1 in 4 Men Only Wash Their Underwear This Much, Survey Says

·3 min read

After the year that we've all been through, it's understandable that a few of us may have let our standards slip a little. But while we may be reconsidering sweatpants as workwear and calculating how sustainable takeout seven days a week really is, for some of us, the problems are even more deep-seated: A recent survey on hygiene found that a full quarter of men admitted to only washing their underwear after every five washes.

The 2020 survey was conducted by U.K. furniture company Hammonds, and assessed the laundry habits of 2,000 people in the country. Firstly, the good news: 80 percent of respondents washed their underwear after a single use. But among those who were less attentive, it seems that men are the worst offenders: While 25 percent of men wash their underwear after every five washes, 13 percent of women could say the same. Even worse, 10 percent of men say they clean their underwear after every 10 washes, compared to just 3 percent of women.

The key thing to know about "dirty" clothes is that though your garments might look like they're fine for another day's use, there are germs brewing that you can't see. Scientists at Procter&Gamble advise that 70 percent of the soiling on your clothes is invisible from dead skin cells, bodily oils, and sweat. The experts at Healthline point out that 83 percent of "clean" underwear contains up to 10,000 bacteria. Charles Gerba, PhD, a professor of microbiology at the University of Arizona, has calculated that "if you wash a load of just underwear, there will be about 100 million E. coli in the wash water, and they can be transmitted to the next load of laundry."

So the important takeaway here is that we should be washing, or at least changing, our items of clothing more often than it seems we do—otherwise we're harboring a lot of germs with us all day, every day.

If you need more motivation to start doing the wash more, the Hammonds survey also asked respondents which household and clothing items they washed the least. Read on to see the top 12 things people only wash once a year… and prepare to be disturbed!

12

Hoodies

Percentage of people who wash it once a year: 13 percent

11

Hats

Percentage of people who wash it once a year: 14 percent

10

Trousers

Percentage of people who wash it once a year: 14 percent

9

Jumpers

Percentage of people who wash it once a year: 15 percent

8

Suits

Percentage of people who wash it once a year: 17 percent

7

Jeans

Percentage of people who wash it once a year: 18 percent

6

Gloves

Percentage of people who wash it once a year: 25 percent

5

Scarves

Percentage of people who wash it once a year: 28 percent

4

Bedsheets

Percentage of people who wash it once a year: 30 percent

3

Cushion covers

Percentage of people who wash it once a year: 33 percent

2

Blankets

Percentage of people who wash it once a year: 36 percent

1

Coats

Percentage of people who wash it once a year: 38 percent