How long do you go before changing your pyjamas and other clothes? Most people choose how long to go without washing their night clothes based on what they were taught. But what do the experts say?
Many factors determine how long you should wear your pyjamas before changing them. If the weather makes you sweat too much, you may need to change them daily. Manal Mohammed, a senior lecturer of medical microbiology at the University of Westminster in London, told CNN, “People may also repeat the same clothes to avoid decision fatigue.” But washing pyjamas less frequently can easily lead to skin infections. Leaving oil, dust, and other contaminants can lead to rashes, redness, scaly skin, and itching. Washing clothes that are still too clean wastes water, soap and can damage your clothes.
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Clothes you should wash after every wear
You must wash these clothes after one use: underwear, stockings, socks, and leggings. Other clothes that should be washed before being worn again are stained, sweaty or dusty clothes. Dr. Anthony Rossi, a fellow of the American Academy of Dermatology, also told CNN, “These kinds of clothes are on the part of our body that just has a lot of natural bacteria that live on our body, like our microbiome, yeast, and bacteria. Then from day-to-day activities, we sweat. That just breeds moisture and an environment where this bacteria can overgrow.”
Clothes you wear to the gym or while exercising harbour a bacteria commonly found in hospitals. If it gets into your bloodstream, it can cause infections like abscesses (boils), furuncles, and cellulitis. Dr. Rossi recommends not air drying such clothes to re-wear them. It makes the bacteria grow further. Such clothes should be washed as soon as possible, and with hot water, if the material allows it. This sterilizes the bacteria and gets rid of the sebum and oil.
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You should also wash socks before wearing them because dirty socks can increase the risk of fungal infections. “Fungal infections on the feet and toes are just rampant. Inside our shoes is the perfect environment for breeding fungus. It’s warm, humid, dark,” said dermatologist Dr. Jeremy Fenton, medical director for Schweiger Dermatology Group in New York City. Wash the insoles of your shoes at least once a month and wipe down your shoes after every time you wear them.
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Pyjamas, jeans, and other clothes you can wash after multiple wears
If you don’t wear underwear to bed, you must wash your pyjamas afterwards. You can wear them for a week if you shower before bed and don’t sweat much. However, if you sweat a lot, you should wash them after every wear.
Jeans are perhaps the most contentious item of clothing. Some people don’t wash them for months, especially when they’re fast-coloured. You should wash jeans at least once a month if they don’t have any dirt. Some people also wash them only when the odour changes.
Research shows that you should wash your bra after 3-4 wears. However, this can vary depending on how long you’ve worn it and how much you sweat. A few hours with little to no sweating isn’t full wear. You can wear a bra two days in a row but ensure to take it off to let the straps and cups relax. Leaving a bra dirty creates a breeding ground for bacteria and yeast. You should also swap bras to save the elasticity of the straps and cups. Dr. Alok Vij, dermatologist states, “Not washing frequently enough can lead to stains and persistent odours on the bra — as well as skin irritation, rashes or local skin infections from yeast or bacteria.”
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You may need to wash your clothes after each wear if you have a skin condition like eczema, rashes, and abrasions.
Personal hygiene depends a lot on lifestyle choices. The best rule of thumb is to avoid wearing clothes with visible oil, sebum, sweat, dust, or dirt. Avoid clothes that also have a foul odour. Put away these clothes to wash, and don’t let them go too long without washing because of the risk of infections. Ensure your clothes dry completely in the sun to avoid growing mildew or mothballs.
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