Washing clothes: how often and at what temperature?

Washing clothes: an art in itself. Every garment is different and every item of clothing has its own instructions. How often should I wash my clothes, at what temperature and how to remove stains from clothes? Lots of questions, and a few extra tips we want to include in this article.

How often should I wash my clothes?


How often you should or can wash your clothes depends on the garment and on how often you wear it. You really don't have to wash all your clothes directly after you have worn them. That doesn't do your clothes any good. We list the rules of thumb for you:

  • Underpants you wash after wearing them once. Bras you wash after wearing them three or four times. 
  • You wash your socks after wearing them once. 
  • It's best to wash t-shirts after wearing them once, as t-shirts absorb your perspiration. 
  • Put your sportswear in the laundry after a work-out or a run. 
  • Jeans can go months without having to be washed. Put your jeans in the laundry when they start to smell. 
  • For jumpers and shirts, it depends on the fit. If the garment is fairly tight around the body, chances are it will start to smell sooner and need to be washed sooner. 
  • Pyjamas need to be washed after one to three nights on average. 

How to wash clothes?

How you wash your clothes depends on the care label. All things being equal, every garment should have a care label with a symbol for washing. Those symbols state exactly how the garment should be washed, for example by hand, in the washing machine, the temperature, etc. Do you think about those symbols when you wash your clothes? Your clothes are guaranteed to stay beautiful for a long time.

The temperature at which you wash your clothes depends on the label of the garment in question. This is a list of the most important points of attention for washing clothes and the temperature:

  • Washing clothes at 60 degrees
    It is best not to wash your clothes at 60 degrees. There are garments you can wash at 60 degrees, such as underwear or baby clothes. For tips on how to wash white clothes always check the label to be sure.

  • Washing clothes cold
    Pretty much all everyday clothes can be washed cold. Washing with cold water is better for the environment and for your clothes too. 
  • How to handwash clothes
    Some garments cannot be washed in the washing machine because of their colour, their material (wool or silk) or because they have sequins. Those types of clothes are best washed by hand.

Should I wash new clothes before wearing them?

The answer to the question whether you should wash new clothes before wearing them is ‘yes’. Wearing unwashed, recently bought clothes can even be harmful to your health. Clothes from a shop are not as hygienic as we think. That new shirt may well have been tried on dozens of times by others and is likely to have fallen on the floor on more than a few occasions. So yes, it's smart to wash new clothes first.

Alternatives to washing clothes

You're likely to use ordinary laundry detergent to wash your clothes. There are alternatives to wash your clothes. We cannot guarantee they work and you use them at your own risk.

  • Washing clothes with vinegar
    Cleaning vinegar can be used for many things. Including washing your clothes. Add a dash to every cycle, so the colours are less likely to run and fade. 

  • How to get stains out of white clothes with a denture cleaning tablet
    To get your white laundry extra white or to remove stains, you can add a denture cleaning tablet to your white laundry. Your laundry will be sparkling white again.

General tips for washing clothes

General tips for washing clothes
Besides various guidelines for washing clothes in terms of temperature and frequency, there are some other general tips for washing clothes:

  • Turn your clothes inside out before you put them in the washing machine. It means your clothes damage less quickly.
  • Sort your laundry into dark, white, coloured, and towels/underwear. Did you know that HG has special detergents, such as HG whiter than white detergent
  • How to get stains out of clothes? You have stains but you can't get them out with a normal programme or a special stains programme? Use HG laundry pre-treat stain remover extra strong or one of our HG stain away products.
  • After washing let your clothes dry in the air to prevent damage by the heat of the tumble-drier. 
  • Put all socks in a wash bag to prevent losing socks. 
  • Clean your washing machine once every three months with HG washing machine and dishwasher deep clean and service. That helps to prevent faults. This product also cleans the difficult to reach elements and keeps seals supple. HG washing machine cleaner and odour freshener cleans the washing machine. We recommend using this once a month.

If you use the above tips, you will prevent nasty fluff on your clothes after washing. It's worth a try!

If you have a tip for washing clothes that should not be missing from our list, please let us know.

Frequently Asked Questions about how to wash new and old clothes

How often should I wash my clothes?

How often you wash your clothes depends on the type of garment and how you use it. However, underwear and socks should go straight into the washing machine after wearing them once.

How do you wash clothes?

How you wash your clothes largely depends on the care label in the garment and the symbols on it. Those symbols tell you exactly what you should and should not do.

Should I wash new clothes before wearing them?

Yes, before wearing a new garment it is wise to wash it first. 

Are there other ways of washing clothes apart from using detergent?

Yes, you can also wash your clothes with:

  • Cleaning vinegar
  • A denture cleaning tablet
  • A range of HG products


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