Surprisingly, most people wash their clothes way too often and in this hygiene-focused world putting clothes for the wash has become somewhat of a habit. People wear a pair of jeans or sweater once and think it’s packed with bacteria.
Bacteria and clothing
It isn’t so much that bacteria don’t populate your clothing, because they most certainly do. But this doesn’t mean you have to wash your clothes the minute they’re removed from their first wear. Interestingly, skin microflora grows in textiles, and odorous molecules interact with clothing fibres. In other words, these components are what eventually makes clothes become smelly.
Nevertheless, unless you work in a hospital or with immune-sensitive individuals, bacteria of this sort isn’t a huge problem – it’s more of a nuisance. Don’t get us wrong, we’re not advocating that you dump your washing machine altogether. But, there are numerous reasons to resist the urge to wash your clothes so often. Of course, we’re not advising you to wait until your clothes acquire a pungent, tear-jerking stench either!
So why should you be mindful when cleaning clothes?
Clothes Will Last Longer
Every object in life has its specific life span. The wear and tear on your favourite clothes is a typical example of this. Each wash cycle degrades the clothing fibres, so not only are you paying a higher utility bill, you’ll also be paying to replace those work outfits or uniforms sooner rather than later.
Let’s consider denim — one of the most popular garments worldwide. Excessive laundering means faster thinning of the fabric and loss of colour, especially in areas like the thighs and back, that already rub when worn.
But if it’s smelly… Wash It!
So, what if you realise that your clothes actually stink after one wear? Well, simply put: wash them! After all it’s a pretty legitimate reason. But if they don’t, why do you need to wash them so quickly? Most body odour is innocuous, but some isn’t, and you need to be judicious enough to know when your clothes are in dire need of a wash.
To be clear, we’re not the sort of advocates to say: ‘you should wear your underwear three times before you wash it’. There are hygienic or smell reasons for needing to do that on a daily basis. Similarly, if you tend to have strong body odour, it’s a good idea to wash your T-shirts after every wear. But it doesn’t mean you have to wash your sweater each time, because your sweater might have that additional layer of fabric in between.
Wear Natural Fibres
If your clothes do smell after one wear, you might want to reconsider the types of fabrics you’re wearing. Natural fibres, such as cotton or wool, are less likely to stink than synthetics, such as polyester or bamboo rayon.
A natural fibre has high absorption power, much like the activated carbon or charcoal found in filters for garbage or compost bins. It has that ability to be able to take in and absorb those odorous compounds. And therefore, if it’s absorbing them and it’s actually in the fibre, it’s not in the headspace for us to smell it. Another option is to regularly use natural-fibre-based layers.
Ultimately, whether you want or need to wash your clothes on a daily or sporadic basis, the most important thing to keep in mind is to wash your clothes in a mindful manner. But if you’re still not sure whether you’re up for the challenge, Portughes Dry Cleaning can come to the rescue! For more information, contact us today!