How often should you wash your clothes?

July 22, 2019

Stella McCartney has recently revealed that there are some clothes that she would NEVER clean. So, should you wear that bra two days in a row?

You get up late for work, rush around trying to find some clean clothes and you notice that your underwear drawer is looking near-empty - and you spot the bra you wore yesterday at the top of the laundry basket - would it hurt to wear it again?

Experts have been torn over designer Stella McCartney’s statements in an interview, where she revealed that she doesn’t change her bra everyday and believes that over-washing garments can damage them. So, how often should you wash your wardrobe - if, at all?

 

Jeans

Stella says never - but experts are divided over this; Levi’s CEO and President Chip Bergh and Garment Quarter’s managing director, John Reid, agree with Stella. In 2014, Chip stated that he has never washed his favourite pair, and John comments that washing your jeans alters the make-up of the material. However, not everyone agrees with this statement; Julia Dee is the director of Total Wardrobe Care - a company that keeps clothes in optimum condition, believes that jeans should be washed every two wears as it makes them more appealing and feel softer.

 

Suits

Whilst Stella also says you shouldn’t wash bespoke suits, and that you should let “the dirt dry and brush it off”, this may be very difficult for those with more convention jobs and are subjected to the odours and grime from public transport and stuffy offices.

Hockerty, a tailored suit company, recommend cleaning your suits after two to three wears.

 

Hosiery

As expected, tights should definitely be washed after every wear. And, whilst it is wearing the shoes that makes your feet smell, rather than the changing of socks and tights, we should still be changing our hosiery every day. Sweat gets trapped inside shoes, so there is more time for bacteria on the skin to break down the proteins in sweat.

 

Underwear

There were no dividing opinions as experts universally agreed that you also need to change your underwear every day. Any garments close to the intimate areas should be washed every day.

Microbiologist Dr. Kate Laird of De Montfort University research has shown that some microorganisms survive a 40-degree wash: “The bacteria lives in us harmlessly but can cause boils.”

 

Bras

Similarly to underwear, Dr Laird recommends changing your bra every day, as it’s in close proximity to your underarms - where there are sweat glands galore!

However, chartered environmental health practitioner, Dr Lisa Ackerley agrees with Stella; whilst you probably don’t need to wash your bra every day, though there is no ‘rule of thumb’ as there are many factors involved, such as the weather, the level of activity and how much you sweat.

 

Gym Wear

Odours are a common problem for active wear; you can never seem to completely wash them out. So, while odours can start to occur after a short period of time, it is a common problem. Even once the garment is washed, odour will begin to occur quicker, as perspiration is bound with fibers, even after washing.

 

The issue is that constant wash cycles will affect the garment, so there needs to be a way to find the balance of over-washing garments and the ‘right amount’ of washing.

 

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