly disgusting, smelly sweat tends to happen in a few key areas: Your pits, your genitals, your breasts and your eyelids (um?). Unfortunately, that means those bras should be hitting the wash a lot more than you think.

Here's the lowdown:

Underwear and Socks

Those bad boys should be washed every single time you wear them. This really shouldn't be a question. At least...we hope it isn't.
red bra hanging on a clothes line with white


Since your bra is hanging out in one of your sweatier zones (yes, we're inwardly cringing, too), you should pop this in the washer every three to four wears. Good Housekeeping notes that doing it more often than that could risk ruining the elasticity and cup shape of your bra, which no one wants. If you rotate between different bras each day you should be good for the week. Just take care to make sure they get clean!

Washing tip: Always look on the tag to see how your bra should be washed. And hang dry! The dryer could be your worst enemy.

Tops and Dresses

Because your fave knit dresses and sheer tops hover around Pit Town, clean these guys up every one to two wears. Once again, follow the washing instructions on the tag and avoid the dryer if you want to prevent shrinking.

Pants, Skirts and Shorts

There's more leeway with your different types of bottoms, and Pop Sugar says you can usually get away with washing them after three to four wears.
Young woman on the deck of ship with skirt blowingThat being said, the tighter your pants, the more often you should wash them. Because they hug you so snuggly, tight pants are more likely to collect some of the dirt and nastiness we shed throughout the day. That means leggings, ladies! Wash those after one or two wears.


When you should wash your jeans seems to be hot topic of debate. If you ask Levi Strauss, the brand reps will tell you to never wash your jeans, so you don't compromise the quality of the denim. Well Levi, we're not going to walk into the ocean any time soon like you advise. Instead, wash your jeans after five or six wears, so that the denim doesn't fade and your pair still keeps its fit.


Your coat is often facing the elements, but luckily you won't have to take it to the cleaners that often. Once every two months will suffice to keep your coat clean.


We'll admit it: Sometimes we forget these guys need some laundry love, too. Make sure to wash your pajamas after three to four wears.

And don't forget to change those sheets!


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