There's nothing quite as satisfying as having a clean wardrobe, but washing clothes is a huge pain. If I could afford to have all of my clothes dry cleaned, I would. Instead, I wear my stuff until I feel like I absolutely have to wash it, especially during winter. But my laziness could have unfortunate consequences — microbiologists say your dirty winter clothes could make you sick. Charles Gerba, Ph.D., told the New York Post on Jan. 22 that bacteria can build up on our winter clothing, which can make us more susceptible to illness. It makes sense when you think about how many surfaces you touch on a daily basis — Medical Daily reported in 2015 that the bacteria found on dirty clothes puts you at a higher risk for infection. If you're re-wearing your gloves, scarf and coat without regularly cleaning them, things can get pretty grimy.
So how do you balance a complete unwillingness to wash clothing with your desire to stay healthy? Thankfully, the experts don't recommend dry cleaning your winter coat every day, but you should probably be washing your winter staples more frequently than you probably are right now.
There's not a definitive guide to how often you need to wash your winter clothing — most resources recommend using your best judgment — but I've gathered some estimates to help you out.