“No wash”movement gains popularity as rising costs erode income
It seems that more and more people are resorting to washing less. For some it started off with hair being washed less frequently. Next it was their clothes facing the chop. Now, even their personal hygiene is compromised.
With rising costs eroding income some people now question habits that were previously part of their daily routine. They ask if they really need to wash their clothes after wearing them only once when it’s more convenient to buy spray and wear clothes fresheners. Apart from saving on the cost of laundry — detergent, water, electricity — washing clothes less helps make them last longer. All that washing and tumbling is not always good for the fibres. Some justify not washing saying only the armpits need freshening, especially if there are no visible stains on the clothes.
The pandemic highlighted just how much of our income is spent on looking and smelling good. As people worked from home they got used to jumping from their bed straight into Zoom meetings after throwing on a jacket over their pajamas. Some didn’t even make the effort, opting to keep the camera off.
Showers became weekly luxuries. Many more got very comfortable in their loungewear. Items could be worn for a full week with no-one batting an eyelid. Now, even though most of the world has returned to the office, some of those habits have stuck.
A software engineer, Tim, is one of those people who developed a more relaxed approach. Sharing his experiences he said he was already only doing two loads per week before he started working from home. Now he does laundry just twice a year. Infact, he managed to go for a whole year without using his washing machine.
All this saved him time, energy as well as money. He admits he makes an effort when there is an important social event. “I’ll make sure I’ve got something nice to wear, but day to day it doesn’t really matter.”
He says his wife occasionally says he smells but generally she doesn’t mind. She hasn’t joined the no wash movement. In 2021, a man shared his exasperation about living with a girlfriend who refused to shower. He resorted to sleeping on the couch just to escape the unbearable odor!
People who are very particular about their personal hygiene question how one can get away with not just showering less but wearing the same underwear for longer than a day.
When I spoke to a few people they thought it was just gross. “I couldn’t live with myself if I didn’t shower daily or wash my clothes,” one confessed.
Tim seems to have found a way round this one. He says he wears swimming trunks in the shower as they get washed in the process and dry very quickly.
As rising costs erode income, joining the no wash movement can help reduce outgoings but it is not for everyone.
What are your thoughts on the “no wash” movement?