Thread Number: 91733  /  Tag: Modern Automatic Washers
Rewearing clothes -- many times, never, or somewhere in the middle?
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Post# 1162574   10/26/2022 at 14:59 (534 days old) by ryner1988 (Indianapolis)        

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Hi all,

There seem to be a lot of new and revived older posts lately dealing with laundry preferences, i.e., how big are your average loads, what are your pet peevs, do you like fabric softener, etc. So, I thought I would make a thread of my own in this lane. It's another subject widely debated especially on the internet, and people have strangely vehement feelings about it one way or the other. That subject often should clothes be worn before washing?

As I said before, there are some people who feel you can wear certain things many times. Heck, there are a fair amount who feel you should never wash your jeans, towels can basically be used over and over and over again, do the sniff test on shirts, etc. Then there are those who throw their clothes back in the hamper after only a few hours. I personally feel the correct place is somewhere in the middle. For instance, pants can usually be worn twice but in my opinion no more than that, same with overshirts if you have a t-shirt underneath. T-shirts, socks, and underwear obviously only get worn once. Towels in our home get used 3 or so times before washing but washrags get changed after every shower. Pajamas for me are kind of hit or miss because if I got dressed to go out for the day, they can be put back on a couple times. However, if I didn't go anywhere and I put on say a t-shirt and track pants after my shower, I will likely wear it again the next morning until I clean up and change for the day so that counts as twice in my book.

So, where do you guys stand on this weirdly hot-debate issue?


Post# 1162628 , Reply# 1   10/26/2022 at 20:05 (533 days old) by combo52 (50 Year Repair Tech Beltsville,Md)        
How Often Do You Launder Your Clothing ?

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I really don't care to know, the people in the world that need to see this thread won't be reading it anyway, LOL


John L.

Post# 1162630 , Reply# 2   10/26/2022 at 20:08 (533 days old) by ryner1988 (Indianapolis)        

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LOL fair point.

Post# 1162641 , Reply# 3   10/26/2022 at 20:59 (533 days old) by qsd-dan (West)        

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Socks/underwear, daily. General clothes, daily unless I'll be doing yard work or something dirty and I'll reuse them the following day for that. PJ's every 3-4 days depending on the season. Towel every 7 days.

Post# 1162661 , Reply# 4   10/27/2022 at 00:08 (533 days old) by seedub (South Texas Hill Country)        

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Socks and drawers: daily. Undershirts, shirts and pants: I sit stationary in an air conditioned office and lounge around an air conditioned home virtually all day. If the garment has no odor and no food stains, I will reuse it one to several more times. I have a pair of Dockers-type chinos that have not been laundered in five weeks. If odor is faint, I will spritz the items with Febreze Garment With Gain and let them air out on a drying rack. Naturally, tees that I've sweated in after exercising, or after walking/hiking/cycling &c in while outside go straight into the laundry bin after one use along with that day's undershirt.

Post# 1162666 , Reply# 5   10/27/2022 at 02:51 (533 days old) by chachp (North Little Rock, AR)        

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We wear most things once.  Undergarments definitely after every wear.  My husband sweats profusely when he works out and works in the yard.  Those come off as soon as he finishes the task, and those clothes hang out in the garage until ready to wash.  I mean, some I could wring out if I wanted.  I don’t really want them in a hamper in that condition.  He has a rack out there that he puts them on. 


House pants might get worn a couple of times before washed but not usually.  Even though I don’t sweat much I still feel like they need to be washed after each wear.


Wash cloths get used once.  Robes, towels at least once a week but generally twice.  I try to do a load of laundry a day vs. waiting to do multiple loads on one day.  On the days where I don’t have a load of something else to do I’ll do the towels and robes but those are not as consistent.

Post# 1162670 , Reply# 6   10/27/2022 at 04:40 (533 days old) by GELaundry4ever (Nacogdoches, TX, USA)        
wearing clothes

I wear a pair of clothes each day before my weekly wash. It is VERY unsanitary to wear clothes multiple times and I don't care what anybody says. Certain bacteria can really make your clothes smell disgusting!

Post# 1162696 , Reply# 7   10/27/2022 at 15:57 (533 days old) by kb0nes (Burnsville, MN)        

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I'll wear a pair of jeans a number of times unless it gets more dirty than usual. I don't see the point in shortening the life needlessly. All other clothing is single use. Towels I will go a few days and they are always hung to dry quickly. I place more concern over my use of resources then allowing germophobic thoughts to possess me.

Post# 1162698 , Reply# 8   10/27/2022 at 16:39 (533 days old) by appnut (TX)        

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When I was still working, undershirts/shorts sox changed daily, as well as different hirt each day as I'd' still sweat some with all my running around. Dockers were worn twice and put in hamper. I worked in a ospital and a fellow former member who worked in a hospital said I should let them go no more than 2 days even though I wasn't in any direct patient care. Sheets are changed every week to 10 days max. A set of bath towel, hand towel, and wash cloth is changed every other day and hung up to completely dry in between and before putting in hamper. Now thatt I"m retired, unless having to go to a doctor's appointment, I wear jersey shorts & t-shirts or dockers-type shorts in warmer months and during fall & winter it's either flannel lounge pants & long-sleeve jersey/cotton t shirts or sweatshirts/sweatpans when it's 40-45F degrees or lower outside and all those items I wear new sets each day. If I don't do any cooking other than reheating, then a clean kitchen towel each day. When cooking, I may change kitchen towels multiple times during cooking, depending upon if handling meat, even after thoroughy washing hands. All my kitchen cleaning cloths and meal napkins are 100% terry cloth and several of those may be used in a day and those get washed in temps up to 160F degrees and cold prewash befoer the main wash. The kitchen dish towels are washed in 120F-145F temperatures.

Post# 1162702 , Reply# 9   10/27/2022 at 16:59 (533 days old) by lakewebsterkid (Dayton, Ohio)        
It depends

I usually wear sweatshirts and pants until they are dirty, smell, or have any particular reason to be washed.
With t-shirts, underwear, and socks, they are washed every time.
Towels are usually used until they are visibly soiled or smell (Lol), usually a week.
Sheets are weekly.

Post# 1162704 , Reply# 10   10/27/2022 at 17:51 (533 days old) by Moon1234 (Wisconsin)        

It depends what the item is made of and where it is worn, both on the body and the environment.

Wool items like socks and pants can be worn many many times before laundering. The lanolin in wool items has anti-bacterial properties. Bacteria does not grow on items with a high wool content (80-100%). I live in wool socks and pants. Wool trail socks can be worn months without smelling or causing foot issues. I wash them when they start to feel crunchy or look visibly stained. Wool slacks are laundered only when they are visibly stained.

Cotton undergarments are worn once and washed. Cotton has zero anti-bacterial properties. Linen and cotton dress shirts worn OVER a t-shit can be worn several times provided they are worn to an office and not visibly stained. Usually ring around the collar and cuffs (light) is when I launder them.

Towels are done after each use, but we have many people in the house and some have periods and other things that we donít trust sharing. They get used once, hung up to fry and then laundered at 60c.

Anything synthetic is usually washed after each use especially if it touches skin. Synthetics tend to absorb odors and just stink.

Wool, by far, is the best fabric for those that like to RE-wear many times before laundering.

Post# 1162706 , Reply# 11   10/27/2022 at 18:12 (533 days old) by ryner1988 (Indianapolis)        
As I expected

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Lots of differing opinions as I figured there would be. It's interesting that there are so many different approaches to something we all have to deal with, which is laundry. Some wash in cold primarily while others feel it doesn't get clothes very clean. Some prefer powdered detergent while others don't like the residue it allegedly leaves behind. Some prefer the tried-and-true top loadd washer while others like the innovations and energy savings of the front loader, and both have very valid points. And, of course, no one is the same when it comes to re-wearing clothes, balancing cleanliness with conserving resources.

Post# 1162721 , Reply# 12   10/27/2022 at 22:08 (532 days old) by Maytag85 (Sean A806)        

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I usually will wear my shorts or jeans a few times before I put them into the hamper. Shorts and jeans can usually be worn 2 to 3 times but things like shirts can only be worn once before being put into the hamper or dirty clothes pile.

Post# 1162726 , Reply# 13   10/28/2022 at 00:00 (532 days old) by robbinsandmyers (Conn)        

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Socks, tee shirts, underwear, jeans once. Work sweat shirts in cold months go 3 days unless oil, grease, or exhaust smells require sooner. Im a clean freak. Not directed at anyone here but society in general has serious hygiene issues today. Ive withstood more than my share of standing behind people in store check outs that smelled like either raw ass, 5 day old under arms with zero deoderant, insane levels of nicotine or alcohol leeching through their sweat glands, etc to only wonder how many days they wore the same clothes. Yikes!

Post# 1162730 , Reply# 14   10/28/2022 at 01:40 (532 days old) by DaveAMKrayoGuy (Oak Park, MI)        

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Needlesss to say my practicing social distancing revolves around situations described in reply 13, right down to whatever openly complaining or giving not so subtle hints about people I'll do...

As for me, warding off by means of my "war scent" may be an outer garment such a pair of slacks letting go days between washings, to show I'm someone I'm someone you should stay away from...

Everything underneath changed on a daily basis...

But I shower daily...

-- Dave

This post was last edited 10/28/2022 at 02:11
Post# 1162744 , Reply# 15   10/28/2022 at 10:47 (532 days old) by ryner1988 (Indianapolis)        
Reply #13

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Yes, I have noticed this about the general public as well and I feel like it's gotten worse since COVID. It's like everyone forgot how to wash while we were in lockdown and now that the world is open again, people are out and about like they were before but in ratty old days old sweatpants and no shower smelling like booze and God knows what else. Totally get it. But it's not just hygiene that's gone out the window I also feel like people just plain don't know how to conduct themselves publicly anymore. Folks are just so rude and it's been like that to a degree for some time but not this bad. A couple weeks ago, my wife and I were getting on the bus and there was another wheelchair already on so there wasn't a lot of room for my wife to get her chair into the other wheelchair station. I was trying to help the driver give her directions on how to maneuver and this lady in the back of the bus literally yelled "what are you doing? You can't help her! You're blind! Just sit down and shut up!" I think that two and a half years ago, an able-bodied person might have thought this in their head because the whole wheelchair situation was taking a while and they were getting frustrated waiting, but they would not have had the unmitigated gall to actually yell something like that. It was embarrassing and humiliating and just supports my feeling that it's much more than physical hygiene that's gone downhill with the public. Tact and humility has exited stage left as well.

Post# 1162745 , Reply# 16   10/28/2022 at 11:00 (532 days old) by ea56 (Cotati, Calif.)        
Re: Reply #15

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You are so correct in the lack of civility these days. This kind of behavior has always been lurking beneath the surface of society in America, but most people managed the keep it to themselves and behave politely.

Then along came a certain individual at the top of the food chain that gave these people the permission and license to be their worst selves and act upon their worst impulses and thoughts and what you witnessed recently on the bus is just one of millions of examples as a result of this corrosive incivility.

Iím so sorry that you and your wife were subjected to this. Its not what America is supposed to be about. I pray that we can overcome this current state of affairs.


Post# 1162760 , Reply# 17   10/28/2022 at 15:19 (532 days old) by GELaundry4ever (Nacogdoches, TX, USA)        
I may be blind...

I may be blind. Okay, so what? I have technology that will help me sort my clothes along with the laundry cart with 3 separate compartments. It's called the talking color ID!

Post# 1162784 , Reply# 18   10/29/2022 at 01:13 (531 days old) by tolivac (greenville nc)        

Both my Mom and Stepmom taught me to shower daily,change socks,underwear,shirts daily.Chanmge trousers twice a week-every 3 days.Then launder a dark load and white load(hot) every week.This has worked out just fine.I would think if someone never washed their jeans the smell would be enough to peal the paint and wallpaper!You can wash the jeans!and this "tenderizes" them

Post# 1162789 , Reply# 19   10/29/2022 at 07:40 (531 days old) by rpms (ontario canada)        

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This thread reminds me of an episode of Mama's family where Niomi refused to iron Vint's shirt.
Mama said tell him to wear his old shirt. He doesn't work hard enuff to work up a sweat anyway.

Post# 1162792 , Reply# 20   10/29/2022 at 08:35 (531 days old) by turbokinetic (Northport, Alabama USA)        

I hate to echo what has been said, but those who are most in need of this info are the least likely to read it! LOL 

As for me, the only things I will wear more than once between washings are outer clothes, such as uniform shirts which go over a tee-shirt; or sweatshirts worn over a tee shirt. This time of year, in the fall, sweat shirts often end up worn half a day and then tossed in the car as the day warms up. I feel comfortable wearing them several days.  

I think this is a highly varying and personal choice sort of thing.  If you have work and/or hobbies which get your clothes dirty (such as vintage appliance repair!) that makes a big difference.  In my case, even though my clothes may still smell nice; if they have grime and dirt on them they get washed daily. 

All I wear are low-cost clothes and work clothes. I have nothing dressy. It doesn't cost me much to have a full set of clothes for each day for  8 or 10 days. For that reason, I really don't have any reason not to put on a fresh set of clothes daily. I would understand if you had a limited number of outfits or if your work required a certain dress and you had only so many sets of work clothes. But for me personally I like to have fresh clothes daily.


Post# 1162822 , Reply# 21   10/29/2022 at 18:51 (531 days old) by vacerator (Macomb, Michigan)        

on the weather, humidity, what I wore them for.

Post# 1162863 , Reply# 22   10/30/2022 at 11:20 (530 days old) by robbinsandmyers (Conn)        
Addendum to post #13

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I totally forgot about the family that lives 3 houses away the neighbors call The Klopeks. They hardly ever come out of their house, windows and shades always closed. The whole family has always been odd, parents, 3 kids. Parents are gone now and one daughter is in the local hatch but the other daughter and son live together. They NEVER bathe, shower, wash up, etc. Their hair is always greasy and matted. They were the same clothes WEEKS on end. In Summer you can smell them 50' away when they're walking towards you. A few years ago the cops were called to a domestic there and ended up calling the board of health who condemned the place and stuck them in a motel for a month while they gutted and rebuilt the place. Im sure its back to what it was now. Reminds me of a friend I gave a 30 min ride to in my truck a month ago and the seat stunk 30 mins after he got out!!!

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