Australia’s dirty laundry and other icky habits exposed

Australia's laundry habits have been exposed.

Australia's laundry habits have been exposed. Photo: Getty

It turns out quite a few Australians are re-wearing their underwear two or more times before throwing them in the laundry basket and then in the washing machine.

The Laundry Care Report 2024 by washing-machine maker LG Electronics is shedding light on Australia’s laundry habits – and mishaps.

The report found one in five Australians are wearing their undergarments two or more times before putting them in the wash, which is not only unhygienic but also can sacrifice the longevity of the undies.

It’s not just underwear Australians aren’t washing enough, 26 per cent are wearing sweaty gym clothes more than once before putting them in with a load of laundry.

It’s not just the things we wear that need to be washed more frequently, LG said half of all Australians are using bath towels four or more times before washing them and a third don’t sanitise household items.

The report paints a clear picture of how Australian households are approaching laundry, revealing many of us in fact find the task time-consuming, confusing and at times overwhelming,” Marketing Manager for Home Appliances at LG Australia, Shannon Tweedie said.

“From skipping washes and ironing, to avoiding dry cleaners and certain fabrics altogether, it’s clear that time-poor Australians are in search of a painless solution to their laundry challenges.”

The ‘worst’ laundry offenders

The report found that Gen Z tended to the “worst offenders” when it came to not washing their clothes as often as they should.

Apparently, 30 per cent of younger Australians will get multiple wears out of their underwear before washing and 36 per cent will do the same with their gym attire.

Around 65 per cent admit to having a chair which is specifically for clothes that are “too clean to wash but too dirty to put back in the wardrobe”.

Messy room with scattered clothes on the armchair

Plenty of young Australians have a chair just for their clothes.

Challenges of Australian laundry

The report also identified some of the biggest challenges Australians face while doing laundry.

It turns out folding and putting away clothes is the most unpopular task among Australian households.

Of those surveyed, 41 per cent said folding and organising clothes was their least favourite task, followed by ironing.

Two in five people will only iron their clothes if it is absolutely necessary and 27 per cent never iron their washed clothes.

As for the issues Aussies run into when doing their laundry, the most common is hard-to-remove stains and fading colours.

‘Laundry competence’

Many Australians also don’t like the hassle of going to the dry cleaners.

In fact, 53 per cent said they actively avoid purchasing clothes that require dry cleaning and 69 per cent only use such services less than once a month, or not at all.

A lack of “laundry confidence” is also impacting the garments people buy, with 25 per cent of Australians avoiding silk, 25 per cent are avoiding cashmere  and 21 per cent avoiding velvet because they don’t know how to properly care for and clean those fabrics.

Alarmingly, 42 per cent of people admitted they had thrown out clothes because they didn’t know how to care for them correctly.

“While modern laundry and garment care appliances take the guesswork out of this process, this is a missed opportunity for many households with almost a quarter of Australians admitting they have a poor understanding of their laundry appliances advanced functions,” LG said in a press release.

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