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Surprising Truths About How Often You Should Wash These 10 Different Items Of Clothing

Surprising Truths About How Often You Should Wash These 10 Different Items Of Clothing

If you are like me, then you have heard a variety of advice when it comes to washing your clothes. For instance, your parents probably told you to wash your jeans after every wear, while your college buddy likely told you that you should never wash your jeans so that they retain their coloring and fit. Well, I am here to set the record straight.

Below, I will go through a number of articles of clothing, and will tell you how many times you should wear them before putting them through a lengthy wash cycle. Let’s start with something we all wear fairly often, and which I just referenced above.

1. Jeans

Jeansz1#1

    How often should you wash them?

    Answer: After 5 wears.

    It turns out that both your parents and your friend from college were right in some respects. The truth of how often you should wash your jeans lies somewhere between “after every wear” and “never.” Usually, five wears is enough to give you an excuse to throw your jeans into the washer.

    This can be for a number of reasons, but usually it’s because repeated wear can stretch them out, making them fit too loosely. Additionally, sometimes you can sweat so much that they can begin to smell a bit off.

    Make sure to wash them in cold water so that they can better retain their original color!

    2. Dress Pants and Skirts

    Dresspantsz1#2

      How often should you wash them?

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      Answer: After 6 wears.

      These are usually worn at nice occasions, and it’s typical that they are made out of synthetic blends that are resistant to stains and odors. Thus, they are hardy pieces of clothing that do not need to be washed all that often.

      If they are part of a matching outfit, make sure to wash all of the items of clothing simultaneously so that one part of the set doesn’t fade more rapidly than the other.

      3. Whites and Silks

      Whitesz1#3

        How often should you wash them?

        Answer: After each and every wear. 

        If you want your white garments to stay that color, you need to wash them frequently. Otherwise, dirt and sweat will begin to cloud its original alabaster hue. Similarly, silks absorb sweat like a sponge, so they need a good tumble through the washer after every wear as well.

        4. Gloves, Scarves, and Hats

        Scarvesz1#4

          How often should you wash them?

          Answer: ~4 times a season. 

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          If you are wondering, a “season” rounds out to be about three months worth of time, so space your washes out accordingly. Most people (including me now that I think of it) rarely wash their gloves, scarves, and hats, but the truth of the matter is that they accumulate a lot of grime throughout a season of regular wear. This can include standard dirt, facial oil, makeup, and anything else that you happen to come in contact with while you are out and about.

          More generally, I would say that if it doesn’t pass the smell test, throw it in the washer.

          5. Pajamas

          pajamasz1#5

            How often should you wash them?

            Answer: After ~3 wears. 

            Pajamas are tricky in that how often you wash them depends on multiple factors. If it’s cold at night, and you don’t really sweat a lot, then you can probably get through a week without having to wash your bedclothes.

            If it’s hot, and/or you sweat a lot while sleeping, you will need to wash your pajamas every two wears most likely. While that may seem excessive, it is in your best interest, as some research has suggested that sleeping in dirty pajamas can lead to acne breakouts and other skin-related issues.

            6. T-Shirts

            shirtsz1#6

              How often should you wash them?

              Answer: After each and every wear!

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              I put an exclamation mark there because shirts seem to be the one article of clothing that people seem comfortable re-wearing several times without a wash. At least that’s what I have noticed.

              In truth, shirts should be treated similarly to underwear, since they are always in close contact with your skin and tend to be the first line of defense against sweat.

              So don’t skimp — wash your shirts with diligence! There is one minor exception, and that’s if you have only worn a shirt for a couple of hours, in which case you can probably wear it again the next day if it passes the smell test. In all other cases though, just throw it in the wash.

              7. Swimsuits

              swimsuitz1#7

                How often should you wash them?

                Answer: After each and every wear. 

                This makes some sense, since swimsuits are basically a form of underwear. In addition to the fact that they absorb sweat and whatever is in the water, swimsuit material can be damaged by the ingredients in sunscreen. So play it safe, and wash your trunks and bikinis when you get back from the beach or pool.

                8. Leather Jackets

                leatherz1#8

                  How often should you wash them?

                  Answer: Never, or maybe once a season. 

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                  Leather jackets are extremely resilient, and are rarely in direct contact with your skin. At most, you should carefully spot clean them, or have them professionally cleaned once in a blue moon. Otherwise, there’s really no need to be too fanatical about cleaning your leather outerwear.

                  9. Sweaters

                  sweaterz1#9

                    How often should you wash them? 

                    Answer: Every 3 wears. 

                    If you’re like most people, you wash your sweaters about as often as you wash your leather jackets, which is to say: never. The truth is that most sweaters are more prone to absorbing dirt, sweat, and grime than other types of outerwear, and thus they need to be washed relatively often.

                    10. Leggings/Yoga Pants

                    Yogapantsz1#10

                      How often should you wash them?

                      Answer: Every ~2 wears. 

                      This one depends on whether or not you’re actually working out in your yoga pants, or just wearing them around for comfort’s sake. If it’s the former, then you pretty much have to wash them after every wear because they will absorb your sweat, much like compression pants. If it’s the latter, you might be able to get away with two or three wears. But, of course, that depends on how much you sweat when not working out.

                      Did any of the answers here surprise you? Are you rushing over to your closet right now and figuring out which articles of clothing you need to clean? Tell me your clothes-washing-related thoughts in the comments below!

                      Featured photo credit: Washing Line/ Steve Calcott via flic.kr

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                      Last Updated on March 13, 2019

                      How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

                      How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

                      Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

                      You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

                      Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

                      1. Work on the small tasks.

                      When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

                      Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

                      2. Take a break from your work desk.

                      Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

                      Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

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                      3. Upgrade yourself

                      Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

                      The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

                      4. Talk to a friend.

                      Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

                      Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

                      5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

                      If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

                      Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

                      Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

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                      6. Paint a vision to work towards.

                      If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

                      Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

                      Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

                      7. Read a book (or blog).

                      The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

                      Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

                      Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

                      8. Have a quick nap.

                      If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

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                      9. Remember why you are doing this.

                      Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

                      What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

                      10. Find some competition.

                      Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

                      Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

                      11. Go exercise.

                      Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

                      Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

                      As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

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                      Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

                      12. Take a good break.

                      Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

                      Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

                      Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

                      Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

                      More Resources About Getting out of a Rut

                      Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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