You don’t need to wash your clothes everyday

“Laundry day” doesn’t mean you have to throw everything in the washing machine on a daily basis; some items should be washed after each wear, while others can last longer between each wash. Besides, washing clothes is very water and energy intensive, accounting for up to 40% of the overall water consumption of a typical household!

There are actually many things we can do to ease this burden on the environment, like simply washing your clothes less. Don’t be grossed out, as a society we have become hyper-clean in the 21st century. Our great ancestors probably washed their “clothes” (if you could call them that) about once every 6 months!

Let’s set the record straight; not all items of clothing have to be washed after every single wear. Let’s look at some simple tips on how often you should wash your clothes and how to wash clothes more sustainably


  • Jeans – The CEO of Levi’s once famously claimed to have not washed a pair of jeans in over a year! If the thought of leaving your jeans this long without washing is too gross, experts reckon you can wash them every six weeks, or 10 wears. Be careful not to wash them in hot water though, and don’t put them in the dryer! 
  • Shirts and blouses – wash after every wear. 
  • Suits – these can typically be worn several times before cleaning (3-4 times for wool and 4-5 times for synthetics). 
  • Pajamas – wash after 3- 4 wears. 
  • Bras – wash after 2-3 wears. 
  • Leggings and tights – wash after every wear to get rid of baggy knees.
  • Bathing suits – simply rinse out after every wear.


  • Turn the temperature down – did you know that about 90% of the energy associated with laundry involves simply heating up the water? Switching from 40 degrees celsius to 30 degrees uses around 40% less energy! Just be sure to choose a detergent that is formulated for cold water; usually, liquid detergents work better than powders in this case. Cold water is also less damaging to your clothes and helps prevent fading. Of course, it’s not always possible to use cold water, since certain fabrics should be washed in warmer water, like spandex and nylon. 
  • Use shorter cycles – avoid the heavy-duty cycle, even if your clothes are heavily soiled. Normal clothes should clean perfectly fine without the pre-wash feature on the machine, but if you are worried about particularly dirty clothes, soak them in a basin before you wash.
  • Make sure the load is full – a single washing machine cycle uses about 60 litres of water! Reducing the number of loads you do each week will save the planet water and you money. 
  • Use eco-friendly detergents – many commercial products contain harsh chemicals, like dyes and chlorine, that are not only harmful to the environment, but can also irritate sensitive skin and damage clothes. Consider switching to a more eco-friendly product, like Tru Earth Eco-Strips Laundry Detergent, which not only cleans your clothes, but is made of compostable packaging and dissolves completely in water.

We’re certainly not suggesting that you go to work in the same outfit for a week straight to save water, but adopting one or two of the habits on this list will go a long way in decreasing your carbon footprint and utility bills. You’ll also keep your clothes from degrading quicker. Win win!