After Heated 'Today' Show Debate About How Clean Your Laundry Is, We Got the Shocking Answers

laundry in a basket
laundry in a basket
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How often should we wash our clothes? That very question sparked a heated debate between Today show co-hosts Al Roker, Sheinelle Jones, Craig Melvin and Dylan Dreyer, who laid out their laundry habits in a segment aired last week.

The discourse definitely left us with questions, and PEOPLE turned to expert Carol Mehas, the founder of sustainable laundry and cleaning supply brand arbOUR, to weigh in on the loaded topic.

"Fun fact about the heated debate on the Today show is that many of the talking points are true," states Mehas.

Before creating her line of detergents, stain removers, household soaps and more, Mehas worked in product development and marketing for big-name beauty brands including Sephora. She's also a mom of three (and pet parent to her dog and two horses) who's all too familiar with the search for a streamlined yet clean laundry routine that works.

Ahead, Mehas breaks down when and how you should wash some of your wardrobe staples.


Dreyer revealed that she washes her pajamas after every few wears, which Melvin countered by pointing out the possibility of "dead skin cells" accumulating on the fabric overnight. Mehas confirms the latter.

"Your skin is shedding 24 hours a day, but in the evening, as you relax, your skin goes into double time while your body is regenerating," she says.

Similar to Roker, who stated that "the average person perspires a cup of sweat every night," Mehas says, "Research shows that both men and women sweat at least a cup of day…if not more!"

In conclusion: "You'll want to wash your PJs and bed linens as often as you can — ideally every other day," Mehas says. She also suggests making small changes, like routinely washing your pillowcases or switching them out for a fresh set.


Mehas believes that cleaning denim "requires a few extra steps to make it last between washings."

After two to three wears (that is, when worn over underwear), she says to turn your jeans inside out to avoid any disruption to the fabric's hue. Then, go in with a pH-balanced detergent to prevent color fading and to remove dirt particles from the material. "It's best to hang dry and dry gently on a cold setting in the machine if you need to save time," she adds.

Workout Clothes and Activewear

There are many factors that make workout clothes and activewear one-time-wear pieces. "Not only is the sweat and dead skin from your body absorbing onto the fabric, so are all the germs and toxins from highly touched areas like gym benches, yoga mats and stationary bike seats!" Mehas notes.

She advises investing in a specialty detergent for washing these items, such as arbOUR's Activewear Detergent, which thoroughly cleans in between clothes' fibers without sacrificing its quality and neutralizes bacteria to eliminate odors.

Wool Sweaters

"Detergents will NEVER work on wool fabrics because they are not pH-balanced," reveals Mehas, who recommends using a cleaner with a neutral pH when washing wool items, sweaters and any other pieces that are considered to be "gentle."

"Standard detergent will actually attract more dirt to the wool because of the gel base attaching itself to the fibers," she says.