How Often Should You Do Laundry? The Answer.

If you are wondering how often should you do laundry to keep the loads of laundry under control, here is your answer.

Woman sitting in front of a washing machine
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Do you ever find yourself staring at a towering pile of laundry, wondering how it multiplied so quickly?

Or perhaps you’ve experienced the frustrating moment when your favorite shirt is nowhere to be found because it’s buried beneath a mountain of dirty clothes? And you are wondering if it will pass the sniff test.

If you’ve been there, you’re not alone. Laundry day is a chore that’s as universal as it is relentless, and it’s one that often leaves us feeling overwhelmed.

woman overwhelmed with laundry sitting with a pile of clothes in front of a washing machine
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Laundry – that never-ending cycle of sorting, washing, drying, and folding, is a task that many of us approach haphazardly. We toss in a load when the laundry basket is overflowing or grab a shirt from the hamper because it’s the last clean one left.

But guess what? An organized laundry routine can simplify your life and save you time, money, and sanity.

Whether you’re a daily washer, a weekend laundry warrior, or someone who prefers to do laundry less frequently, we’ve got you covered.

Also see: How to clean a washing machine

How Often Should You Do Laundry?

Laundry frequency isn’t a one-size-fits-all concept. It varies from household to household and person to person, depending on a multitude of factors. Family size, lifestyle, clothing preferences, and seasons all play a huge role. An individual professional’s requirements will be vastly different from those of a family with a young baby.

Laundry Frequency Guidelines

The appropriate laundry frequency varies based on your specific circumstances and lifestyle.

Daily Laundry – When It’s Necessary

Babies and Toddlers: Daily laundry is often necessary for parents with infants and toddlers. The little ones have a knack for creating messes, from spit-up to diaper leaks. Keeping their clothes and bedding clean is essential for their health and comfort.

woman  playing with toddler girl while doing laundry
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Active Individuals: If you or your family members lead active lives with regular workouts, sports, or outdoor activities, you may find daily laundry beneficial. Sweaty workout clothes and sportswear should be washed promptly to prevent odors and bacteria growth.

Twice a Week Laundry – Optimal for Many

Large Families: In larger households, where laundry loads can quickly pile up, a twice-a-week laundry routine can make it easy to manage. This ensures that you have enough clean clothes throughout the week without becoming overwhelmed by daily laundry.

Many busy professionals find a twice-a-week laundry routine ideal. You can maintain a fresh wardrobe without the burden of daily chores by doing laundry on specific days, such as midweek and the weekend. This routine aligns well with a busy work schedule.

Also see: How to tumble dry clothes

Small Families: A weekly process works well in smaller households or an average family size of 2-4. It allows you to consolidate laundry into larger batches, saving time and energy. You can run multiple full loads and get everything washed in a single day. Remember to sort the clothing into the laundry basket by fabric type and color.

For time-strapped professionals, adopting a weekly laundry routine can be a game-changer. It’s about finding the right balance between maintaining a clean wardrobe and maximizing your productivity.

Also see: How to use a steam iron

How to Streamline the Laundry Routine

Streamlining your laundry routine is all about making this essential chore work seamlessly with your busy life. Here’s how you can do this.

Create a Schedule

One of the most effective ways to streamline your laundry routine is by creating a well-structured schedule. This schedule should outline specific days and times dedicated to laundry. For busy professionals and parents, this could mean designating certain evenings during the week for laundry tasks. Having a consistent schedule ensures that laundry doesn’t pile up, and you can manage it efficiently without feeling overwhelmed.

Implementing a laundry schedule allows you to plan your week better. You can ensure everyone has clean clothes when needed, preventing last-minute panics about missing laundry or wrinkled attire before important meetings or events.

Involve Family Members

girl helping mom take out laundry from washing machine
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In a household, laundry isn’t solely one person’s responsibility. Involving family members in the laundry routine can significantly ease the workload. Assign specific tasks or responsibilities to each family member, age-appropriate, of course. Even young children can help by placing dirty clothes in the hamper. My kids used to love sorting and grouping clothes or socks by color while folding the laundry.

Outsource

If you have an especially hectic schedule or a strong desire to free up more time, outsourcing laundry can be a viable solution. Many laundry services offer pickup, washing, folding, and delivery options. Utilizing these services can reclaim a significant portion of your time and minimize the hassle of doing laundry.

How Often Should Clothing Be Washed?

Aside from the daily, biweekly, or weekly laundry that works for your family and schedule, here are best practices for how often different items should be washed:

  • Socks and Underwear: Wash underwear and socks after single wear to maintain hygiene and prevent bacteria buildup.
  • Shirts and Tops: Depending on how much you sweat, shirts and tops can usually be worn 1-2 times before washing. Of course, if they get visibly dirty or have an odor, it’s time to wash them.
  • Pants and Bottoms: Unless you’re doing activities that make you sweat or get dirty, pants and bottoms can be worn 2-3 times before needing a wash.
  • Outerwear: Coats and jackets can usually be worn multiple times between washes unless they get visibly dirty or have a strong odor.
  • Bras: It’s recommended to wash bras after 1-2 wears to maintain their shape and support. However, sports bras should be washed after each workout.
  • Pajamas and Loungewear: These items can usually be worn multiple times before washing, as long as you’re not excessively sweating or getting them dirty.
  • Bedding, Bath Towels, and Hand Towels: It’s recommended to wash bed sheets and towels once a week to maintain cleanliness and remove dead skin cells. However, if there are spills or visible stains, they should be washed immediately. 

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Anika Gandhi is on a mission to declutter and organize all the things around her and is here to inspire and encourage you to do the same!

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