Knowing how often you should wash business shirts and work clothes is a big deal. You don’t want to ruin that shirt that has gotten you a lot of compliments at work so far. And even more, you can’t keep relying on the “sniff test” to know when it is time for your shirts to hit the washing machine.
So naturally, you wonder, “how often should you wash business shirts?”. Generally, you can wash your business shirts after wearing them once or twice. However, if there’s any stain on them, then wash out the stain immediately or spot clean.
While this may seem easy, there are other things to note about washing and wearing work clothes. You have to consider the fabric type, the weather, and so on. This is because you want your work clothes to last for as long as they can, without looking worn. And you always want to look and smell fresh and clean to work every day. Thankfully, we can help with that in this article.
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How Many Times Can I Wear A Business Shirt Before Washing It?
You can wear a business shirt two to three times before washing it. First, smell the armpit area, and if it doesn’t smell, air it out. However, if the weather is really hot and there’s a lot of sweat, then it should be washed after wearing it.
Also, if there are visible stains, especially at the collar, cuffs, and armpits, then you should wash them after wearing them. And whites should be washed after wearing because they are more prone to stains and discoloration.
If the weather isn’t too hot or you don’t sweat much, or you’re wearing an undershirt, then you can get three wears from your business shirt. But remember to air it out after wearing it and hang it to prevent wrinkles.
Related Read: Home Washing Dress Shirts: Skip The Dry Cleaner
How Often Should I Wash My Work Clothes?
How often work clothes should be washed varies according to the type of work clothes. So let’s take a look at some work clothes and how often they should be washed:
- Jeans: Jeans are known for being sturdy go-to work clothes that can withstand almost anything. So a pair of jeans can get away with 4 to 6 wears before washing. Raw denim-like selvage can even go for up to a month without being washed. And normal denim can take a whole week before hitting the laundry. If you have stretch jeans, you should wash them more often to prevent them from bagging at the knees.
- T-shirts: These should be washed after one or two wears. If the weather is hot and you’ve been sweating in your t-shirt, one wear is enough to send it to the laundry.
- Sweaters: Sweaters are usually worn over shirts or undershirts and so can survive three to four wears before being washed.
- Shorts and pants: Other fabrics apart from jeans, for example, khaki, should be washed after three to four wears. This is because they absorb more sweat and oil than jeans, and stains are more obvious on them. It helps to hang them after each wearing and air them out.
- Suits and Jackets: Your suit can typically last a week of wearing before being washed. And it is even better if you own more than one suit so you can alternate them.
- Socks and Underwear: These should be worn after wearing them. Generally, clothing next to your skin should be washed immediately—don’t try to dodge this. You should wash them with hot water and dry them at high heat to kill bacteria.
- Neckties: Neckties are usually the first target of food spills and stains and should be washed as often as this occurs—which is very often. As a tip, wash your neckties by hand or dry clean them to prevent damage to the fabric.
Should I Wash Work Clothes Separately?
Work Clothes should be washed separately from personal clothes for your safety and the safety of your loved ones. The reason for this is that work clothes engage with a lot more contaminants than personal clothing.
Some people work in high-risk worksites where the levels of contaminants are on the high side. And mixing them with personal clothes while washing can easily spread such contaminants.
So it’s best to wash them separately on a higher setting than you would normally use for personal items to get rid of the bacteria. And if possible, change from your work clothes before getting home.
Workers must consider this and wash work clothes separately to prevent cross-contamination.
Related Read: How To Get Yellow Stains On Your White Shirt
What You Shouldn’t Wash Together?
It may seem easier to throw all your clothes into the washing machine at once. Just get ready for the heartbreak that comes afterward when you see a pink streak in your white or confusing colors on your purple shirt.
So it’s best to sort out clothes properly into groups to prevent your clothes from getting ruined. How do you go about this?
- Separate whites from colored: This is so that the colors do not stain your whites, and you end up with unwanted dyed white shirts.
- Separate dark colors from bright colors: Your blacks, reds, navies, greys, etc., should go into one load. Then your lavenders, light blues, pinks, light greens, yellows, etc., should go into another load.
- Separate delicates from regular clothing: Do not wash your socks with your underwear. And do not wash either of them with your regular clothing. Wash them separately using hot water.
- Separate according to fabric type: An example of this is washing wool or cashmere with denim. Different fabrics require different water temperatures and should be washed separately.
- Separate according to the level of dirtiness: Clothes with a lot of dirt need heavier handling like pre-treatment and a higher setting on the washing machine. So to avoid staining other clothes or putting them through the same stress, separate them.
As a quick tip, wash your clothes from the inside out to maintain the color and protect zips and embellishments from pulling out.
Is It Bad To Wear New Clothes Before Washing Them?
It is bad to wear new clothes before washing them. The reason is that you can get an allergic reaction called allergic contact dermatitis. This occurs when your immune system reacts to an allergen that has come in contact with your skin. And with new clothes, the allergen is usually from the dispersed dye.
It’s even worse when the dispersed dye touches an open wound. This can activate the immune system and cause a lasting allergy or skin reaction.
So by washing your new clothes, you reduce some of the dye and reduce your risk of allergic contact dermatitis.
Some researchers from Stockholm University in Sweden found out that a chemical compound called Quinones is in a lot of fabric, especially polyester. And this chemical compound can cause allergic reactions.
Also, clothing treated with a stain repellant, anti-wrinkle, softness enhancers, and so on contains a lot of chemicals that aren’t safe for direct contact with skin. And this is why new clothes should be washed before wearing them.
How To Wash A Business Shirt
Follow these easy tips on how to wash a dress shirt:
- Follow the care instructions on the shirt label and use the right water temperature as specified.
- Remove collar stays from the collar before washing.
- Use less detergent: When washing your business shirts, less detergent is better because detergent is a base and can eat into your clothes.
- Clean dirty spots: Sometimes, instead of washing the whole shirt, do some spot cleaning.
- Set the washing machine to delicate wash and use a normal cycle if the fabric is heavier.
- Wash the shirt from the inside out to hide the buttons and prevent it from getting caught in the washing machine.
- Hang to dry: If you want your shirt to last longer, it’s best to leave it out to dry instead of using a drier.
- Iron the shirt while it’s still slightly wet.
- If you can afford it, take it to the dry cleaners.
When Is The Best Time To Do Laundry?
Depending on your energy provider’s rate, you can choose the best times to wash your clothes to save some money and reduce your energy bill.
During our peak hours, some energy companies charge more because that’s more energy used. So the trick is to avoid washing at those times and rather wash before 12 pm or 4 pm or after 7 pm. You should check out your energy provider’s website to know the times for energy peaks.
During summer, wash your clothes in the morning to avoid using energy peaks in the hot afternoons. While winter requires more energy use in the morning, so it’s better to wash at night.
Related Read: 5 Best Jeans To Wear For Business?
Is It Better To Do Large Or Small Loads Of Laundry to Save Energy?
Your washing machine uses the same amount of energy whether you’re washing bigger loads or smaller loads. So it’s better to wash in bigger loads to save energy by the amount of time spent on using the washing machine.
You can also save energy by washing with cold water instead of using hot or warm water. This is because when the machine is set to hot water, the washing machine uses 90% of its energy to heat up the water.
With this, you get to save energy, save money and protect your clothes from shrinkage and losing color faster.
Dos And Don’ts Of Laundry
The wrong use of a washing machine can end up in a disaster. And it’s very easy to make mistakes that can ruin your clothes if you don’t know what to do. So what should you do and what should you avoid when washing your clothes:
- Do separate colors to avoid color running from one clothing to another.
- Pretreat stains before loading the clothes into the washing machine to take care of the stains properly.
- Follow the instructions on the garment’s label.
- Use the right amount of detergent as prescribed in the product label.
- Don’t overload the washing machine.
- Leave the washing machine’s door open to air it out and avoid mildew.
- Wash your washing machine regularly. Do so by pouring in a cup of white vinegar and setting the machine to a hot cycle. This will help sanitize it and get rid of smells.
- Check clothes pockets before putting them into the washer.
- Don’t leave wet clothes in the washer for a long time but rinse and dry immediately.
- If your washing machine has any fault, it’s best to call a professional rather than try to fix it yourself.
Which Is Better, Dry Cleaning Or Laundry?
In the long run, dry cleaning is better for your clothes than laundry.
Laundering involves water, a wager, detergent or soap and a dryer. And it’s usually done at home. Dry cleaning, on the other hand, doesn’t involve water but cleaning agents and a special method to remove stains.
While it’s cheaper to do the laundry yourself, you can end up running some of your clothes. That’s why some clothes come with the “dry clean only” instruction on their label.
Dry cleaning helps preserve the color and texture of your cloth and effectively removes tough stains. Also, the dry cleaning process is softer than regular laundering, and this helps your clothes last longer and leaves your clothes looking crisp and fresh.
And that’s all we have for now. So even though you shouldn’t wash your clothes after each wear, you don’t want to get into the “nasty zone” in the name of maintenance.
To learn more on how to clean your clothes, check these out: