Revealed: How often you should throw out undies

One in four men routinely wear the same underwear two days in a row.

That’s 25%. Of the men you know. Wearing their underwear for 48 hours in a row. Surely this is a cause for outrage?!

This isn’t the only (slightly gross) tidbit I picked up from recent Good Housekeeping Institute’s research, which gives a range of guidelines around how often we should be washing and/or binning our bits and pieces.


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Underwear, obviously, should be washed after every wear – minimum daily.

Nightwear should be washed every 3 days.

And our towels and bedsheets should ideally be cycled through the washing machine every 3 days as well – lest they swell with “germs, sweat and skin cells”. Altogether now: “Eeeeeew!”

While I’m firmly in the camp that believes in daily (or even twice-daily) underwear shift changes, the suggested rotation on towels and sheets is a little ambitious to me.

We’re on a weekly roster and even then, it feels like I’m forever heaving heavy sheets out of the wash. So, I read this article with interest, before deciding that I’m quite happy with my current situation, thank you very much.

Yet, here’s the conundrum: failure to amp up my washing schedule could apparently allow bugs such as E.coli and dust mites to flourish… which could lay the groundwork for all sorts problems to arise, from urinary tract infections, to thrush, to allergies.

I once had a male friend who only changed the sheets on his bed every four months or so. He liked how “soft” they became after months and months of use. To him I would say: the risks of contamination are high. For the rest of us? I’m going to stick with a weekly washing roster…

Interestingly, it’s the advice they proffered around when we should actually get rid of our clothes and sheets that I found even more interesting.

Allegedly, we’re meant to ditch our underwear every 12 months.

I’m sure the fine manufacturers at Bonds are thrilled to hear this (in fact, they weren’t behind the research, were they?!) because I can confidently go on record to state that I have underwear in my drawer that is older than my eldest child.

She’ll be nine when she celebrates her next rotation around the sun.

Perhaps it’s time to get my Marie Kondo on for a spring clean of the most intimate kind…

What do you think of these recommendations? Do you refresh your underwear daily and bin it after 12 months – or are these suggested time frames wasteful?

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