Skip to main content

How often should you wash your clothes? These are the top mistakes

Share

The average family spends a lot of time in the laundry room doing about 300 loads of laundry every year. Even though people may be doing five loads of laundry a week, there is a chance they are doing it wrong, according to new research from Consumer Reports (CR).

With three growing boys at home, Erica Dickman-Wilkes has mountains of laundry.

“I do laundry every single day,” she said.

Stained, sweaty and dirty clothes are automatically thrown in the wash, and Dickman-Wilkes said she washes her comforters every week.

CR’s Rich Handel said that is too often. According to CR, it’s not necessary to wash that often unless your pet sleeps on the bed – otherwise, every three weeks will do the job.

But don’t hold off for too much longer as things we can’t see – like dust mites, bacteria, and dead skin cells – can trigger allergies and skin irritation.

CR said that sheets are another matter and should be washed every five to seven days, sooner if you or someone is sick.

Fear of a dank, moldy towel has Dickman-Wilkes washing her towels after every use, but CR said that is also too often.

“Don’t throw towels on the floor. Hang it up and if you allow it to dry in between, you won’t have to wash it as often. We generally suggest three to five days,” Handel said.

CR said that undergarments, t-shirts, socks and especially gym clothes should be washed after each use.

“And they should not be left bunched up in a bag where they can become a science experiment,” Handel said.

When it comes to khakis and dress shirts, unless they are dirty, stained or sweaty, save yourself the trouble and wash them after three wears. Jeans can go without a wash for even longer.

When it comes to detergents, three earned top spots in CR tests. Tide Plus Ultra Stain Release, Tide Oxi, and Persil Pro Clean Stain Fighter yielded very good results.

But don’t overdo it with laundry detergent as more is not necessarily better and research shows many people use twice as much as they need to.

Another mistake many people make is putting stained clothes in the dryer before the stain is removed. Once you do that, the heat sets the stain and it will be hard to get rid of it, so you're better off using a stain remover and washing it again.

CTVNews.ca Top Stories

DEVELOPING

DEVELOPING Motive of man who tried to assassinate Donald Trump remains elusive

Former U.S. president Donald Trump called for unity and resilience after an attempt on his life injected fresh uncertainty into an already tumultuous presidential campaign, while President Joe Biden implored Americans to 'cool it down' in the final stretch and 'resolve our differences at the ballot box.'

LIVE RNC UPDATES

LIVE RNC UPDATES Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell booed at RNC

The Republican National Convention kicked off this week, with delegates and officials descending on Wisconsin amid the tumult that follows a Saturday assassination attempt on Trump as he becomes the GOP’s official nominee. Follow for live updates of the RNC.

Stay Connected