It’s even worse than we thought.

By Lauren Phillips
Updated April 19, 2018
Laundry basket full of whites
Credit: Tetra Images/Getty Images

As a self-identified clutter freak, I feel like I spend half of my free time straightening up scattered remotes or clearing various utensils and cooking tools off the kitchen counter. What I’m less diligent about is cleaning: A little dust doesn’t bother me, and I’m not proud of how long it’s been since I gave the shower a good scrub.

So keeping my home meticulously clean doesn’t keep me up at night (keeping it organized is another thing all together, in my book), and apparently I’m not the only one. In a recent survey of more than 1,500 people, GE Appliances asked about people’s laundry habits, and the results aren’t pretty.

More than 25 percent of respondents (27 percent, to be exact) admitted to replacing their bed sheets only once a month, and 11 percent wait longer than that. (For the record, Real Simple recommends replacing or washing sheets every week.) This is a judgment-free zone, but a month sure is a long time to be sleeping on the same sheets. (Just like two years is a long time to be sleeping on the same pillows.)

Other interesting (or icky, depending on how you look at it) findings include the fact that 50 percent of respondents use their bath towels at least five times before washing them, and 37 percent of people wear jeans five times before washing them. And don’t forget my personal least-favorite: Only 40 percent of people aged 18 through 44 put their laundry away when it’s finished—the majority let it sit in the dryer or the laundry basket for some time before folding it and putting away, an unfathomable concept to my clutter-hating mind.

Is a month too long to wait before washing your sheets? How many showers are you expected to take before you wash your towel? These questions mainly rely on personal preference—but maybe don’t wait too long.