Can you wash a load of clothes twice?


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Yes, you can wash a load of clothes twice if you feel it’s necessary. There might be a few reasons you’d want to do this:

Reason for Double WashingExplanationPrecautions
Heavy StainingIf clothes are heavily stained or extremely dirty, washing them twice might help get them completely clean. However, pre-treating stains before washing is usually more efficient.Double washing can wear out clothes faster and is not environmentally friendly due to extra water and energy usage.
OdorsIf clothes have a strong odor that didn’t come out in the first wash, a second wash might be necessary.Excessive washing can cause clothes to fade and is not an efficient use of water and energy.
Detergent ResidueIf there is detergent residue left on clothes, running them through another rinse and spin cycle can help remove it.Overuse of detergent can lead to residue. Use the correct amount to avoid this problem. Double rinsing also consumes more water.

Dos and don’ts of washing your clothes twice


  • Do Pre-Treat Stains: Before washing heavily soiled clothes, try pre-treating stains. This can often remove stains more effectively than a double wash.
  • Do Use the Correct Amount of Detergent: If clothes are not getting clean, it could be because you’re not using enough detergent, but remember, too much can leave residue. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for the best results.
  • Do Use the Right Wash Settings: Use the appropriate cycle and water temperature for the type of fabric and level of dirtiness. Heavily soiled clothes may need a heavy duty or deep clean cycle.
  • Do Sort Your Laundry: Sort laundry by color, fabric type, and level of dirtiness to prevent colors from bleeding and to ensure clothes get the right kind of wash.
  • Do Air Dry When Possible: If clothes are washed twice, they’ll be subjected to more wear and tear. Air drying rather than using a heated dryer can help reduce this additional strain.


  • Don’t Wash Clothes Twice Regularly: Regularly washing clothes twice can cause them to wear out faster and is also wasteful in terms of water and energy use.
  • Don’t Ignore Manufacturer’s Instructions: The care labels on your clothes are there for a reason. Ignoring them and washing clothes twice could damage the fabric.
  • Don’t Overload the Washing Machine: Even if clothes are very dirty, overloading the washing machine can prevent clothes from getting clean and might make you think a second wash is necessary when it isn’t.
  • Don’t Forget to Check for Residual Detergent: If your clothes have detergent residue on them after a wash, you might be using too much detergent or your washer might not be rinsing effectively. Double check before deciding to wash again.
  • Don’t Neglect the Washer: Poor washer maintenance can result in less effective washes. Regularly clean your washer to ensure it works efficiently, which can reduce the need for double washes.


Is it harmful to wash my clothes twice?

Regularly washing clothes twice can wear them out faster and consumes more water and energy. However, if clothes are heavily soiled or stained, a second wash may be necessary.

I washed my clothes and there’s still detergent residue on them, what should I do?

You can run them through another rinse and spin cycle to remove the residue. In the future, be sure to use the correct amount of detergent to avoid this problem.

My clothes still smell after washing, should I wash them again?

If your clothes still have a strong odor after washing, a second wash might be necessary. However, consider using a detergent with odor-eliminating properties, or adding a cup of baking soda or white vinegar to the wash, which can help remove odors.

What can I do to prevent needing to wash my clothes twice?

Pre-treat stains before washing, use the right amount of detergent, sort your laundry by color and fabric type, and choose the appropriate wash settings for the level of dirtiness and type of fabric.

Is it better to do a double wash or a longer single wash cycle?

A longer single wash or a wash with a pre-soak might be more effective at removing stains or dirt than a double wash. However, it largely depends on the specific soil level and fabric type.

Does double washing use twice as much detergent?

Not necessarily. If you’re washing clothes a second time to remove detergent residue, you should not add more detergent. If you’re doing a second wash to remove stains or odors, you may need to use more detergent, but it’s best to use the least amount necessary to get clothes clean.

How can I reduce the wear and tear on my clothes if I need to wash them twice?

Air drying clothes instead of using a heated dryer can help reduce wear and tear. Also, using a gentle or delicate wash cycle can help preserve the fabric.

Final thoughts 💭

Washing a load of clothes twice can be done when necessary, such as when clothes are heavily stained, carry strong odors, or retain detergent residue. However, frequent double washing may wear out clothes quicker and consume more water and energy.

Optimal laundry practices like pre-treating stains, using the correct amount of detergent, sorting laundry, selecting appropriate wash settings, and air drying can minimize the need for double washing.

If clothes still require a second wash, care should be taken to reduce wear and tear, avoid overdosing of detergent, and follow manufacturer’s instructions. Double washing should be an exception, not a regular practice.

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