How often do you wash your jeans?

If you take Real Simple’s “When-to-wash-it handbook” as gospel, then I’m a total pig. Apparently I should wash my jeans after four to five wearings, launder my PJs every three or four days, and spend $10 on four ounces of a special swimsuit shampoo.

I don’t do any of those things. Oink, I guess.

Good thing I don’t wear silk PJs – Real Simple says they’re supposed to be washed daily.

In fact, I don’t wear a nightgown at all except in the winter. Sorry if that’s TMI for you. But I have an even dirtier image to share: Sometimes I wear a shirt twice before washing it.

I’m not talking about a uniform shirt from a lutefisk factory, here. I’m a writer, not a stable hand or a stevedore. Most of my days are spent in sweatpants and a T-shirt. But if I have to go somewhere looking like something, I’ll put on jeans (or black slacks, if it’s a fancy do) and a shirt with buttons. Should the errand/event not take very long, the shirt goes back on a hanger when I get home.

And why should I wash my jeans every four or five wears if the “wear” lasts an hour or two several times a week? I can, and do, go a month without laundering them.

Your clothes will last longer

My garment game plan is similar to the school clothes/play clothes dichotomy of my youth. We were expected to change out of our dresses as soon as we got home. (Back when the Earth was still cooling, we were not allowed to wear slacks to school.) Sometimes that meant the dress could be re-worn later in the week, but the rule was also designed to preserve the life of “good” clothes.

My jeans and bathing suit both came from thrift shops. Two of my nightshirts came from Wal-Mart more than a dozen years ago and the other one was from an online outlet store. Thus “good” may not be the correct adjective for these garments; “good enough” is a better fit. Still, I see no reason not to have them last as long as possible.

Fewer washes and machine-dryings will extend the lifespan of a garment. It also costs me less in quarters ($1.50 to wash, $1.25 to dry) and detergent (although I never pay retail thanks to coupons).

So it’s sweatpants and a T-shirt for me most days, unless I have to leave the apartment. Full disclosure: Sometimes I wear the same T-shirt more than one day in a row. My mom, a serious laundry freak whose favorite flavor was Clorox, would be appalled. But I’m not toting barges and lifting bales, after all – just laboring in my little paragraph factory.

Mind you, the rule is not absolute. If I’m picking blackberries on a hot summer day, my T-shirt will go into the laundry bag when I get home. As a woman who wears her meals with pride, I sometimes have to wash a garment right after lunch.

But the rest of the time? Nobody’s going to care. I live alone. There’s no roommate or relative to say, “Isn’t that the same Ani DiFranco shirt you wore on Monday? And, come to think of it, on Tuesday? Eeeewwww!”

Is Febreze the answer?

I am not advocating the Guy Approach to laundry, as explained by comedian Jeff Foxworthy: “Does this stink too bad to wear one more time?” If it stinks at all, put it in the hamper already.

But sometimes you can get away with hanging it up to air and then hanging it back in the closet. Spritz it with Febreze if you’re squeamish; some people swear by watered-down fabric softener as a cheaper alternative.

(Note to Foxworthy followers with Y chromosomes: These things will not make up for the kinds of odors you’re asking about. If you have to ask, you probably shouldn’t re-wear it.)

And speaking of odors: Real Simple recommends that pricey swimsuit soap because it gets rid of “that notorious chlorine smell.” Uh, guys, it’ll smell that way again as soon as I get back into the pool. Besides, the fragrance reminds me of my mother.

How about it, folks: Do you wash your jeans after three or four wearings? Is it because they’re all Spandex-y or do you just like doing laundry? And for extra credit: How often do you wash sheets and towels?


58 Comments

  1. Argh! I don’t know! I don’t count! At a guess, anywhere from 3-6 wearings?

    Sheets I try for weekly or at the most fortnightly.

    Growing up we rarely ever changed towels, so they didn’t get washed often. Then living with my ex and his family, they only used a towel ONCE. I think I have a happy medium and try to change a couple times a week.

  2. Holly Samlan

    I always wear a top/blouse (don’t do t-shirts) twice. Pants I wear MANY times except for at home cleaning/cooking chore sweat pants/tops. Those are washed after 1-2 wearings depending on how dirty, sweaty they got.

    Sheets & towels are on a 2 week cycle. I am also experimenting w/hanging more stuff out to dry. I have always done that w/bras and they last a BUNCH longer.

    I did not realize ‘ipickuppennies’ was your daughter until I linked from your post. Now she is in my favorites too. I had misplaced her back when.

    • Donna Freedman

      @Marv Holly: I hang bras to dry, too — it is much kinder on the elastic. I hand-wash them, too.
      Thanks for linking to DD’s site.

  3. I save a ton of money on laundry every year because I barely do it. I wash them as little as I can get away with, without being offensive to co-workers and friends.

  4. lostAnnfound

    Jeans get washed once week, sometimes more frequently. I wear jeans everyday, all day, but since I work at home sitting in front of a computer I’m not working up much of a sweat. Sheets & towels every couple of weeks. Everyone in the house has two sets of towels (bath & washcloth) so when one set is being washed, they have another set to use.

  5. I work outside and my jeans still only get washed once a week. I figure if they are just going to get muddy again tomorrow, why was them tonight? I do however change out of them when I get home, so I’m not traipsing mud and dirt all through my house.

    Sheets and towels get washed on weekends, and sometimes I’ll go two weeks! Towels are only used after a shower, when I’m clean, and I shower at night so I get into bed all clean.

    I’ll wear jammies for 3-4 days before wearing another pair and then they get washed on the weekend too.

    I guess I am also a pig….

  6. We did laundry a lot less before we had a kid. We’re still in the one wear = almost certainly covered in crud stage of life.

    Towels once a week, sheets once a month unless they need them more often.

  7. I love to do laundry just love it. But that said, I will let a few things go just because they aren’t dirty. And just a little reminder, men think that getting into a pool means they are clean and so are their clothes. I try to point out that if soap isn’t involved it isn’t bathing but I”m losing the fight.
    PS-just a bit of link love at my place!

  8. I wash my jeans after a week. Shirts after 1 day except for my “sleep shirt” that usually goes a week. Underwear of course everyday.

    I’m actually trying out the idea of not washing my bras for like a month or so at the suggestion of a friend.

    I only own so many “work shirts” and I work at an office, so I worry that someone will notice I wore the same shirt twice in 1 week.

  9. Oh and sheets and towels at this point are when they’re really gross (mainly kitchen towels here) or about once every few months/ 6 months/a year.

    Don’t tell my mom she’d have a fit.

  10. Cowboys used to never wash their jeans.

    I usually wear a tshirt for 24 hours. Then I change it. Just seems easier not to deal with pajamas. It is different when I have to wear a shirt with buttons. Then I was the tshirt I wear to bed every 4 or 5 days.

    I wear Dickies work pants and wash them after 4 or 5 wearings unless I get mud or something on them. Bath towels get put in the wash when they smell musty or I forget when the last time I washed them was. After all, I use them to dry off after I’m clean.

  11. Cathy’s right — cowboys didn’t wash their jeans, as a matter of pride. Something about being able to stand them up in the corner, when you weren’t wearing them…

    I wash family jeans once or twice a week. Husband is much more fussety about this than yours truly, and put his in the wash after three wearings. I’ll go up to five.
    But I do not like the feel of already-worn shirt sweat. That one, I draw the line on.

    Donna, did you read J.D.’s post on multiple streams of income yesterday? I know you do this, and have certainly referred to it before…could you do a post again on all the different things you do to earn income? This is fascinating…

  12. jestjack

    Hmmm…try to extend my “wearings” of jeans as much as possible. Mostly because I’m cheap. The cost of water in my “neck of the woods” has and continues to go up. Water now runs right around .75 cents per gallon….30 gallons for a load of jeans….22.5 cents JUST for the water. Add to that detergent, fabric softner, bleach, stain spray and the cost of electric…..and well it just get’s crazy.
    But Summer is coming …which means shorts and t-shirts and a big decrease in the laundry expense…

  13. I’ve been thinking about this recently. My life changed when I moved into an apartment with a washing machine and dryer. I wash my clothes too frequently, but only because it’s easy now compared to when I used to have to lug my laundry to a shared facility several blocks away. But since I no longer report to an office where I need to wear business casual to fit in, I wear jeans almost every day. Washing them often would reduce their lives, so I give each pair many wearings between washings.

  14. christy

    I’ve been wearing the same jeans for 8 days and the dog has slobbered on them everyday.
    When I get home from work I change into “house clothes” this is a pair of yoga pants and a tshirt which I will use for a week before putting in the hamper. I normally wear jeans for 4-8 days. Tops I change daily but will wear the same 4-5 tops 2-3 times before washing them, I just keep track to not wear the same top too close together. Socks I change daily, if I sweat a lot I will change them when I get home, so I probably go through 7-10 pairs a week. Underwear I am funny about. I sleep in a fresh pair and wear a fresh pair everyday, so I go through 14 changes a week. However I will wear the same bra for 2 weeks without washing it. I only use towels once per shower, one for my head, one for my body and one wash cloth. I wash my sheets once every two weeks and the rest of my bedding every 3-4 weeks. The dogs stuff gets washed once a week (bed, couch cover).
    I only do full loads of laundry and use garmet bags for sweaters, knits and bras, hang drying them, it makes them last longer. Also I do up any buttons and zippers on clothing and jeans I turn inside out to wash. makes them last longer. When jeans have faded too much I dye them.

  15. I wash my jeans after wearing them about five times. Like you, I’m a writer and at home it’s sweats and t-shirt and (in winter) a fleece. I found a great pair of polyester sweatpants from Everlast for $10 at Marshall’s or some such place, and wore them just about every day (my house is old, poorly insulated and cold in winter). They showed no signs of wear, bore no odors (I’m a guy, but sensitive to that) and were soft and comfortable to wear. I recently washed them (inside out, I might add; do I get metrosexual status?) for the second time.

  16. So I had to start washing our sheets in hot water weekly to help keep the dust mites at bay due to DH’s and my allergies this is taking some getting used to but I can already tell the difference last week when I forgot to change them out and we went back to 2 weeks between – the morning congestion was back. Everything else I do on cold water and if this is any indication of how cheap I am I make my own laundry soap from the recipe on The Simple Dollar blog which has lasted forever as I only use about a 1/4 cup of soap per load.
    Bra’s only do a load of them a month but they have only been worn 2-4 times each and then line dried or more likely thrown over the shower rod.
    @Donna Freedman the stretchy factor in jean’s drives me crazy anything with more than 3% elastic is going to require washing to reshape the jean’s to fit properly after each wear even for only an hour. I check now for the % of stretch even tho I prefer trousers/slacks over jeans.

  17. I only wash them if they are stained. Maybe after a month? Depends how often I wear my jeans, but I have so many pairs, it’s really hard to keep track. If you turn them inside out before tossing into the machine, that also extends the life of the jeans.

  18. You should check out the OFFICIAL Levi’s page. Their brand director recommends washing jeans every SIX MONTHS. He spot cleans ‘em with 409 in between!
    http://www.levistrauss.com/blogs/wash-my-jeans-hardly

  19. Donna, this is why I love the internet. Your post is relatively simple, but it’s something I really haven’t thought about. And I love reading the comments too. Thanks Donna.

    I take my wife’s stuff to the dry cleaners every few weeks. It costs me around $60. So not only is it expensive, I have to drive there to drop it off and pick it up. I think it’s a big waste of time and money.

    My clothes I now realize I could really stretch them out between cleanings. Not only do I save money and detergent, but the clothes last longer too. I was surprised to see that some folks wait 2 weeks before washing their bathing towel or bedsheets. I thought I was doing good after one week.

  20. I wash my jeans when I can smell that they’ve been worn, or when I spill food on them. Whichever comes first. I have no idea how long that takes. As for my other clothes, I re-hang absolutely everthing that I wear (again, unless I spilled food). After it’s aired out for a day, I decide if it needs to be laundered or not. Our bedroom closet is tiny, so it only holds the clothes that I plan on wearing in the next week or the clothes that are still airing out. Every month or so, I wash anything that’s been in the “airing” side for too long and put it in the laundry room closet where my whole wardrobe lives. Guess I’m a super pig, huh?

  21. Oh it totally depends… a lot of times my jeans and shirts end up int he laundry after a long work day, but they’re usually dirty then. Most times my clothes last me several days before they need to be washed. Jeans on non-workdays I will wear for 4-5 days… and they’re more comfortable when washed less often!

    Towels I reuse 3-4 times… but I don’t actually toweldry myself because I’m a bit silly with that, I hate rubbing my wet skin so I just wrap a towel around me and airdry while I pick out my clothes. Haha i’ve done it for years and it sure saves on towel laundering!

  22. I have OCD so it’s hard for me to hang jeans back up after wearing. Then they could contaminate my clean clothes! I do try to if they’re still clean but they have to be isolated from the other clothes.
    As to bras, I wash them after each use, and dry them in the dryer. I tried hand washing and hang drying but they started smelling musty and it bothered me.
    Towels get washed after one use and sheets every two weeks, but I only get in to bed if I’m clean so the sheets stay clean.
    Laundry is not an area of frugality for me. The OCD makes it difficult.

  23. The staff at Goodwill now sprays everything in the store–including carpet–with Febreze. I’m sure the stuff is toxic.

  24. The only things I wash after only one wearing are socks, underwear, workout clothes and anything that I accidentally spilled on. Sheets and towels are weekly, but for everything else it depends.

    Another garment saving laundry tip: zip up hoodies, pants, etc. so that the “teeth” of the zippers don’t snag or otherwise rub against your other clothing.

  25. Jeans I wash when they look dirty. Towels and sheets when I remember, usually a month to 6 weeks. Glad I’m not the only one :-)

  26. Maybe its because I am in Australia, and its usually hot and humid here, but it would seem that I wash lot more often then most. I was sheets, towel and donna (duvet?) cover every week. Shirts, pants, jeans are washed after worn once, bras (handwashed), again, are washed after one wear.

    Though, being Australia, line drying is the norm. I don’t own a clothes dryer, a lot of people here don’t. (And whats with those stories about clothes lines being ‘illegal’ in the US?) I love the smell of my sheets and clothes after they have dried in the sun.

    I do own a front loader washing machine, which uses a lot less water, and only wash when I have full loads.

  27. My thoughts are like yours when it comes to clothes I wear, cuz frankly, I dont get out much LOL! But as far as towels go, they get washed after one use, occasionally we hang then for a second using. And sheets are a once a week thing cuz my hubby sweats as he cocoons up in the blankets at night-gross! HEHE!

  28. There is one set of clothes I never hesitated to wash after one wearing: my hospital scrubs! I didn’t care if they still looked pristine or smelled wonderful. It was fresh scrubs every workday. One of my co-workers told me she would undress in the garage and throw her scrubs immediately into the washer. She didn’t even want to go in the house with them on! I wasn’t quite that bad and besides I don’t have a garage.

    But other that . . .I’m a pig. . . .or fairly normal looking at most of the comments here.

  29. Danielle

    Piggeldy, wiggeldy, oink, oink! That’s me too! I wash jeans when they look dirty, so maybe every 6 or 7 wearings? I’m prone to spilling things on my shirts, so those get washed more frequently. I don’t put any of my shirts or bras in the dryer. They shrink less, and if the stains didn’t come out the first time they aren’t “set”.

    Bath towels go into the wash after 3 showers. I have a separate small towel for washing my face and brushing my teeth. I change that daily, or I get breakouts.

  30. Nancy from Mass

    I wash my jeans about once a week or if I’ve worn them about 5 times and haven’t spilled on them. My bath towels? once a week maybe? I figure when you use your towels, you’re really just drying the clean water off of your body…if that water is dirty, you did not do a good job of washing yourself! Hubby grew up in a house that used a towel once and then it was washed…I have totally changed his view on that! The only thing I use once and then wash is a facecloth. I figure since it was used to wash…all areas…it should be cleaned. plus, facecloths get a punky smell a day or two after using them. (or is that just my opinion?)
    Shirts, I typically wear multiple times – especially work shirts – unless I have been particularly sweaty or dropped something on myself.
    Underwear and socks – changed daily.
    Bras – washed typically after 3 days.
    All clothes are hung on the line as soon as we can do so without wearing gloves, until it gets so cold again we would need gloves.
    Sheets….typically every 1-2 weeks.
    My In-Laws would freak if they could read this!

    • Donna Freedman

      @Nancy From Mass: Washcloths often do smell musty after a day or so. I’m with you there.
      Wish I had a clothesline. When I get my own house (some day!), it will have a place to hang out the laundry.
      Thanks for reading, and for leaving a comment.
      P.S. I won’t tell your in-laws.

  31. Jeans, after every 5-10 wearings.

    Shirts, 1-4 wearings. I give them the sniff test. On a hot or stressful day, will be one wearing. Otherwise, sniff test.

  32. Natalie

    I wear my jeans until they are falling off too stretched out to wear again or have gotten them dirty, more in months that are heavily precipitated. This equals out to 5-10 wears. I don’t see a need to wash things after every wear. If I work (office work, not sticky factory) for 3 hours one day, it goes on the hanger to wear again at my second job a few days later. My shirts and cardigans would fall apart if I washed them after every wear.
    I wash sheets every week to every other week. I have a very oily skinned husband so they just need it! And I’m terrified of bed bugs!
    I wear the same pj’s at least 3 nights in a row and use the same towel for a week at times. But I don’t shower everyday either if I haven’t worked out. And really? There’s special swimsuit detergent. I never knew. I guess I’m a piggy too?

  33. kelliinkc

    Great topic! I wash shirts, underwear, socks after one wearing. Pants, skirts, multiple wearings unless they begin to smell, or get a stain. Towels half weekly it seems. No matter the season they get a musty smell so into the wash they go after 3-4 uses. If you towel yourself dry you are also scraping off those dead skin cells so maybe that has something to do with the smell? That and the damp bathroom. Sheets I try to do weekly especially in the warmer months when there is more skin contact on the sheets. Again the whole skin cell, dust mite, sweat issue. Eeewwww. Read somewhere about how we sweat at night so………

  34. Bath towels – when they start to look “used” or grubby, usually about once every 3 weeks. We each have our own colours, so everyone is using only their own towels. Kitchen towels – when they don’t smell clean any more, or when they’ve been used to wipe up a spill. Sheets – when they look, feel, or smell “not clean” – it varies with the season and how much yard work we’ve been doing :-)

    Clothes – socks and knickers get worn only once, bras 2 or 3 times, shirts at least 3 times, and slacks & jeans until they look less than clean. I don’t wear the same bra, shirt, or slacks twice in a row – they get hung up to air out between wearings, it DOES make a difference! My jammies are sweats in the winter, a t-shirt or tank top & the knickers I wore that day in the summer. The sweats I’ll wear until they feel like they need washing, same with the tees & tanks, but the knickers only once.

    EVERYTHING gets hung up to dry; bath towels get ten minutes in the dryer (on cold-air fluff) to soften them up afterwards, mainly because using a line-dried towel is like wiping yourself down with a shingle!

  35. Holly Samlan

    Donna
    Congrats on being featured for this entry on the Top 10 weekly over at Cheap, Healthy, Good.

    • Donna Freedman

      @Holly: I was delighted to be singled out. Reading that blog always makes me hungry, and it also makes me feel that I could cook much more interesting dishes. I usually don’t, you understand, but I like feeling that I could. It’s the same reason that I read cookbooks.

  36. Oh wow, I’m so glad I read this article. I usually read about how incredibly frequently people wash their clothes and I’m left feeling like the filthiest slob ever. I’m so glad to have found fellow pigs!

    I still have school clothes/play clothes – or in my case, home clothes/”out” clothes. Like many of you guys, I work from home from a computer so the home clothes get worn a lot but don’t get stinky; the “out” ones I change/wash more often out of consideration for others – t-shirts/tops usually after every wear but jeans maybe once a fortnight. I also have “dirty” clothes for wearing for messy gardening/chicken chores – they get washed when they’re really dirty, maybe once a month. The chickens don’t care about me wearing a freshly laundered shirt when I’m scooping out their poo.

    Underwear & socks are changed every day without fail; towels, when they need it (once a fortnight ish); sheets the same (once a month-ish).

    Everything is line dried, nothing is ironed.

    It frightens me how much money/energy some people put into laundry!

  37. “my little paragraph factory” = awesome!

  38. I totally agree with you! I have never understood people putting clothes in the wash just because they’ve worn them once, whether or not they need laundering. It’s not only a waste of electricity and water, but really there are more important things to do with our lives! If it’s dirty or stinky I put it in the wash. If it’s fine, I don’t.

  39. I wash outer clothes (shirts, pants, skirts, etc.) when they my eyes or nose tell me they’re dirty. Sometimes that’s after one wearing. Sometimes I’ve worn them too many times to count.

    Jeans and other pants typically will get dirty around the cuffs first and that’s what will prompt the washing.

    Shirts: if I can’t tell they’re dirty by looking at them or smelling them, then they’re not dirty.

    Exercise shirts get washed after every use, but they’re usually smelly.

    Sports bras get rinsed in the shower — usually while they’re still sweaty — and will get washed in the washer every few uses. The washing machine really wears them out. I hate buying sports bras (well, any bras, really), so I like them to last as long as possible.

    Unless there’s an emergency or I’ve worn them for only an hour or so, socks and panties are single-wear. Oh, and socks that I’m wearing just around the house to keep my feet warm get washed whenever I remember to wash them.

  40. I’d say 3 wearings for jeans. I see no reason to wash them after every use, unlike many other items of clothing. I knew someone that washed jeans after every use, had pretty much one for each day of the week. Seems expensive, and lacking variety to boot!

  41. Jeans 3-4 x all day wearings. Pjs every other wk. Sheets I try for weekly but ends up every other. Towels: i use a bath towel at least all week. Wash cloths and hand towels washed much more often. Probably one used for 2-3 days.

  42. Ew! Am I the only one who thinks that ungodly perfume in Febreze stinks worse than the stink it’s trying to cover up?

    I’m with you, though: I wait until my clothes and towels are dirty to wash them. People who insist on washing bath towels every day amaze me. Those things cost a mint, and they sure won’t last long if they’re run through laundry every 24 hours.

    But then, like you, I don’t work at a physical job…or in a hospital. that would be a whole nother matter.

    • Donna Freedman

      @Funny: I don’t like Febreze either. And I’m with you on the towels. My mom used to wash them after one use. My dad still does. I don’t get it.

  43. As a (sloppy) kid, I remember my parents had to write me out an instruction sheet of how often everything had to be put in the laundry. I still stick to most of these – underpants (wear once, then launder), socks, pajamas, t-shirts (wear twice, then launder), sheets (launder once per week), and everything else… basically wash when it’s obviously dirty (jeans, skirts, etc.)

    It should also be noted that I was so sloppy my parents had to also give me a written document explaining how frequently I should bathe (at least every other day, plus any day that I had sports practice).

  44. Oh my, I am the outlier!
    I wash jeans after every wearing, but that is because I am kind of in between sizes, and if I don’t wash them, they just fall off of me by the second day.

    Towels, one use. Actually, everything one wash. I didn’t used to be that way though until we had an illness in the house and it totally changed my outlook on laundry.

  45. Huh, no wonder it seems like I have an endless stream of laundry to wash. My kids wear their clothes once (including night wear) once before they are washed. Hubby and I wear our jeans twice before we put them in the hamper. Towels are about every three uses.
    Sheets I try to wash biweekly.

  46. There’s another benefit to not washing things after one wearing – they last longer! I wash only in cold water, with minimal detergant, and hang everything to dry – and I have shirts over twenty years old that still look pretty much new. And yes, they get worn frequently, because I love them.

  47. Jeans? Maybe once a month, unless I’ve gotten them visibly dirty.
    Sheets maybe every 3 weeks, except in summer ’cause I sweat more.
    Underwear & socks go into the laundry basket every day after getting home from the gym.
    The bra I wear to work out gets hung over the shower rod every day, washed once a week. Ditto for the T-shirt & tights I work out in.
    The bra I wear once I’m clean & cool might be washed every other week (by hand, hung dry).
    Since I shower almost every day (every day I’m at the gym) the towels I use get washed about once a week. In between they hang over the shower rod (or now that it’s warmer, outside on the line) to dry every day.
    If I ever get a real job where I have to look nice & go somewhere else most of the day, those clothes will be rehung unless smelly or dirty. Washed maybe every couple weeks.

  48. Ever since having small children, I’ve gotten into the habit of washing everything after one wear. There are times when I’ve worn a shirt for a few hours and I think it’s safe to hang back up, only to put it on the next time and see a big wipe of kid goo on the front. I look forward to the day when my stains are my own, although, I guess I won’t have an excuse then, will I?

  49. I wish I could get my 15 yr. old daughter to understand that one doesn’t have to wash something just because you wore it for an hour. She will actually toss something in the washer that she tried on and decided not to wear! It makes me scream!! Then I hear, “I need new jeans cuz mine are worn out.” Gee, I wonder why?

    • Donna Freedman

      @Dave: How about asking her to pay for her own jeans? If no jobs are to be had, she could “pay” for her clothing allowance by doing the family laundry. Everyone’s, including hers. And maybe during that first week or two you could make sure that everyone threw in as much laundry as possible — even if they’d only tried it on and discarded it.
      Laundry might look different after that.
      Thanks for reading, and for leaving a comment.

  50. I’m very stingy when it comes to washing things. Like the author, I’ll re-hang shirts/dresses if I’ve only wore them for an hour or two. The towels I use when I get out of the shower (one for my hair, one for my body) only get washed every 2 weeks. After all, I AM clean when I get out of the shower. I just hang my towels up to air dry. As far as jeans go, depending on which pair it is I’ll usually wear them twice before I throw ‘em in the laundry basket. Some of my jeans get loose and “saggy” if I’ve had them on all day and I like my jeans tight so I’ll wash & dry them to restore that skintight feel. I wash/dry them inside out, as to prevent fading on the side that the world sees.

  51. I heard that the best thing for jeans instead of washing….freeze them.
    Sounds easy to me.
    jana

  52. Matty

    Once per week usually unless I was too busy but since I am constantly doing laundry for the little one, I may as well toss my stuff in the mountain of laundry but I also turn them inside out so they don’t fade as quickly – tshirts and everything else after 1 wear. I don’t really have dry cleaning stuff anymore, too expensive to dry clean.

  53. Great post!
    I buy expensive clothes and I can’t bear to wash them. They’re just never the same again. T-shirts, underwear, socks I wash after each wear. Everything else, just when it’s starting to look creased or smells. I don’t really sweat much so don’t have to wash tops each time. Also, I live in a small apartment and it looks like a Chinese laundry if I do a load of washing so I try to only do one load a week. Doing lots of washing somehow feels like a wasteful extravagance where as putting things back in the wardrobe feels like frugality.

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