It may surprise you to know that most people are washing their clothes too often.
Washing clothing less frequently makes them last longer, saves energy, resources, time, money and our environment.
How Often Should You Wash Your Clothes?
You should only wash your clothes when they are dirty. The term dirty is subjective however in this case it refers to the items having stains or bad smells.
Obviously underwear and workout clothes need to be washed regularly. These are the exceptions.
Some denim companies suggest you need never wash jeans. They recommend placing them in the freezer for a couple of days to eliminate bacteria which causes odor. Stains should only be spot cleaned.
Personally I wash my jeans once every couple of weeks if I’m wearing them daily.
Preserve Your Vintage Treasures – Avoid Washing Them When Possible
If you are a vintage lover like myself you know that every time you wash one of your favorite pieces it wears out the garment. Over washing can create unwanted holes, warn out seams and pilling. I follow the steps below to avoid washing my vintage treasures too often.
Tips To Avoid Washing Your Clothes
1. Deal With Stains ASAP
After you’ve worn an item you should check for stains. Stains should be spot cleaned as soon as possible. The faster you address a stain the more chances you have of removing it.
Heat can set some stains so it is best to use cool water to remove the stain when possible.
If you are spot treating a stain on silk or chiffon be prepared to follow up with a hand held dryer to quickly dry the area and avoid water marks.
Real Simple has a brilliant info graphic for all types of stain removal here.
2. Brush It
Items can be brushed with a clothes brush to remove lint, hair or surface dirt.
Most clothing can be spritzed with vodka. This helps remove trapped smells and keeps the piece fresher longer.
Do not spritz fur, leather or suede.
I keep a large bottle of cheap vodka in my basement for this exact purpose.
4. Air Out
In between washes it is a good idea to air your clothes. Just hang them up somewhere with good ventilation (outside is ideal if you can) for a day before you put them back in your closet.
If you want to freshen your item and remove wrinkles at the same time try steaming in between wears. It is fast and works well especially for pleated skirts, sweaters, jackets or suiting.
I sometimes use the vodka spritz, then the steamer and finally allow the item to air a bit.
If you don’t have a steamer you can simply hang your item in the bathroom while taking a shower. Be sure to air dry it well so it isn’t damp when you place it back in your closet. Damp clothes attract bugs and grow mold.
5. Dryer & Febreeze
I sometimes use this method if suiting or a jacket has a strong odor. Give it a quick spritz of Febreeze inside and out and then pop it in the dryer. Be sure to remove it from the dryer and hang it promptly to avoid wrinkles. If the Febreeze smell is overwhelming then spritz again with vodka and air dry.
6. Lounge Clothes
I’m a big fan of changing into relaxed clothing once I’m home which is often jeans and tees, something that isn’t bothered by the copious amounts of pug hair Zoë sheds daily.
If I’m working in the kitchen I use an apron to protect my clothing.
How often do you wash your clothes?
Do you have any tips you’d like to share for keeping clothing fresh between wears without washing?
You may also be interested to learn how to clean your pre-loved and vintage clothing or how to remove bad smells from leather or suede.
Linking up with Visible Monday, Turning Heads Tuesday, Fancy Friday
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