PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- Here's a question for you: How often should you wash your stuff, including your bed sheets, comforters, towels and clothes?
The answer has generated a lot of buzz in the studio but first, let's see what the experts at Consumer Reports have to say.
With three growing boys at home, it's no surprise that Erica Dickman-Wilkes has mountains of laundry.
"I do laundry every single day. Every single day," she said.
Stains, sweat, dirt and clothes that don't pass the sniff test are automatically thrown in the wash. But how often does Dickman-Wilkes really need to wash sheets, towels and comforters?
"I do comforters every single week."
Not necessary, says Consumer Reports unless your pet sleeps on the bed, every three weeks will do the job, but don't go too much longer.
Things we can't see can accumulate like dust mites, bacteria, and dead skin cells that can trigger allergies and skin irritation.
Sheets are another matter you should wash them every 5 to 7 days or sooner if you or someone is sick.
As for towels? Fear of a dank, moldy one has Dickman-Wilkes washing hers after every use.
"Don't throw it on the floor. Hang it up. If you allow it to dry in between, you won't have to wash it as often. We generally suggest three to five days," said Rich Handel of Consumer Reports.
But undergarments, t-shirts, socks and especially gym clothes should be washed after each use.
"Don't bunch them up in a bag and leave them there. It'll become a science experiment," Handel said.
What about khakis and dress shirts? Unless they are stained or sweaty, or you don't wear undergarments, save yourself the trouble and wash them after three wears.
Jeans? Even longer!
To get the most out of your detergent, use those tested by Consumer Reports. Tide Plus Ultra Stain Release, Tide Oxi, and Persil Pro Clean Stain Fighter earn top spots. But don't overdo it more is not necessarily better.
How you sort your laundry is also key. For instance, Consumer Reports recommends washing heavily soiled items separately from lightly soiled ones.