Do You Have To Wash Clothes After Wearing Once?

Many of us would love to know how we can lessen the amount of time we spend doing laundry. If only we have fewer clothes to wash, right?

What if we tell you that to lessen your laundry load, you can wear your clothes more than once?  

You wore it once – should it go straight in the wash?

Generally, most kinds of clothing can survive multiple wears. Of course, underwear are not included in this equation and should be washed after every use for hygiene purposes.

On the other hand, garments such as jeans and even suits can definitely be worn many times before washing them. This means that you don’t necessarily have to wash clothes after wearing them just once.

The benefits of wearing your clothes more than once

You don’t have to feel guilty or lazy when re-wearing your clothing.

In fact, there are several advantages to not washing your clothes after every use!

Practising some restraint to your laundry habits allows you to:

Preserve your clothing

Yes, there is such a thing as overwashing and overcleaning your clothes.

Did you know that when you overwash your clothes, you’re breaking down their fibres pointlessly to the point that they’ll look ragged? Over time, this will also cause holes and damage to appear on your garments.

To prevent wearing out your clothing, stop yourself from tossing them in the laundry basket after just using them once. This is especially true for indoor clothes that are likely less exposed to bacteria from outdoor environments.

Save money

What happens when you have less laundry to do?

You’ll also use less electricity, laundry detergents, fabric conditioners, dryer sheets, and more.

As a result, you’ll save up some money which adds up in time. You’re also doing your machines a favour by doing fewer loads, which means a repair or replacement fee will not be necessary any time soon.

Plus, it’s great for the environment too as it will lessen your ecological footprint!

Saves you time

Last but certainly not least: Reusing your clothes and not putting them in the wash after using them one time will save you time. After all, you’ll have fewer garments that’ll need washing, drying, and folding!

Just imagine that an average UK adult gets to do around 13,000 loads of laundry all throughout their lifetime[1]. By lessening the need to wash clothes, you’ll undoubtedly save the valuable time you can spend doing other important things!

How often do you really need to wash your clothing?

We all know the “sniff test” – which is just the act of sniffing clothes to see if they already smell. If they do, please do put them in the wash!

Aside from the sniff test, the more important thing to consider before washing your clothing is what type of garment it is. Are you using it outdoors? What kind of fabric are they made of? Are you using it on a daily basis?

washing machine with a towel in the door

In the guide below, you’ll see a general recommendation on how many wears it’ll take before you have to wash an article of clothing to maximise your usage and resources.  

Clothes you need to wash after wearing once

Yes, washing your clothes often will quickly wear them out. Some types of clothing are exceptions to the rule, however, as they’ll need to be washed no matter what.

If they are listed below, this means that you’ll have to wash them after every wear:

Underwear and socks

Never, ever, reuse intimates such as underwear and socks. Not only is it unhygienic, but it is also possible to get sick or bacteria from not washing these items properly.

White garments and silks

If you want to keep your white garments looking crisp, it’s best to only wear them once. Silk fabrics are easily discoloured and would best be laundered after use.

Sportswear and swimwear

Exercise gear and swimming clothes have loads of dead cells and sweat, which means they may harbour bacteria if not washed properly. Hence, we do not recommend reusing them, especially if they are made from cotton materials.

Sweaty clothes

We know how humid the weather can be. If you find yourself sweating all day, it’s not very wise to reuse the same clothing for another use. Toss it in the wash and include it in your next laundry session.

Clothes with stains or bad smells

Finally, if you spill something on your clothing or it already smells funky, do yourself a favour and wash them immediately. The longer you wait, it’ll be more difficult for you to spot-treat those stains which may ruin your clothes permanently.

SEE ALSO: Washing Machine Not Cleaning Clothes? (this might be why)

Clothes you need to wash after 2 to 3 wears

These are the types of clothing that you can wash after wearing them two to three times:


We do not recommend washing a bra after you wear it once as it’ll eventually lose its shape. Since the elastics in them are quite fragile, stick to washing them two to three times, possibly more if you only wear them for short periods of time.

Shirts and blouses

If not yet too dirty, shirts and blouses can be hung after use to allow them to air dry. Then, you can wear it again twice or thrice before it gets tossed in the wash.


Similar to shirts and blouses, dresses are best used twice or more. This allows the material to not be too fragile and allows it to retain its form.


Due to their material, leggings and tights are much easier to wear out. Also, they are often in direct contact with the skin which means it gets soaked with sweat. It’s best to use twice or thrice if not used for working out, then wash.

Clothes you need to wash after 4 to 5 wears

These are the types of clothing that you can wash after wearing them four to five times:


If you shower before going to bed, chances are your pyjamas are still clean and ready for reuse. You can easily wear them four nights in a row before they need washing.

Dress pants

Dress pants and office pants are made of materials that shouldn’t be washed often. After all, they are very prone to fading.


If you wear an inside shirt under your cardigan, you can stretch out the times you use them to four or five wears.


Suits are typically worn around four times to retain their shape and keep their colour from fading.

Clothes to wash after 6 to 7 wears

These are the types of clothing that you can wash after wearing them six to seven times:

Sweatshirts and jackets

Long-sleeved garments are impractical to wash often as they are quite bulky and used over daily clothing. This means that exposure to sweat is usually minimal.


Skirts do not need to get washed often and can easily be worn multiple times.


If there’s one thing clothing experts can agree on, it’s the fact that trousers or jeans shouldn’t be washed immediately after use. Whenever possible, it’s best to wear them more than six times before putting them in your laundry basket. This is especially true for trousers made of denim.

Clothes that need to be washed during the winter season

These are the types of clothing that you’ll wash during the winter season. Since many of them are bulky, they may need to be taken to the dry cleaner:

Winter gear

Winter clothing such as bulky jackets, gloves, scarves, and hats can get washed at every start and end of the season depending on their use. If you go outdoors a lot, it’s better to wash the less bulky items at least once a month to rid of smells and dirt.

Save time and energy and cut back on laundry!

Although many of us think that doing the laundry sucks, you’ll be surprised that many adults actually do their washing too much and too wastefully.

To conserve your energy, time, and resources, wearing your clothes more than twice can result in a huge impact not only on you but also on the environment.

Do you wash your clothes immediately after wearing them? Or do you wear them more than once to cut back on your laundry?

Share your thoughts below!

Frequently Asked Questions

Is it OK to wear new clothes without washing?

No, we do not advise wearing clothes without washing them, even if they’re new. Chances are, they’ve already been in contact with germs that can cause irritations or various skin conditions.

Do you need to wash your clothes twice?

There’s no need to wash clothing twice, unless they’re too dirty or stained. Instead of washing them entirely, spot treating would be best for stains.

Is it okay to wear clothes more than once?

Yes, it’s generally okay to wear clothes more than once, except for underwear.

Do clothes get clean without detergent?

It’s difficult to properly clean clothing without detergent, as it helps to get rid of bacteria, stains, and bad smells on them.

Is it wasteful to do small loads of laundry every day?

Yes, it can be more wasteful to do small loads of laundry daily as you’ll end up using more soap, water, and electricity in the long run.

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