Are you changing your underwear enough? A new survey from underwear company Tommy John found that many Americans “wear underwear for two days or longer.”
“To find out more about the intimate hygiene habits of America’s, well, intimates, we surveyed 2,000 men and women to see how long they wear and keep their underwear,” the company said. “Spoiler alert: America could use an underwear overhaul.”
In the first of two studies, 1,000 respondents were asked about their daily underwear habits. According to the company, 45 percent “admitted to having worn the same pair of underwear for two or more days,” and 13 percent “claimed to have worn the same pair for a week or more.”
“Talk about a dirty little secret,” the brand added.
Women were found to be much cleaner than men, who are “2.5 times as likely as women to wear their underwear for a week or more,” according to the company.
The second survey of 1,000 people measured how long Americans have been holding on to the same pairs of underwear. Tommy John said the “dirty truth” is “46 percent of Americans have owned the same piece of underwear for one year or more, and 38 percent claimed that they have no idea how long they’ve had their underwear.”
“If the thought of old underwear brings up images of ratty tighty-whities, think again,” Tommy John continued. “These results were split fairly evenly between men and women, which throws any theories out the window that women are more hygiene-conscious than men, or vice versa.”
Tommy John pointed out how unhealthy these underwear habits can be, citing a 2017 Good Housekeeping study that found “clean underwear can contain up to 10,000 living bacteria — even after being washed.”
“Over time, underwear accumulates various types of problematic microorganisms and fungal germs that can increase your susceptibility to certain illnesses, like yeast infections and urinary tract infections, among others,” Tommy John said.
However, the company isn’t leaving you hanging you (or your underwear) out to dry. To make sure your underwear is in the cleanest possible condition, the company provided a few tips.
First, “tumble dry your underwear on low heat for 30 minutes after washing” in order to “minimize the amount of bacteria your underwear gathers after a wash.”
Second, “don’t mix your underwear in the same load with your significant other or children if they’re sick,” because this only “increases the amount of bacteria hanging out in your washing machine.”
Third, “avoid washing contaminated underwear with other pairs and clothing” — especially if someone has a bacterial infection.
And finally, “wash your underwear separately from clothing containing other bodily fluids.”