Two weeks ago, CivicScience looked at consumer preferences when it came to washing machines and laundry detergent. But what does the general population do once they have a drum full of sopping wet clothes?

In a survey of more than 5,000 U.S. adults, 86% report using a dryer, and the majority of dryer users set the machine to medium (presumably to avoid shrinkage or wear that can result from high temperatures). 

Of people who use a dryer to finish their laundry cycle, most (56%) choose to add dryer sheets to add softness and reduce static, followed by those who don’t add anything at all (34%).

Drilling down even further, of those who do use dryer sheets, balls, or other items, most do so in order to reduce clothing static, followed by those looking to soften fabric. 

Static reducer seems to be the name of the game for those without kids, while parents have a slight preference for fragrance. Grandparents, meanwhile, over-index in preference for their dryer sheets to double as a fabric softener. 

While most of the general population (54%) report that having a matching brand and model of washer and dryer in their home is not important at all, that sentiment shifts as income increases. 

And even though most don’t find matching brands important, very few (24%) are likely to buy a used washer and / or dryer.

This overall lack of interest in buying used machines is more prevalent among the suburban laundry-doers. Urban and rural dwellers are more open to used machines, likely correlating with their likelihood to be renters and therefore given little to no options when it comes to laundry machines. 

Regardless of the differences in drying habits and machine preferences, one thing does seem to unite most laundry-doers: the vast majority of the general population does laundry at least once a week.

As we see, those who do their laundry once every two weeks are far more likely than others to frequent a laundromat to get it done.

It seems that two weeks is about how long most people can wait before having to dedicate a day to getting their clothes cleaned. 

Perhaps the 7% who do their laundry every three weeks or less frequently than that just have a lot of clothes to go through before washing a load of laundry is necessary.