When it comes to keeping our wardrobe fresh, many of us wonder how often to buy new underwear. As long as we wash them after each wear, they can stay in our top drawer for years, right?
Wrong. Well, that’s according to the Good Housekeeping Institute (GHI) guide, which says that despite washing meticulously after use, most people’s clean underwear contains up to 10,000 living bacteria! We know – gross.
So how long does underwear last? When should we be throwing our trusty undies away?
How long to keep underwear
Based on the Good Housekeeping Institute’s findings, we should be throwing out underwear every year for health reasons. These include reducing the risk of urinary tract infections, thrush and allergies.
Underwear should be laundered after each wear on the hot wash setting. But despite this, an examination by the UK’s leading cleaning company, Dr Beckmann, found up to one million bacteria lurking in just two tablespoons of used washing machine water. We know. We want to go home and set light to all our old undies immediately.
Ok, that might be a bit far-fetched. We don’t want to get in trouble for encouraging arson! But we do want to encourage you to think about how long you’ve hung onto your undies and have a think about whether it’s time to buy a new pair of underwear or five.
Wash your tea towels separately
It might surprise you to learn that simple habits are helping bacteria thrive. So much so that those simple habits are actually becoming dirty habits. It’s not just our underwear we should be worried about, it’s what we’re washing with our underwear. In the GHI’s guidelines, it was also revealed that up to 90% of dirty tea towels contained E. Coli bacteria.
To avoid these nasty germs, we suggest washing your tea towels and towels separately from your underwear. The GHI guidelines tell us that underwear should be changed daily, nightwear after three nights of sleep and bedding once a week. All of them should be washed at high temperatures, so to kill any nasty bacteria.
Elsewhere, it was reported that pillows need to be laundered every three to six months and duvets twice a year. Washing avoiders, take note!
Is your washing machine doing its job properly?
So, we know that regularly washing our underwear in hot water is key to killing bacteria, dust mites and other nasty things that result in infections and allergies. But when it comes to our washing machine, how do we know it’s even doing its job correctly?
Well, according to the GHI guidelines, most of the time they’re not. Here are some top tips to get the most out of each wash:
- Wipe out the detergent drawer on your washing machine to prevent soap building up, and clean it thoroughly in hot, soapy water every few months.
- Run an empty monthly service wash with hot water to rid the machine of mould and bacteria.
- Check and clean the drain filters.
Wipe the rubber seal with diluted bleach or vinegar to prevent the build-up of bacteria or mould.
But, despite best practices when it comes to your washing machine, it’s still important to overhaul your underwear drawer each year to avoid the spread of nasty infections.
Choose the right fabric
While refreshing your undie drawer frequently is key to keeping you healthy, knowing how to initially choose the right underwear is just as important. Did you know that some fabrics could naturally help you keep your undies germ-free? Natural fibres such as bamboo have been found to be both antibacterial and breathable, helping you keep unwanted bacteria from developing.
There’s lots of benefits to choosing bamboo over other traditional or synthetic fabrics, so why not try it out for yourself? Get started with our organically-grown bamboo underwear for him and her. Here are some options if you’re looking to update your underwear wardrobe right now.