Do One Thing: Stop Washing Your Clothes.

13 Comments

 
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OK, don’t stop washing them – just stop washing them so often! This week’s Do One Thing is to advise you that when you wash your clothes too often, a few things happen:

1. Your clothes don’t last as long.
2. You use more water & detergent than necessary.

Water is one of our most precious resources, and our clothes don’t need to be constantly washed in it. Before washing them, I wear my jeans at least 5 times, my shirts at least 2 times, and I use my towels for about a week. Socks and underwear are the only things I wash after a single wear – and most of this summer I have not even been wearing socks. Besides, well-worn clothes are more comfortable!

Do you wash your clothes every single time you wear an item?

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Comments

  1. I’m with you. I only wash my jeans and slacks after 4 or 5 wearings assuming they have no obvious stains (and even then…), collared and button up shirts 2-3 times, sweaters in winter 4-5 times at least. Socks and under clothes get washed after 1 wearing. Ditto for clothes I’ve worn while breaking a good sweat (either while exercising or working around the house). It took a while for my wife to not question my non-clothes-washing habits but as she’s become more and more environmentally conscious she’s doing a lot of the same.

  2. Well, in fact I can’t tell you the number of times! I just don’t know….

    The only thing that I wash each time I wash myself is underwear and t-shirts.

    What’s the idea of putting a clean t-shirt if you are not clean???

  3. Ha ha ha. I was just reading something similar on The Simple Dollar and patting myself on the back. I go one step further than the other commenter, to only washing jeans, sweaters and jerseys when they stink. Hadn’t thought of the environmental reasoning, my line of thought is that jeans look better when they are new + unwashed.

  4. Dagmar, you are being kind to the environment!

    Think about someone who think exactly like you but rather than doing what you do is buying himself a new pair of jeans every month!!

    The result is the same, isn’t it? Well I mean for the jeans of course…

  5. I only wash my shirts when they smell, call me gross but why put all that extra wear on my clothes and the environment? Jeans I only wash when they are noticeably dirty (7 wears?) And ya, warm water only runs colours and misshapes clothing. I love my clothes, almost as much as I love the Earth! 😉

  6. why in the world would you wash your towels so often? You’re clean when you get out of the shower, right? So why wash the towels unless it’s summer and it’s humid out and they start smelling sour. I go a month between towel washes.

  7. I wash clothes when they need to be washed. Some clothes I can wear for days. Some only last a few hours. I don’t see a point in doing more laundry than I have to. And I can’t stand the thought of people washing clean clothes that they tossed on the floor while trying things on in the morning!

    Also, helps that I change out of my “public” clothes the moment I get home. I lounge around in comfy clothes that I also wear to sleep. I’ll also do yardwork and exercise in them, but then they go into the “dirty but could rewear for dirty stuff another time if they air out” pile. Oh, and another reason I love skirts — can rewear them much longer than pants.

  8. Great article and comments! The only thing I would add is wash in cold water and hang stuff up to dry, the only thing i tumble dry are jeans, they get way too rough when line dried.

  9. Less washing of clothes is a good idea. Another suggestion, for those who feel they just cannot go 4 or 5 wearings between washings, is to just put clothes in a bucket and let them soak and rinse. This uses far less water than a washing machine and is good enough to make them feel fresh, except for clothes that are very soiled.

  10. I agree. I finally decided last year, that I don’t need to wash clothes after one wearing (unless they have gotten dirty). It’s actually senseless and it’s a lot less work for me. Unfortunately I can’t hang clothes out to dry, but would if I could, did when I was younger. Love the fresh smell of sheets when they have been dried outside,and the sunlight is great for them.

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