A blog by runners. For runners.

How Much Laundry Makes a Runner?


I've thought a lot lately about how much laundry runners go through in a week's time. I recently went about a week and a half without doing any laundry. I try to do it every week. I got pretty busy, and an extra half a week of laundry built up before I got around to washing it this weekend. Runners go through an awful lot of laundry.

Now before I'm lectured on not being “green” and doing too many loads of laundry, I just want to say that there are times when I'll wear running tights, sweatshirts, spandex, etc. more than once. I'll often wear the two pairs of running tights I own all week before washing them. For a non-runner, this may seem disgusting. However, you runners must understand that if I didn't do that, there would be much more than 4 loads of laundry every week and a half.

According to Consumer Report, and the California Energy Commission Consumer Energy Center, about 40-45 gallons of water are used per load of laundry.

This means that this weekend, with my 4 loads of laundry, I went through 160-180 gallons of water to wash my clothes.

These numbers really put things in perspective. As runners, we are going to do a lot more loads of laundry than people who don't workout. Knowing this, I try to think about whether the non-running clothes I wear throughout the week are actually dirty before I wash them. This helps me feel a little less guilty for wearing two outfits every day (regular clothes, and running clothes).

How much laundry do you go through a week? I'm curious to know how many loads of laundry you do, especially families washing clothes for people other than just themselves. The numbers have to add up very fast!

Are there any solutions to doing so many loads of laundry? I have yet to find a solution, but it's definitely fact that runners go through way more loads of laundry every week than the average person.