Turns Out, You Need to Get Rid of Your Underwear Every Single Year

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How often do you change out your underwear? I don't mean just putting on a fresh pair, or tossing them into the wash -- I mean throwing them out for good and replacing them, all of them.


According to the Good Housekeeping Institute of the namesake lifestyle publication Good Housekeeping, a person's clean, just-washed underwear can have up to 10,000 living bacteria, like E. coli and dust mites.

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That being said, the researchers recommend that you don't keep your underwear for longer than a year in order to reduce your risk of infections, allergies, and irritations.

When purchasing new undies, consider going for cotton, which is a natural and breathable fabric, compared to synthetic materials like polyester and satin, according to Essence. These end up trapping sweat and other bodily fluids, making it more likely for you to get an infection.

underwear laundry

Since worn undies are basically a breeding ground for bacteria (no surprise there), when you do wash them, do it in hot water, and make sure your washing machine is clean.

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Just don't use bleach when washing your undies. It not only breaks down the fibers of the fabric, causing your undies to fall apart faster, but it can cause skin irritation when the bleach chemicals interact with the elastic, according to Health. Instead, opt for a detergent that's hypoallergenic or good for sensitive skin. 

Well, even though this news means we might have to say good-bye to some of our most beloved undies, at least it's also a good excuse to go shopping.

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