For many parents, laundry is a dreaded, daily task. It seems there is always a pile of dirty clothes, sheets or towels waiting to be washed, no matter how many kids you have. However, there are always some items of clothes that make their way to the laundry hamper less often than others. Jeans, bras and yes, pajamas are those items that many of us choose to wash less often than others. In fact, a recent survey by mattress company Ergoflex found that on average, women wear their pj’s for 17 nights in a row before washing them!
When it comes to kids, clothes are often worn only once before they absolutely need to be washed. Between playing outside and spilling food and drink, most kids only get one wear out of an outfit before it needs to hit the washing machine. But what about pajamas? Many kids have baths or showers right before putting on their pj’s, and once they wake up they change in to their clothes for the day. Lots of parents let their kids wear their pajamas for up to a week or more without washing them for that reason alone, but is that enough? Experts say probably not.
While some parents live happily in the "I wash my kids pajamas every day" camp and others in the "once a week unless they’re visibly dirty camp," it seems the suggested amount lies somewhere in between.
Carolyn Forte, the director of the Cleaning Lab at the Good Housekeeping Institute told Good Housekeeping that pajamas should be washed every three days or so to maintain good hygiene. The reason is because even though we think we’re clean before we go to bed, that’s not always the case.
“Pajamas are against your skin. You shed skin cells at a vast rate all the time. They are full of microorganisms. We all have skin and gut organisms that are usually not harmful on our skin and in our gut. But if they get into the wrong place they can cause problems," Professor Sally Bloomfield from the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine explained. "Quite a lot of us carry staphylococcus bacteria, which can cause infections if they get into cuts and bruises,” she said.
Well when they put it that way, it definitely makes you want to wash your kids pajamas more often! The Queen of Living Well, Martha Stewart, told the Today Show that she thinks pajamas need to be washed after every wear.
"I absolutely suggest you wash your pajamas, your nightgowns, your underwear, whatever you sleep in, every day," Stewart said.
It doesn't seem like parents need to be so strict to wash pajamas after every wear, especially if kids are having a bath before bed, but it does seem like every 3-4 days is a good idea. How often do you wash your kids pajamas?