How many loads of laundry do you do per week?

Last week, after I posted my Minimalist Wardrobe vlog, a number of you asked how many loads of laundry we do at our house each week.

Gulp.

Do I have to admit that in public? Because methinks we probably do more than average. {Update: After reading the comments, you all are making me feel so much more normal. Thank you! :)}

I wish I could tell you that I have perfected the laundry system and we do two loads per week for our family of five. But alas, that would be very far from the truth.

In fact, most weeks we do an average of seven loads. This includes bedding and towels and spill rags and the like (which usually comprise at least two whole loads per week). But it still sounds pretty pathetic that we somehow produce a whopping five whole loads of clothing which need to be washed between the five of us each week.

I really do try to encourage the children to wear and re-wear stuff. But in reality, they are children. Which means they spill things, get into peanut butter, dig in the dirt, experiment in the kitchen… and get their clothes awfully dirty. And I still haven’t gotten over my perfectionist tendencies enough to allow them to wear mud-caked clothes all day, so it’s not uncommon that they go through more than one outfit each day.

How many loads of laundry does your family do? Do you have any tips or suggestions for how to reduce the dirty laundry output in order to save time, energy and wear on our clothes? I’d love to hear!

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Comments

  1. Betsy says

    I have a family 5 (2 adults, teen boy and two elementary girls) and do at least 3 loads of laundry daily. My son and I re-use my bath towel for a whole week but everyone else uses a new one for each shower. We do sheets every week or so. So we have about 18 loads a week. We try not to do laundry on Sunday if we can help it. We also may have an extra load or two of sheets as my youngest has bladder issues. I used to think we did a normal amkount of laundry, but after reading all the comments I wonder.

  2. krystal says

    in our house, our family ( me my husband and our little girl) we do 4 loads a week (light dark towls and one special load for our little one) i still have not been able to bring my self to wash her stuff with ours and its that much easier to put away , but we wash our bedding one evey 2 weeks.
    but we live with our in laws who do their own laundry (2 ppl) and they do about 6 loads a week ( idk how they have more clothes then me we do)
    i also work at a nusing home doing laundry on the weekends( they have some one there evey day) and on the weekends i do 10 loads OR MORE a day. and they do bout 16 a day durring the week. thats all the personal clothes, towles, bedding kitchen rags, wachclothes, underwear, and house keeping. so that makes

  3. meg says

    I promise we are not dirty or smelly people, but somehow we (two adults and one 2 yr old) figured out only doing 3 loads of laundry EVERY OTHER week. In our building, it costs 3.25 to wash and dry a load (and it is a huge pain to haul our stuff in and out of the doors and stairs with a toddler following behind and finding a time when the other residents aren’t using the one washer and one dryer), so we only wash what is really dirty. I hang dry a lot back in our apartment too. I also usually have to hand wash a mini-load once/twice a week in the sink when my daughter has accidents. Although I will loosen up a bit about laundry once we move in a year or so, I am glad I have learned to be frugal in our laundry usage. I really like only worrying about the laundry once in a while, rather than once a day!

  4. Jess says

    I don’t have a family, but I do have a dog who sometimes seems to use more towels than I do.

    However, I think some of you maybe able to relate to this:

    I have a strict work dress code that mandates what color and texture of pants I can wear and I have to wear a logo shirt or polo. I only have about 6 days worth of clothing. Once a week I will wash only work clothing… all other clothes (things I wear socially, to clean in, or pj’s) gets washed every 2-3 weeks. This encourages me to wear all my (non-work) clothing instead of the same old pair of jeans and same old top every day. It saves wear and tear on clothing.

  5. says

    There’s 2 of us now – my husband and myself. I generally always do one dark load and one white load each week. I alternate a third load between towels and sheets (we change sheets and towels once per week but have extra). So I’d say I mostly just do 3 loads a week.

    When I was single, I did 3-4 loads every 3 weeks for myself. I despise laundry and have plenty of clothes (plus I rewear A LOT), so I would just put it off! When we got married, my husband was like, “Um, I only have enough underwear for one week…I think you need to do laundry every week!”

    My husband is a pastor and dresses nice everyday, but he even rewears his dress shirts and pants (and I didn’t train him to do that-he already did that before we met!). I basically wear the same two casual pairs of pants to work all week (in a school).

    Of course, sometimes, like now, I just do laundry when we reach desperate times. :) Our basement flooded 2 weeks ago and the dryer doesn’t work now, so I only wash what’s absolutely necessary (and when it’s nice out – so they can air dry!)!!

  6. Deven says

    WOW!!! This is my biggest weakness. I do 14 loads of laundry per week. One load every morning and one load every evening. Anyway, we have two adults, 3 one year old triplets, and 2 nine year olds. Hence, we have a ton of laundry!

  7. Megan says

    I follow FlyLady’s advice and do “one load a day to keep chaos away”. I find that it is easier for me to keep on top of things this way. We are a family of two adults and two children (a toddler and a 7 month old)….and we *CLOTH DIAPER* so that adds an extra load of laundry every other day…so I probably average about 10 loads of laundry per week. The diapers have to be washed once on cold with no soap, once on hot with soap, and an extra cold rinse. On Thursdays I wash all bedding, and on Friday I wash all of my husband’s work clothes in addition to our usual load of the day.

  8. says

    We do probably 5 to 7 loads of laundry. In part, this is because we do a “light” dress clothes and a “dark” dress clothes load about every other week, in addition to the standard laundry.

  9. Haila says

    We actually do on average about 2 loads a week for 2 adults and 2 young kids. Some weeks it’s 1 load, sometimes it’s 3.

    We do a lot of rewearing clothes (well, the adults do anyway), and don’t change sheets and towels that often unless they need it. It doesn’t seem to cause any problems and our house is fairly clean.

    I like to minimize the frequency of washing not only to save time/money, but because clothes last longer – washing and drying really does seem to wear them out.

  10. Erin says

    WOW!! No wonder I’m so tired! We do around 25 loads of laundry a week at our house for 6 people. That is only washing sheets about 1-2 times a month and reusing bath towels all week. I think our biggest downfall is sports–my 17-year-old has at least one full load a day just himself and two loads on days after football games (and others). All workout clothes are required by the school to be washed every day due to the incidence of MRSA and other things. My two middle kids also have practice clothes, sports uniforms, towels, etc. plus band clothes. And my little guy is just plain dirty! And their dad wears (hard) work clothes, golf clothes, lounging around the house clothes (I try to get him to rewear them). I have nice work clothes and at home clothes and I always try to rewear my tops twice and pants three times, but still…I feel like I am being buried by laundry! Count your blessings if you are doing less than 10 loads a week!

  11. says

    When I had just 2 little ones, I could do laundry 1x per week! Wow! Those were the days. Now, we do a huge load on Monday (usually somewhere around 5-6 loads), then 1-2 each day the rest of the week, except Sunday.

    2 months ago we had a family of 5 living with us for a few weeks and the washer and dryer never did stop the entire time they were here!

  12. Corie says

    For the 5 of us-two adults and 3 girls ages 13, 10, 5-I was 2-3 loads of laundry 4-5 days a week. So that’s around 8-15 loads including sheets and blankets. I recently cleaned out my shoebox of a laundry room so that I can fold each load as it comes out of the dryer. Before doing this, I was folding clothes 2-4 hours per week and we were constantly running out of washcloths, socks, and sometimes towels! I purchased several laundry baskets from the Dollar Tree. My girls each get a basket for their folded clean clothes. My older girls also hang up their own clothes (I put them one hangers). My secret is to keep up with laundry by washing, drying and folding 2-3 loads per day. My laundry no longer accumulates on our laundry room floor (making it messy) and we no longer run out of socks, washcloths and towels.

  13. Amy F :) says

    18! Cloth diapers!
    Cloth napkins, wipes, rags, sheets, exercise clothes, etc…
    For a family of 5 (three under 5).

  14. NaDell says

    For my family of five I end up doing close to 10 loads. I usually do laundry twice a week. One day I do darks, colors, whites. Another day I do towels, bedding (several loads), darks, colors, whites. Sometimes I need to throw in more, but that’s about our average. We’ll see how many more loads we have to do once child #4 gets here in January. =)

  15. Melodie says

    I’ve got a family of 5 . . . all males besides me. They get dirty dirty dirty on the farm. Pig pen clothes . . . just can’t bear to have them re-wear them. Plus, towels, rugs, bedding (several loads of this per week since my boys are not dry through the night and almost ALWAYS leak.) I’m just up to my ears in laundry all the time. I need to stop writing now to go get caught up. And it’s 1 in the morning. sigh.

  16. Rebekah says

    17 loads per week – if no one gets sick. We have four kids (ages 4-10 months), plus my husband and I. Our system is wear what we have until we run out, then fold what’s hiding in the laundry room. :) Not great by any means, BUT (now that I’m pregnant with #5) clutter is a HUGE stressor at the moment, and I can’t handle remnants of loads around the house, and due to working part-time to pay off debt, don’t always have chunks of time to devote to folding (& more importantly putting away!) 5 loads of laundry!

  17. Christy Boyd says

    I do somewhere between 14 and 16 loads a week. We have 7 of us and 3 are boys 4yrs and under. We have a lot of mud and dirt. I have at least 2 loads a day with clothes and towels. I must confess we only use towerls once. I live in a very humid climate and mildew happens fast. Using the towel again grosses me out too. I’m weird I know:)

  18. Kristen says

    We are a family of 6 with a ferret and a dog! Our laundry is always over loaded! We do around 7~10 loads a week! My washer just broke and we are saving up for the one we want. I have been going to my mothers house to get my laundry done or the Laundry matt! It is a pain, but we would rather save up the money then charge the washer on a credit card !!!!!

  19. says

    I do about 7 loads a week for 2 adults, a 3 year old and a 15 month old. If my kids get dirty I change them and we don’t rewear clothes. I have nothing against rewearing clothes, it just seems like after wearing something for a day (and having kids pulling at you constantly) it gets a bit stretched out and needs to be washed to fit right again.

  20. Jennifer says

    I probably do 4-5 loads of laundry per week for my husband, newborn son, and I. So I think you are doing great!

    I’m sure I could find ways to create less laundry, but everyone in my family is happy and healthy and the system that we have works for us. I need to do laundry more often because we live in an apartment and don’t have storage space for a lot of clothes, towels, etc.

  21. Cathie says

    There are 3 of us, and I do a load or two every other day. We use our towels for a week, and I also do not always wash our sheets every week. Unfortunately I don’t NEED to wash them every week!

  22. says

    Our household of 2 adults does at least 4 loads a week. Every week I do a load for lights, darks, towels & jeans, and sheets. I do delicates, blankets, and pillows as needed. I like to wash sheets every week and bath towels generally last a week but I might switch out early for various reasons.

  23. shayla says

    We are a family of 5 and I do 6 to 8 loads every week. The girls clothes get washed on Tues (2 loads), the hubs and mine on Wed (2-3 loads) and towels and sheets on Thur (2-3 loads). We reuse towels but only for about 3 days. And I change sheets every Thur b/c I love clean sheets! Breaking down the washing to certain things on specific days really cut down on the time it takes and everyone knowing what will be available.

  24. Jenn says

    I pretty much do a load a day – so around 6-7 loads a week for 4 of us (2 adults and 2 preschoolers). About a month ago our dryer quit working on us, so I’ve resorted to hanging everything until we can either fix it or get a new one. Sure makes me appreciate the women of the days!!! ;) I’m just grateful that half of our basement is unfinished (the part where the W/D is, whew!) so we just ran a clothesline in there so I could hang stuff – it still gets tricky when you have several towels or bedding to hang! That’s my only one real gripe… I don’t mind hanging clothes since they easily go on hangers, but the bedding is just so big!

    And like lots of people, we use our towels for around a week as well. I figure we are clean when we get out of the shower… so how dirty can they really get! We always hang ours as stretched out as possible (no folding in half before hanging) so it air dries nicely. It works well for us because we have four long towel racks (one for each of us!) in our bathroom – so each rack easily fits a regular size bath towel over the rod without folding.

  25. says

    I am a family of 1 adult, 6 kids, and 2-3 home daycare kids (varies daily). We do 2 loads per day, just about every day, 3 if we also have to wash bedding and towels.

    No real tips here … just get to those stains quickly.

    I love the bounce dryer bars, it keeps the kids from either putting in too many sheets or forgetting altogther. Before getting the dryer bars I cut the sheets in half (would go through the whole stack in moments with an electric carving knife) and would only use one half per load. Worked great.

    I make my own laundry soap, supplementing with store bought when I find a GREAT deal. For soap I mixed equal parts Borax and washing soda, then grated in some bar laundry soap. We use about a tbsp. per load and use the same stuff in the dishwasher when we run out of detergent.

  26. Cari says

    As a household of two, with one on the way I typically do an average of three loads a week; five if bedding is include.

  27. Tina says

    Wellllllll. I’m still trying to wrap my mind around the fact that you think 7 is too much. For our family of 5, we do about 14 loads a week. That’s 2 a day. Granted, my son raises poultry and comes home with chicken manure or chicken guts on him. Also, my husband works a 2nd job as a part-time EMT so he has a uniform. Still.

  28. Princess says

    I probably do 8-9 for clothing, and 2 towel loads… thats for 6 of us. All my husbands work clothes go to the dry cleaners (I attempted to do them myself, but he was totally unimpressed)…I don’t wash sheets every week (hope I didn’t gross everyone out:) I figure since we all bathe before we go to bed they should be pretty clean for a while!

  29. Shelley says

    I guess we aren’t very “green” I do 3-4 loads a day so GULP………21-28 loads a week :)

  30. Wendy says

    I just bought a new washer and dryer; Whirlpool Cabrios,(these are top loaders and have a lot of room in them) so before we had these we would have about 9 loads of laundry a week, now that we have these we have cut down to 4 -5 loads a week.
    What used to equal 3 loads now equals 1 load of laundry for the 5 of us.
    In one load I can get a water proof mattress pad, 2 queen size sheet sets and 6 pillow cases.

    I bought 2 sheet sets that are the same, so each week I take the sheets of our bed and put them in the washer and then put the other clean set on our bed. My husband has Asthma so we have to keep our bedding really clean. Doing our sheets this way helps a lot because it’s less wear on them.

    As far as our laundry goes now, we can combine certain loads to make one full load. I have also found using the measurement that the washer states and not what the detergent bottle says makes our clothes smell better.

    Also to keep your washer smelling good all the time it helps to run an Afresh though it once a month; you can buy these at Walmart or Target, you get 3 of them in the bag; lasting 3 months and they run about $7.00 a bag.

  31. Natalie says

    I have an apartment size washer/dryer stacked unit which takes forever to dry clothes so I do towels/undies every day and darks every other day, then whites about once a week, so about 11-12 loads a week. I rotate sheets, one week my sheets, the next week the boys sheets. Luckily the boys are in twin size beds so their sheets get washed & dried together, unless the 4 yo wets the bed and I have to wash the mattress pad. I tried only doing laundry once a week but it took all day or all weekend because my dryer is so “slow”. And I found out that the power cost spikes at 10am so all laundry has to be done before 10am or after 6pm when it goes back down. That alone has cut our electric bill by $15-$20 a month.

  32. Mrs. Dunbar says

    Laundry usage was getting completely out of control at my house. I have two older boys who work full time jobs now, and they could not resist throwing a load in EVERY NIGHT when coming home from work! And then I did everything else, like the sheets, towels, everybody else’s clothes, it got ugly on my energy bill. After much pleading, cajoling, discussion and so on, I put my foot down, and shut down the washer and dryer, and started to go the laundry mat. My energy bill dropped like a lead balloon!! The boys take their stuff to the laundry mat, and now they’re used to it. It is worth it. I spend about $12 a week, I’m done in an hour and a half, and most of all, I love the lower utility bill!!!