Bros, I’m not going to pretend like I know how to use a washing machine or a dryer, because I don’t. Shit goes awry very quickly if I don’t stick to the basics. With that said, a lot of the washing I do is based almost solely on judgment calls. No rhyme or reason, just pure gut instincts and societal expectations. While this is undoubtedly the wrong way to go about things, it’s enough to keep you afloat until you actually learn what you’re doing.
Clothes (T-Shirts, Underwear, Socks, Dress Shirts, Dress Pants, Shorts, Hoodies, Sweats)
My clothes washing schedule is dictated by my underwear and my underwear only. If there is one line I draw in the war that is laundry, it is the maintenance of clean boxer-briefs. I do enough on a per-day basis to completely justify never wearing a pair of underwear again until they are washed. There will be times that you fuck up and just toss everything on the floor into the hamper and more often than not you’re rewashing a lot of stuff that you already washed. But hey, you’re learning, right? Dry clean your “grown up” clothes if you’re above the poverty line. Otherwise, invest in a nice steamer to prevent yourself from looking like a degenerate.
Here’s where things get dicey. I have absolutely no idea when to clean a towel. Theoretically, they’re always dirty and clean at all times. They smell like dried body wash,, but are covered in your filth. If you’re cool with using your towel after five showers, you should be cool using your towel after 100 showers. Unless you’re a jackass and leave it out somewhere where it gets that mildewy-shit smell, there may not be a justifiable reason to ever wash a towel. Toss them in with other infrequently washed items just to keep yourself honest.
Bed Stuff (Sheets, Blanket, Pillowcases, Pillow?)
(Before I get into this, does your actual pillow EVER get washed? Serious question. In fact, don’t answer that—ignorance is bliss.)
None of these things get washed unless there is a clear odor or stain on any of them. Even if there is a stain, there needs to be careful due diligence to determine the answer to the age old question of: “Is it worth it?” If it is, the stain has to be awful or your girlfriend is staying over for the weekend. Remember, over 275 men a year get broken up with because their sheets smell like shit*.
*I made that up.
No clue. I have a ludicrous North Face bubble coat that I’ve had since like ’05 that I still wear on days where it’s so cold you don’t care what you look like. I washed it once and all the feathers matted into clumps and it took like seven months to dry. That one’s on me. Peacoats, on the other hand, need to be dry-cleaned. I’m pretty sure you lose your bro card immediately if you attempt to toss your peacoat in a washing machine, so watch out for that.
Conundrum city. Smartly enough, I own two pairs of jeans. So in the event one gets stained, I have the other one to wear. If that one gets stained, then it’s time to wash. We’re almost at the point of consistent warm weather, so you can smoothly transition out of pants season into shorts season without having to clean anything. If you’re clean as hell or straight up don’t give a shit, you may never have to wash your jeans at all. But be honest with yourself for a second, Bros. Gun to head, can you answer confidently whether or not you have buffalo sauce on your jeans right now?
Miscellaneous (Bath rug, Kitchen towels)
The forgotten soldiers. Shit like this lives out the course of its existence and gets tossed in the trash. Or at least that’s how I’ve dealt with these things. Apparently, there are some psychopathic mature adults who own these things for a long time and repeatedly wash them. I’m not that. You’re not that. Never ever wash these things until you have a mortgage.
Follow Dub J on Twitter and check his blog, A Working Man’s Diary