"This is the way we wash our clothes Wash our clothes, wash our clothes This is the way we wash our clothes So early Monday morning"
"This is the way we iron our clothes Iron our clothes, iron our clothes This is the way we iron our clothes So early Tuesday morning"
"This is the way we mend our clothes Mend our clothes, mend our clothes This is the way we mend our clothes So early Wednesday morning"
Monday is for washing, Tuesday for ironing, and Wednesday for mending clothes. Before the invention of home appliances and the conventional washing machine, cleaning clothes would be a long and tiresome task, heating vats of hot water, using scrub boards, hanging garments over stones, bushes, or around the house to dry out. It is no wonder washing clothes would be dedicated to just one day a week.
Image c/o charbearbear.blogspot.com
American, James King patented the first washing machine to use a drum in 1851, the drum made King's machine resemble a modern machine, however it was still hand powered. It was not until 1951 when production of Europe's first automatic washing machines began. Further information on the brief history of the invention of washing machines found here
With the convenience of washing machines in most of our homes, and in some cases tumble dryers too, is it possible we wash our clothes too much? Throwing our laundry into the machine after minimal wear, because it is easy, and we all like freshly washed clothing?
Canadian College student Josh Le undertook an experiment. He purchased a pair of untreated denim jeans by Nudie brand for $165, and wore them 330 times without washing between September of 2009 and December of 2010.
"My professor mentioned that she researches on textiles and bacteria, so it piqued my curiosity there," Le said. "I half jokingly said we should do a bacterial analysis on them [Le's jeans] and that's where it sort of started."
The 20-year-old student carried around paper towels to dab out stains. If the jeans smelled, he might stick them in the freezer overnight or let them hang for a few hours.
Le's jeans were then swabbed and tested for bacteria, enlisting the help of his professor, Rachel McQueen.. "There did not appear to be differences in the bacterial carriage depending on whether the jeans had been worn for 15 months or only 13 days," McQueen's findings read.
The following youtube video shows Josh's Nudie Jeans 15 Month Time-Lapse, from week 1 to week 67.
Information obtained from abcnews.com
An article found on Master Plumbers Association of Queensland (believe it or not) provides useful water saving laundry tips and facts, indicating if we reduce our clothes washing by one wash per week, this could save approximately 65 litres of water, and if every household did this, we would save 25 million litres of water a week across the city (Brisbane I would assume?). More water saving tips can be found here.