Three Simple Tricks to Doing Less Laundry!

If I can share a trade secret or two (or three) about doing less laundry, you know I’m gonna do it. I’ve already shared with you my laundry routine and how to optimize your routine. However, below you’ll find little sneaky cheats and FYIs that will help you understand laundry better and actually be able to do fewer loads. You, my friends, are most welcome.

Are You Washing Enough in One Load?

Your machine doesn’t wash clothing as well in a light load as it would a fuller load; more clothing equals more agitation resulting in a better clean.  If I don’t have enough to substantiate a full load, I leave the pile until I do.  Now don’t go overstuffing that machine on my account, I’d say a good load uses about 75% of the machine’s size capacity.  So save up your load until you’ve got that covered.

Have More Undergarments

This is your carte blanche to buy out Victoria’s Secret! I have a lot of underwear and socks which allows me to get away with doing less laundry. Where you wear your clothing on your body determines how frequently you should be washing it (we’ll cover that in a second).  The more socks, underwear, and sportswear you have, the less often you need to run through a load because you have more garments to cycle through.  So yes, an excuse for shopping.

Wash Clothing Only as Often as Absolutely Necessary

The more you wash your clothing, the more wear you put on them–wash cycles, detergent, heat from dryers, yeah…your clothes get stressed!  Here are some general guidelines as to how frequently you need to wash each garment type.

  • One wear – socks, underwear, undershirts, gym gear
  • 2-3 wears –  t-shirts and tanks, long sleeve shirts, blouses, dress shirts, and pajamas
  • 3-5 wears – lounge pants and leggings, sweaters, sweatshirts, bras (exception to the undergarment rule – but let a bra air out for a day before wearing or storing)
  • 5-10 wears – dress pants, skirts, jeans, blazers

The idea is, the further away something is from your body, the less frequently you need to wash it.  Now of course, if you spill something on a garment or sweat profusely in it, by all means, wash it.  But if you just wore something throughout the course of a regular day, use this guideline.  Want to keep your garments fresh between uses? Try a fabric refresher.

I hope you give these tips a try and of course, do less laundry!  Let me know your laundry-reducing tips below!

Do less laundry! Clean My Space.

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  1. It has always been a problem of mine when my dirty clothes start to pile up. I guess you have a point about washing my clothes when just necessary such as if a shirt was just used 2-3 times, then that’s time to finally wash it. Although I am a clean freak, maybe I’d just look for a laundry shop that may address this concern.

  2. Well I think it would be better if you put your clothes group, because it won’t create any sorts of confusion on what you are washing and what has left. Create a list of all clothes that are need to be washed and washing them daily or schedule will save you from load of washing and you might save time as well.

  3. Wearing anything 5-10 times before you wash it is gross. 2-3 times is doable for some things, but I would never wear anything 5 times before washing it, much less 10. Just ewww. And reusing towels is even worse. If not hung correctly they don’t dry well. Even if used right out of the shower you are still going to scruff up skin cells. I don’t want to possibly dry my face with the same area of a towel that dried my behind the day before. Again, just ewww.

  4. I have 10 year old twins and a husband, (see how I grouped them together?), and for the love of all things Holy, we have a load of towels to do every single day! We have places to hang them, after use, but I have no idea why they use so many in the first place! I find them on the bathroom floor, our bed, in a wet lump on the couch… the longer they stay damp, the more I need to wash them. I tried designating specific towel color to each person, but they just “forget,” or whatever excuse they have… oh, or they take their towel off a hook, and others fall down on the floor. Craziness! I am scared to use a towel just hanging on the door because I don’t know where it’s been! Hmmmm… I’m getting some ideas, but we done have a lot of wall space for hooks or bars, so some are on our bedroom door… is it worth having a crazy looking bathroom with bars in weird places? Get rid of hooks and just use bars, How do towels best dry before the next day?

    • What I do for a family of two is….
      I have bathrobes and hang dry them In our bathroom when not in use. I would go with 100 cotton or terrycloth robes. It could be pricey but you will not be doing so much laundry.

  5. Thanks for the info. Now tell us, we spend time washing and folding bedsheets and pillow cases. They smell so clean and fresh when removed from the drier! Then after a couple of weeks in the cabinet they start to get funky smelling….enough so that I often end up rewashing before putting the pillow cases on! What a waste of time, money, resources and energy! Sachets and drier sheets in the storage area seem to have limited effect. Thank goodness for my sheet mister (I would prefer a natural alternative since my face will be buried in it 8 hours a day) or just a way to keep that clean smell. Who can sleep with a smelly pillow case??! Help Melissa!

    • Spray your sheets with a mixture of essential oils and water. Lavender is great. I helps you sleep and smells wonderful.

  6. I totally go by these time frames for washing things. Let your clothes air out for a few days before deciding if they need washing or not, and then do the sniff test and check for stains. If they are good, they go back in my closet! I too have friends that cannot fathom wearing anything that wasn’t freshly washed. I assure you, I do not smell! Underwear, socks,and workout clothes are definitely washed after each wearing. It’s like you read my mind!

  7. In the meantime, where do you put those not so dirty clothes? Hang them back up, put them back in the drawer. How do even remember how many times you’ve worn something?

  8. We use a tablecloth on our dining room table. I spray the stains while the cloth is still on the table. It saves a lot of time trying to pretreat. Then remove, put in washer and give the table a good wipe down.

  9. hello,
    i would like to ask you since i am moving to a new apartment at a country where alcohol is forbidden, in the diy cleaning products eg linen spray, clothes spray what can i use in the place of vodka and alcohol?

  10. Our dryer technician told us not to use the plastic dryer balls or a tin foil ball, as overtime it can ruin the arms inside of the dryer.

  11. Thank you for your common sense approach to laundry! I know young women who wash every article of clothing every time it is worn. This is extra work, tome consuming, wears out your clothes and is totally unnecessary. Some even rewash clothes that are taken off the rack and never worn, because something else is chosen. Some wash towels after one use. Come now, you have dried a clean body with a clean towel – do you seriously think that towel is dirty?

    • Well some of us live in hot, humid climates. Even with air conditioning on, a used towel, hung up properly, smells musty. All my friends wash towels after one use. Ditto for tshirts and shorts. Some days we take three showers a day because it’s so hot! Living up north is a different laundry world!

    • Thanks Ernestine. That makes a lot of sense. Some of us absolutely do have habits for cleanliness that are over the top, myself included. I’m ready to change that though! I’ll start keeping a dedicated rack for airing clothes out and keep deodorizing sachets in my storage systems so I don’t feel as much of an impulse to clean things that would otherwise get musty but haven’t even been soiled.


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