How often do you wash your underwear? What temperature do you wash it at? According to a new survey by retailer Currys, apparently 76% of Brits clean their laundry at a temperature below 40°C to save on energy.
However, faeces from underwear only get cleaned if washed at a temperature above 40°C, and on average, even a clean pair of underwear still contains around 0.1 grams of faeces and can hold up to 10g of it. Lovely.
Additionally, the Currys survey found that 32% of Brits wear their underwear more than once before washing. The horror.
How to wash your underwear correctly
Of the respondents that wore pants more than once, 71% only separate their laundry depending on colour, not use or type. This means that the bacteria that’s built up in their repeated wears is likely spreading to other laundry in the washing machine.
However, the experts at Currys recommend that instead of washing underwear with the rest of your clothes, underwear is washed with hand towels and bath towels at 60°C to ensure the bacteria is being completely destroyed.
If you’re worried about energy consumption, the experts recommend researching laundry cleansers as some claim to be able to kill 99% of bacteria on temperatures as low as 15°C.
How often you should clean your clothes
Now that we know how often our pants should be washed, it may be worth familiarising with what is best practice for the rest of our clothes. The experts at Whirlpool offer this handy guide:
Shirts and blouses: after 1-2 wearings
Dress pants or slacks: after 2-3 wearings
Jeans: after 4-5 wearings
Sweaters: up to 6 wearings, if worn with an undershirt; 1-2 wearings if worn without an undershirt
Suits/blazers/casual jackets: after 5-6 wearings
Workout clothes: after 1 wearing
Sleepwear: after 2-3 wearings
Of course, remember to keep on top of cleaning your washing machine itself.