How do you handle lightly worn clothes that do not really need to be laundered yet? This is a question I get asked all the time, and it seems that every one of us is handling our half dirty clothing differently!
So, what is the correct way to store lightly worn clothes?
- Back in the closet on the hanger?
- Straight into the Laundry basket?
- Or should we be putting them somewhere else to wear again soon?
Let’s find out what other people are doing with their slightly dirty clothing!
Mom of two Cheryl said:
“If it’s just clothes that I wore out for the evening, I’ll hang them back up or go ahead and launder them, as I most likely won’t wear them again anytime soon.”
Jan from Ireland said:
“It depends on your age & activity level. The older you are, the less active you become, and you tend to sweat less.”
Jane from Austin said:
“All my clothes are on white hangers. I keep 6 pink non-slip hangers at the near end of the rod for sweaters and jeans that I have worn once but do not need laundering yet.
I thought this was a great idea to distinguish clean clothes from half dirty clothing in your closet.
Rachel from Cheadle wrote:
“I hang them back up on the left side of the closet with spare hangers in between so the clean clothes are on the right-hand side with the spare hangers creating a space between the worn-but-not-dirty clothes & the clean clothes.”
Andrea from New Jersey said:
“I use small rack or hooks in the bedroom or bathroom to prevent any clean clothes getting contaminated in the closet. Contaminants like sweat, pollen, scents, etc. I Try to wear the half-worn clothes again within a few days, but if I can’t wear it, I will launder it, so it’s fresh and put it back in the closet.”
Theresa from New York said:
“I bought some of those little plastic rings for counting stitches when knitting, and I put one over the hook of the coat hanger when I wear something, so I know I’ve worn it. I usually wear it two or three times before washing, unless I spill something on it or gets sweaty. This also lets me know what needs to be washed before packing seasonal things away.”
“In Europe, they wear their clothes several times before washing. They do put them back in the closet, and they spot wash any small stains that get on them”.
Mandy from Lincs said:
“In Germany they would hang their half dirty clothing on the porch to air out “.
Jean from Atlanta said:
“My mom would hang her worn clothes outside in the sun and wind to freshen up the clothes. So I have an outdoor clothesline. I hang things on the line for about half an hour, and they come in smelling so fresh!”
Danielle from West Virginia said:
“I hang them on the rod in the bathroom for a few hours to let them air out”.
Amanda from Scotland told us:
“If the clothes are cleanish I hang on hooks in my closet or fold them and place them in a basket”.
Tracey from Harrow on the Hill said:
“I put them back in the wardrobe or drawer. I buy plastic hangers in a specific color for this purpose. I keep them in one specific place in my wardrobe, so I know they have already been worn and will need to be washed after the next wear”.
Rob from Cardiff suggested:
“If you are short on space, turn them inside out and hang back in the wardrobe”.
Lisa from Edinburgh said:
“I have a wear-again hook which is just a large command hook behind the door or on the side of the wardrobe.”
John from Chesterfield said:
“After wearing, air your half-worn clothes on a hanger for 24 hours before returning to the closet. The issue for me was knowing how many times they have been worn, so I started doing the inside-out trick. I spray it with the Febreze fabric spray and hang it inside out so the spray can dry.”
Linda from Cape Town told us:
“I clip a clothespin on them and put them back in my closet. It is quite easy to spot the items with a clothespin. So, I try to wear those items first.”
Sue from Boston said:
“I spray them with a little Febreze, place a clothespin on them and rehang them in the wardrobe.”
Jill from Dallas said:
“I have a drawer in the closet where I have things that can be worn again.”
Toyah from Middlesbrough said:
“I have a little shelf in my closet just for putting half worn clothes on.”
Sarah from Luton said:
“I spray with Febreze then I toss them in dryer to refresh.”
Lynn from Newcastle said:
“If it’s trousers or jeans, tumble them with a damp face cloth and a bounce sheet, then hang them back up. I Wash them 2-3 times a year. Tops are a little different because of stains or sweat. So I wash them more regularly or spot clean.”
Teddy from LA told us:
“I tend to put them on a chair in the bedroom. I Fold pajamas and put them under my pillow. I wear the same clothes every day until it’s time to wash them.”
Denise from Stockport said:
“I have a hook in the bathroom for my gown and robe. So if I am going to re-wear today’s clothes, I put them on the hook when I put my gown on.”
Elizabeth from Bolton said:
“Even if the clothes can be re-worn, they can dull the fresh smell of clean clothes if hung together or stuck in the dresser together, so I would avoid putting them in the wardrobe with the clean clothes.”
Karen from Potomac told us:
“If I feel I can wear them again they go back in the closet. Clothes have one of three places to be:
- Put away
- Being worn
- In the laundry basket.
Anywhere else they are clutter.
Jude from Texas said:
“I have a laundry basket in my closet for pjs and lightly worn clothes.”
Claire from New York said:
Christine from Utah told us:
“I wear it until it needs to be washed. That is usually about 8 hours of wear, over three or four days”.
Lisa from Kent says:
My friend hangs them back up in the wardrobe and puts a bread tie on the hanger, so she knows she has worn them once, then washes them the next time!
A lot of people said they prefer to put half worn clothes straight into to the laundry especially since Covid.
Some people believe that if it has been worn more than an hour it needs to be washed again.
Bob told us:
“Since COVID, I don’t even think twice. I wash everything after each wear.”
Sally from Bristol said:
“I put them in the washer on a light wash or light soil setting.”
Judy from Rugby said:
“I never put dirty clothes back in closet. Putting half worn clothes back in the closet causes a stale odour.”
Carol from Sunderland told us:
“I never spray my clothes with anything – if they need to smell better, then they need to go through the washing machine!”
Find out how germs and bacteria can be spread by clothes in this article
Other popular ways to deal with half dirty clothing
- Clothes tree
- Gentleman’s valet
- Ladder rack
- Closet separators and label previously worn clothes with a Cricut machine
- Clothing spray like this one to freshen the clothes up
- Clothes rack over the dryer
- Wash them!
- Lidded hamper on top of the lid.
- Hook in the bathroom
- Over the door
- Laundry basket!
- The chair!
- Freestanding coat rack.
- Hooks on the back of the closet door.
- Hanging shoe holder/shelf.
Wow there are some great ideas there to chew over.
Here’s where I stand on organizing half dirty clothing. First, I will not put half-worn clothes back in the closet. I feel clothes that have been worn for even a tiny amount of time will pick up bits of dirt, dust, sweat, and skin cells that I do not want to be transferred into my freshly laundered closet!
I keep a spare drawer at the bottom of my chest of drawers that I put my half-worn clothes into. There are no clean clothes in the drawer. It is only for half-worn clothing.
Half-worn clothes for me, are items of clothing that I have worn for less than three hours. This does not include underwear, bras, vests, socks, or tights, these items should be washed after every use!
Half worn clothing should always be worn the next day , if I am unable to wear the items the next day I will throw them in a 15-minute wash, dry, then put away in the closet.
Pajamas get folded up and placed neatly under my pillow after airing by the window, while I take a shower and air the bed.
Let us know how you organize your half-worn clothes!