6 On Your Side, Consumer Confidence: How Often Do You Need to Wash Your Stuff?

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(ABC 6 News) – With three growing boys at home, it’s no surprise that Erica Dickman-Wilkes has mountains of laundry.

“I do laundry every single day. EVERY single day,” Erica said.

Stains, sweat, dirt, and clothes that don’t pass the sniff test are automatically thrown in the wash. But how often does Erica really need to wash sheets, towels and comforters?

“I do comforters every single week,” Erica said.

Not necessary, says Consumer Reports – unless your pet sleeps on the bed, every 3 weeks will do the job. But don’t go too much longer.

Things we can’t see can accumulate like dust mites, bacteria, and dead skin cells that can trigger allergies and skin irritation.

Sheets are another matter. Wash them every 5 to 7 days, sooner if you or someone is sick.

Fear of a dank, moldy towel has Erica washing hers after every use.

“Don’t throw it on the floor. Hang it up. If you allow it to dry in between, you won’t have to wash it as often. We generally suggest 3 to 5 days,” Rich Handel of Consumer Reports said.

But undergarments, t-shirts, socks and especially gym clothes should be washed after each use.

“Don’t bunch them up in a bag and leave them there. It’ll become a science experiment,” Handel said.

What about khakis and dress shirts? Unless stained or sweaty, or you don’t wear undergarments, save yourself the trouble and wash them after 3 wears.

Jeans? Even longer! To get the most out of your detergent, use those tested by Consumer Reports.

Tide Plus Ultra Stain Release, Tide Oxi, and Persil Pro Clean Stain Fighter earn top spots.

But don’t overdo it, more is not necessarily better.