This Is How Often You Should Really Wash Your Pyjamas

We all have a favourite pair of PJs we retreat into at the end of a long day.

It might be a cosy hoodie, ride-or-die track pants or a fluffy robe made for cold nights and sleepy mornings. Regardless, coming home, showering and then pulling on old faithful at the end of the day tells our minds (and our bodies) that, finally, we can call it a day.

The truth, though, is that some of us wear the same thing for weeks and weeks on end, while others prefer a fresh, clean pair of PJs each time they rest.

In fact, a 2015 study by mattress company Ergoflex surveyed roughly 2,500 people aged 18-30 and found men wait 13 nights on average between washes, while women can leave it up to 17 nights.

The determining factor? 41% of per cent of women and 50% of men said that if their nightwear didn't smell, they didn’t see the need to wash them.

The experts, however, tend to disagree with this litmus test. According to The Cleaning Institute, your PJs should be washed every 3-4 wears, as not doing so can create a breeding ground for bacteria and bugs. Keep in mind, your PJs can also pick up oil, sweat and dead skin cells, which have the potential to cause infections, acne or cystitis if not suitably cleaned.

Professor Sally Bloomfield, Consultant in Hygiene and Infectious Disease Prevention agrees, telling Mamamia that common bugs on our skin can be worse than we think.

“Pyjamas are worn right next to the skin, and we shed skin cells, filled with micro-organisms, at a vast rate all the time,” Sally says. “They are all 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. Quite a lot of us carry staphylococcus bacteria, which can cause infections if they get into cuts and bruises. We all carry E Coli bacteria in our bowel. Again, most strains are not harmful, but if they get into the urinary tract they can cause infections [and] cystitis.”

Grossed out? Us too, a little. Still, there are plenty of ways to clean your clothes and avoid the spread of bad bacteria.

Hot in Here

Use hot water (40 degrees and above) to make detergents more effective at tackling germs.

Let it Soak

If you need to give your PJs a good clean, check the label, then soak in a mixture of detergent (our favourites, here) and water for half an hour before popping it into the wash.


When possible, swap the dryer for sunshine, as it’s the best, and easiest, way to eliminate germs.

Keep it Clean

It’s also important to keep your machine clean. When empty, run your washing machine with a mix of bleach and water, once every few weeks, to kill any germs nestled in there.

While it might be a pain to part ways with your beloved PJs, doing so every 3-4 wears, could make you a healthier, happier you... and free of the hidden nasties that seem to love your pyjamas as much as you do.

If you are concerned about your health and wellness, your first port of call should be your GP, who will be able to advise a correct treatment plan.

Found this interesting? This is how often you should really wash your linen.

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