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Ask An Expert: The Dirt On Laundry: How Often To Wash?

How often do you wash your pajamas and pillowcases? Or how about your coats and comforters? In general, most people don’t wash their clothing, bedding and other items often enough. It’s important to note that phosphates in our detergents have decreased over the years, so your clothes may not be getting as clean as you think, and washing regularly is even more important.

The American Cleaning Institute gives advice on how often to wash specific items. Consider these tips:

  • Every time you wear them: tights, leggings, yoga pants, exercise clothing, T-shirts, socks undershirts/underpants and swimming suits.
  • Every two days: hand towels and dish towels.
  •  Every three to four times you wear or use them: bath towels, bras, slips, dresses, sweaters, skirts, pajamas, slacks and jeans
  • Weekly: sheets, pillowcases and bath mats.
  • Monthly: mattress pads, bathrobes and pillow liners.
  • Every three months: outerwear and jackets, shower curtains, throw blankets, throw rugs and vests.
  • Once or twice a year: blankets, comforters, heavy coats, bed pillows and pillow shams.

For more laundry tips, click here to see Teresa Hunsaker on KSL Studio 5, or visit

By: Teresa Hunsaker, Utah State University Extension family and consumer sciences faculty, (801) 399-8200,