Wearing clothes several times before washing? - Page 3 - Mothering Forums

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Old 04-12-2006, 12:51 PM
 
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Originally Posted by cchrissyy
"Obviously socks and underwear go straight into the hamper.. everything else gets re-used until it's stinky or visibly dirty"

EXACTLY what we do.
DITTO

I was absolutely shocked to see my inlaws washing and dying towels every day. Their towels are so threadbare one sil brings her own when she visits. In my family each person kept track of his or her own towel -always carefully hung to dry - and then the towels were washed weekly.
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Old 04-12-2006, 11:52 PM
 
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I re-wear bras unless I've gotten very sweaty.
Shirts, sometimes.
Pants or even skirts, never. I'm just too messy for that.

but no, I don't think it's gross at all. Unless you'res smelly, I wouldn't worry about it.
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Old 04-13-2006, 11:04 AM
 
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We do this also. The kids usually get a clean change of clothes every day because they are such grubbits. My dd sometimes goes through 2-3 changes just cuz she is still in the spit up stage. I am trying to teach my dh to hang up clothes because he wears clothes to work then changes into his work clothes there, so he only wears them a few hours a day. I change panties daily and socks, and sometimes shirts if they are really grubby. I think this is necessary, because if we didn't do this, I would be doing the laundry ALOT more often.
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Old 04-13-2006, 09:11 PM
 
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My kids are hard on their clothes and almost never get to rewear anything. DH and I, on the other hand, rewear our clothes a lot (with the exception of underwear and socks).

I had two pairs of *good* pants during the winter (jeans and chinos) and I would alternate them daily. I've often thought that the reason American women are so overburdened with laundry is that they simply have too much clothes! I do a small load every day (sometimes two) and never have any laundry pile-ups.

I also wash my hair only every 3 days or so, sometimes 4, depending on how it looks.

I must be honest though, I have little tolerance for b.o. and I like to be clean. We all take a bath every night. I have a veerrrry sensitive nose and can usually smell other people when they haven't bathed
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Old 04-14-2006, 02:21 AM
 
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we all re-wear jeans 3,4 days unless dirty or going commando (mostly me, everybody else is too stuffy--i noticed less yeast infections if i air things out a bit in the summer time)

we reuse towels--at least once, usually not more than 2 or 3 times to help keep down on mold for allergy reasons. also i often have to use them to mop the floor in DCs' bathroom. DS can't figure out how a shower curtain works this year.

DH wears his work clothes ~1 week, then we wash. but underwear, undershirts & socks get washed after 1 use for all of us.
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Old 04-14-2006, 07:40 AM
 
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Originally Posted by newcastlemama
I think as long as it smells and looks clean then it esentially is...I thnought everyone did this...I also wash my hair every 3 days and that grosses people out.
I was once a week......if that.

It's healthier for your hair. My hair doesn't get oily until about day 5, and if If it's a special occasion, I wait until day 8, brush it a few times with a boar's hair brush to distribute the oils, and then wash it. My hair always looks fab, plus, my color lasts twice as long that way.
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Old 04-14-2006, 08:51 PM
 
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I thought it was normal to re-wear clothes. It must be an american thing *wonder*
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Old 04-14-2006, 11:58 PM
 
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Old 04-18-2006, 12:48 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Asquaredmom
DITTO

I was absolutely shocked to see my inlaws washing and dying towels every day. Their towels are so threadbare one sil brings her own when she visits. In my family each person kept track of his or her own towel -always carefully hung to dry - and then the towels were washed weekly.
My family totally does this! My parents almost never re-use a towel. My mom always gives lip service to it, but when it comes down to it, she grabs a new towel each time and hangs them one atop another 'to dry' in her closet...and then takes them all down and washes them when she runs out. I think I counted over 70 towels in that household (at max a household of 7) at one point. They're in awful condition. I gave them all towels, color-coded, for Christmas one year (a set of 3 large, 2 face, and 1 washcloth each) and my sister is the only one that still has hers in decent condition; ours, bought at the same time, are fine. Because we use a towel until it smells funky.

DH uses his work shirts for a full week. He wears an undershirt (that he only wears one day) and is a generally neat person, so it isn't a problem and I certainly appreciate only having to do his work laundry once a month (he's seriously anal about it, and I wouldn't do it if I had to do it more often than that).

We have a policy of putting away anything that is clean enough to wear again. Unless we are doing dirty work two days in a row: then we'll just put the dirty stuff in the bathroom to wear the next day...it's often pretty gross.

natrowmom, I think you pretty perfectly described our policy . Right down to when a towel gets old, it does floor duty.

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Old 04-18-2006, 05:06 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Emilie
I feel ya- I wear my jeans till I have a period...Emilie
I read this as "I wear my jeans until I have my period."

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Old 04-18-2006, 06:07 PM
 
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DH and I wear stuff over until it needs a cleaning--dirty, smells or just looks gummy. I just recently saw a shopping comparison show that had a segment on men's suits and they recommended cleaning them only twice a year.

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Old 04-19-2006, 02:26 PM
 
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We rewear as much as possible too, although with a 19 month old, I generally don't get to rewear my clothes at all. I always end up with smooshed food on my shirts and pants.

Underwear, socks, t-shirts (because of sweaty armpits) all get worn once. Everything else is worn more than once. Towels are used for about a week, or until they start smelling. I change sheets when I get around to it (I try for every 2 weeks at least but that doesn't always happen). I wear PJs for about a week as well.

DD gets clean clothes every day, since her stuff is visibly dirty. Likewise with her PJs etc.
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Old 04-19-2006, 07:58 PM
 
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We all re-wear clothes until they smell or are dirty. Underwear gets used once, then gets washed. Towels are used until they smell. It's just so much easier this way. Even in a family of 3, we'd be doing laundry constantly if we washed something after wearing it only one time. I've never thought this was weird, but I guess it may be to some. We're just saving time, energy, and making our clothes last longer by only washing them when they truly need it.
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Old 04-20-2006, 04:25 AM
 
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i only wash stuff if it's A)visibly dirty or B)smelly. lots of the kids' stuff falls into category A, coz of food, art supplies, dirt, etc. but if it doesn't look dirty i put it right back in the drawer. i do so much less laundry this way! dh's stuff usually falls into category B, but i let him decide. if he thinks it's too bad he puts it in the hamper. but his smell tolerance is higher than mine...he'll even re-wear socks and underwear or stinky work shirts... but with my own stuff, i often wear it 3 or 4 times before it needs to be washed (other than underwear and socks which i wash every time.)

my SIL is a compulsive washer. she even rewashes clothes if she didn't fold them right away and they end up wrinkly (BUT STILL CLEAN!) and she rarely folds laundry...so she just keep washing stuff even though it hasn't been worn. she and her kids also like to change clothes several times a day...and she lives with my inlaws right now, and they are so not happy about the gas bill!

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Old 04-20-2006, 04:54 AM
 
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I relate a lot of modern living to good ol' Little House on the Prairie- a lotta people 'back then' (cave man and forward LOL) only had the one thing to wear, then their Sunday Go To Meetin' clothes. Wash the work clothes once per week, I guess, maybe less, or more if it got really dirty. Spot clean most likely. The whole idea appeals to my minimalist self. People do not believe me when I tell them how few clothes I own. Makes life so much simpler. Just have the few things you love to wear. Wear it until it is dirty.

OP, no you are not gross. I think your sis might be slightly off her rocker with all the washing of things that don't need to be. What a waste of resources and time.

I am glad to read that others also rewear their bras. DH thinks I'm nutty for rewearing, claiming that if he was a woman, he'd wear a fresh clean one daily
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Old 04-20-2006, 05:11 AM
 
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Originally Posted by sierratahoe
I relate a lot of modern living to good ol' Little House on the Prairie- a lotta people 'back then' (cave man and forward LOL) only had the one thing to wear, then their Sunday Go To Meetin' clothes. Wash the work clothes once per week, I guess, maybe less, or more if it got really dirty. Spot clean most likely.
Sounds like an incredibly smelly time to me. Some people (like my DH) simply don't have good senses of smell. He smokes (despite years of trying to quit) and simply has almost no sense of smell.

Are the posters who don't mind rewearing clothing or towels people with poor senses of smell? I can totally tell if I haven't been paying attention and my DH uses a 2 day old towel, I can smell it on him, and we have air conditioning and he always hangs his towel up on a hook to dry, even if I'm going to immediately wash it. I can definitely tell (by smell) if someone I know has worn something more than once (namely a couple of relatives I have, who are very clean but I can still smell their day-old clothes). I can easily tell if a towel that has been hanging is more than one day old, simply by sniffing it. Maybe it's just me.

Quote:
Originally Posted by OakBerry
Especially bath towels, you are drying your clean body off with them, how dirty can they get? I am careful to hang them/air dry them between uses.
Well, first off, I doubt that we are all bacteria-free when we come out of a shower. Especially if we are coming out of a bath, all the dirty stuff just floats on top of the water and when we get out of a bath (unless we have a quick shower as we're getting out), we have simply redistributed the dirt onto our body, or at least some of it (assuming the water is dirtier when we get out than when we got in). So then whatever dirt and bacteria is left on our bodies, some of that will end up on our towels when we dry ourselves. Plus, as we dry/scrub our skin, skin cells will end up on the towels. Since dust mites are everywhere, chances are they will end up climbing onto your towels and munching on your dead skin cells. Imagine what a great lunch if you re-use your towel for a week! Then of course, whatever bacteria has deposited itself onto the towel, amidst the moistness that is still there (mold & mildew will probably be inevitable, too), will grow and grow, munch on dead skin cells, get eaten by dust mites, which will multiply, etc.

That just doesn't sound very clean to me. Does that make me "anal"?!?

I don't know, I've had my current towels for over 5 years and they are still very fluffy (then again, I bought fairly good towels when I got them, not the cheapest one, but not the most expensive, perhaps $7 each at Costco for fluffy towels) and we wash them after one use, always have. Not threadbare at all.
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Old 04-20-2006, 05:17 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Rebecca
Isn't it foolish NOT to wear your clothes a few times? Each time you wash you break down your clothes a little more. Unless it's visibly dirty or smelly (other than socks and underwear which is changed each day), we wear it again. Why would anyone choose not to do this? It's wasteful and illogical and completely unnecessary to wash after just a few hours of wear.
Perhaps it's a difference of what one does all day. I suppose sitting at a desk in a nice dress suit all day wouldn't get it very dirty, I can understand rewearing a business coat and skirt, but washing the blouse/shirt and undies and slip, assuming there have been no spills from lunch on the outfit.

I guess the difference in my household is that the children play outside every day, including climbing trees, playing in a playground, running around, falling, sweating, eating, sitting on the floor and on the ground, etc. I also probably sit on the ground, outside, most every day (even if on a blanket or on a lawn chair), as well as walking, running, riding a bike, gardening, cleaning, sweating, eating (and inevitably spilling, ). My DH definitely gets dirty, every single day, in one way or another.

Are other families not getting nearly as dirty as we are? Is that what's going on?
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Old 04-20-2006, 06:01 AM
 
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DH and I both re-wear stuff over and over. Although I am conscious of the water/energy saving aspect, I can admit that it is also laziness.

Underwear only gets worn once. Normally socks are only worn once b/c once I get home I take off my shoes and our floors are pretty dirty (we clean them often, but with three dogs going in & out all day, it is not feasible to keep up)
But pants I wear multiple times. Most shirts I repeat, but it depends on my activity level, I normally smell the pits and check for stains. I re-wear bras unless I've fallen asleep in them or had a very strenuous day. Things get washed more often in the summer...
DH is a carpenter and gets dirty/smelly at work. But he re-wears his clothes anyway, because they'll be dirty again an hour after he starts. Normally 3 days or so. When he comes home from work he showers and changes into other clothes. He wears those about 4 hours and isn't doing much, so he can wear them over and over.
We only wash towels about once a week. I do find that hanging them on hooks they air out much better then when they are folded up on a bar.
We normally are showering, but if we do take baths they are always followed by a rinsing off.

Both of us have quite functional sense of smell.
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Old 04-20-2006, 12:44 PM
 
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RiverSky you are not alone. Now that summer is here my 4 y/o ds can rarely rewear anything! I even end up having him change clothes once a day. Sometimes even more. He is always running, riding his bike, playing in dirt, playing at the playground (covered in mulch), sweating,"helping" me in the garden, dripping food on himself, art projects involving glue, paint and markers, etc... And I am right there behind him climbing on the jungle gym, riding my bike, digging in the dirt, painting etc...
I am lucky if at the end of the day I am not covered in dirt, paint etc!
I always have a bucket of clothes soaking in the laundry room! Every evening before bed DS needs a shower and clean jammies. Every morning he needs a clean set of clothes.

However my DH can usually rewear his work pants a few times before I have to wash them. He sweats a lot, so wearing a shirt again is pretty much out of the question. My DH casual clothes he wears on weekends usually get dirty too from yardwork and playing with DS. Although he can usually get a few wearing out of his jean shorts.

Things are better during the winter months. I can usually wear sweaters and pants 2or 3 times before they need washing. DS still needs a fresh change of clothes daily. He can find dirt anywhere! And we still have the art and food factor. However he can usually have a day or two in between showers. That way he doesn't dry out in the winter!

We hang bath towels up to dry and reuse them 2 or 3 times before washing.
Bed linens get washed once a week.
Dish clothes and dish towels get changed daily.

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Old 04-20-2006, 01:06 PM
 
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Originally Posted by pease
I wear my clothes until they walk themselves to the hamper!
he he! We keep our sheets on the bed until they fall off on their own. At least 2-3 weeks.

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Old 04-20-2006, 01:15 PM
 
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Our kids can rarely rewear clothes... really we are always pretty dirty! But we live in a small town where noone really cares.I already have enough laundry to do without changing thier clothes 5 times a day!
Regarding the clean smelling thing... we use unscented laundry detergent and never use dryer sheets or anything. Our clothes come out of the dryer still smelling like "us" ... not when we stink! But still have the distinct smell that we have! I have a freaky sense of smell... its like my superpower! But I am obviously not bothered by the way we smell... I actually love the smell of my partners shirts after its been worn (if it wasnt an especially stinky day!) I sure hope people dont think we reek! ( I bet we often smell like a delicious curry dinner! lol ... not so delicious to some!) But really... I think that we are wayyyyy to focused here in N America on having absolutely no smell to our bodies... not just bad BO.... its like we dont want to smell like human bodies at all!... and that we are supposed to be paranoid about how we smell all of the time.Its all about keeping you in that place in order to sell you stuff!

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Old 04-20-2006, 02:07 PM
 
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Yes, I agree. We're obsessed with the 'smelling good' which in the commercial world, means 'smelling like what I'm selling you'.

I don't think that scent of laundry detergent = clean. Which is almost certainly what the pp who said she can smell when clothes are a day old is identifying. My sense of smell is not so hot but DH's is really irritatingly good (complains endlessly that he can still smell this or that or the other thing from what we were doing earlier). Smelling like people isn't a bad thing. I personally detest smelling 'like' something.

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Old 04-20-2006, 08:54 PM
 
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oh and the same thing goes for our bodies too...i only bath my kids if they are obviously dirty or smelly. they average maybe one bath a week. yet they don't look unclean. i think their immune systems are better for it. my sister will bath her kids EVERY NIGHT whether they need it or not...seems like overkill to me.

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Old 04-23-2006, 06:36 PM
 
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My jeans and dress pants/skirts for work get reworn unless I've spilled on them. Most of the time they can be worn several times. Tops get reworn if they don't smell or have visible dirt. About 50% of the time they need to be washed after the first wearing. I don't usually get more than 2 wearings out of them before they need to be washed.

Dh's pants get reworn several times but his shirts almost always go in the wash. The kids clothes almost always go in the wash after one wearing too.

Things that are going to be reworn go back in the dresser or closet with the "clean" things. If they're not clean enough to hang next to my unworn shirts then they're not clean enough to wear again.

Towels get reused a few times unless they've been used to mop up water from the floor. I can't remember the last time I washed my bath robe... now that I'm thinking about it that seems kind of gross so it's getting washed today!

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Old 04-23-2006, 11:26 PM
 
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Dh and I change our underwear (and socks, for dh) daily, but I will wear the same pair of pants for at least 2 days - assuming I have managed to keep them clean. I change my shirts daily, 'cos I perspire a *lot*, and find that the sweat is easier to wash out when it's fresh (sorry )

I *hate* the really strong smell of clothes washed with 'mainstream' detergents and softeners - I find the perfumes really obtrusive, and harsh. I'd much rather be able to smell 'clean' skin, than manufactured 'clean' smells...the smell of dd's head after she's been playing outside is just heaven

Looking back, when we were kids we used to wear our pj's for at least 3 or 4 days....and that was normal, at least in Europe.

I wash towels weekly, and sheets weekly (unless the dog has stunk them up too much!)

I honestly think that the 'need' to wash clothes all the time has been cooked up by the manufacturers of detergents, clothes and washing machines in order to make us spend more - I would certainly think twice about washing everything if I had to do it by hand, boil water in a copper and run everything through a wringer...
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