Does Washing Your Clothes Too Often Damage Them

By Shannon Gurnee
In Cleaning
October 2, 2022

Today, on Redhead Mom, I’m sharing a partnered guest post about whether washing your clothes does damage to them.

clothes on hanger in closet

It goes without saying that you need to wash your clothes regularly. However, people usually have concerns about clothes getting damaged if you wash them incorrectly or too frequently. The short answer is, yes, they can get damaged, but let’s see the details and how to properly wash your clothes so they can last longer. Those who do not have time to do their own laundry may consider using a Same-Day Specialty Dry Cleaning or laundry delivery service

Why Do Clothes Look “Old” After Washing?

It may happen that you’ve just washed your clothes and when you’ve gotten them out you notice that they look old and damaged even though they are not. This can happen for a number of reasons, including sorting your clothes incorrectly, rubbing stains, improper machine washing cycle or too much hot water and detergent. What’s more, using fabric conditioners on certain clothes, like sportswear, will make them look older. 

soap bubble in hand laundry

Too Much Detergent

Yes, clothes detergents serve to clean your clothes, but certain products can actually harm them or make them look old. Using too much detergent will only “chew up” your clothes and make them look damaged, old, or even bleached. What happens in the cycle is that there is too much foam that stops clothes from rubbing with each other and the rinse process gets harder too. As a result, you have soapy residue on clean clothes which is also a breeding ground for destructive germs. To avoid that, make sure to use less detergent for each cycle or look for natural options. You can even find various brands of laundry detergent biodegradable in nature that will clean your clothes but won’t make them look old and bleached. Plus, you are saving the environment. 

Some Clothes Don’t Like Fabric Conditioners

Fabric conditioners and softeners make your clothes smooth and silky. However, not all items like this product – especially your sports clothes. What happens when you combine sportswear and softeners, this chemical creates a layer that will trap all the sweat and bacteria in the clothes, making them damaged, the odor stays and you can almost just throw them out after a few uses. Instead, wash your sportswear separately and use only the detergent, without any softeners to make sure your clothes are clean and fresh. 

Using the Washing Machine Incorrectly

In order to get completely clean, fresh, and not damaged clothes, you have to make sure to use the machine’s cycles correctly. You want to always make sure you have set the right temperature and cycle, never use a washing machine bag to wash your delicates, and don’t leave your clothes in the machine for more than 24 hours since that causes germs to grow on fabric. Find a laundromat near you with You also might not want to leave the buttons closed or zippers open during washing since that can damage them. Additionally, if you do have some expensive clothes or items that you really love, it’s better to wash them by hand to make sure that the machine won’t ruin them.

sorting clothes top shorts on bed

Sorting out Items Incorrectly

When you mix the colors and materials while washing your clothes, you will end up with old-looking clothes with every wash. And if you wash your whites with the darks, you will end up with colorful whites and even discolored darks. So, make sure to wash your whites separately, and if you are washing a new item for the first time, make sure to soak it first to let all the excess color out so you don’t ruin the rest of your clothes. Also, you should separate your delicates from other items, especially jeans or kitchen rags. Additionally, denim is made of thick fabric that is abrasive and it can destroy other items easily, especially delicates.

What About Frequency?

Besides washing your clothes incorrectly too many times, you can wear and tear your clothes by washing them too much. Especially if you combine too frequent washing with improper ways of doing things. This, of course, is not an excuse not to wash your clothes at all! You still should wash them, but for better results and preservation of the fabric, you should wash clothes as recommended:

  • Underwear, sportswear, and swimwear – after every use
  • Dresses, leggings, socks, stockings, tops – after every one to two uses
  • Pajamas, pants, skirts, shorts and brassieres – after three to four uses
  • Jeans, jackets, and blazers – after five to six wears
  • Coats – every two months of wearing


It may happen that you will have to wash these items of clothing outside the recommendations, but overall, if you stick to these rules and recommendations written on the etiquettes on the clothes, you are bound to prolong the life of your items.

As you can see, the frequency of washing is not the only thing that can damage your clothes. There are other habits you may have that can affect their state, so make sure to be careful.

About Has 2213 Posts

Shannon Gurnee is the author of Redhead Mom formerly "The Mommy-Files", a national blog with a loyal following. She has a Bachelor's Degree in Marriage, Family, and Human Development with a Minor in Business Management. Shannon and her husband, Frank, have a large family with 6 awesome kids and love living on the Central Coast near San Luis Obispo, California, as well as traveling around the world. A full-time Social Media and Professional Blogger, Shannon also serves as a National Brand Ambassador for many well-known companies. Her blog focuses on motherhood, family fun activities, traveling, fashion, beauty, technology, wedding ideas and recipes while providing professional opinions on products, performances, restaurants, and a variety of businesses.

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