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how often should you replace your underwear

If you’ve done your research, you know that your bras only last about six months to a year (depending on several factors, of course). But what about the lifespan of your panties?

Let’s start by saying this: It’s shorter than you think.

We know what you’re thinking. “But I wash it regularly!” While you can judge whether a bra needs to be replaced by its physical condition, you can’t exactly do the same for underwear — for hygienic reasons, it’s a little more complicated than that. So, how often should you replace it? And furthermore, why is it important?

Read on for some answers to these particularly puzzling panty questions.

The truth about laundering habits

Mulberrys Garment Care conducted an online survey of over 1,000 Americans’ laundry habits. While there were some surprising results across the board, perhaps the most eye-opening statistic pertained to how often people wash their underwear. The majority of respondents (85 percent) claim to wash them after one to two wears, but 10.5 percent of women admitted to never washing them (yes, you read that right).

In regards to undies, there are risks involved with this kind of lax laundering. First of all, your underwear is worn directly against the skin, and you’re constantly shedding dead cells, which contain microorganisms that can promote bacterial growth. The last thing you want is to experience an allergic reaction, thrush or even a urinary tract infection, so obviously, washing them often is crucial. The Good Housekeeping Institute recommends that you wash your panties after every single use.

Related: 6 Laundry Tips That Will Make Your Bras Last Longer

When to bid your favorites farewell

No matter how often you’re washing them, it’s advised that you throw them out after one year. Why? Well, 83 percent of underwear that’s considered clean still contains up to 10,000 of living bacteria, according to the GHI.

Keep in mind that you can generally wash your undies in warmer water than your bras, as you don’t have to worry about wreaking havoc on underwire, padding, etc. And washing your panties in hot water can be advantageous for sanitation purposes. Naturally, if your undies have holes, stains or other unsightly signs of wear and tear, are ill-fitting, or are even remotely uncomfortable, you have our permission to toss them at any point before a year is through. Just as with your bras, you deserve to be wearing panties that make you feel — and look — phenomenal.

Related: The Best Places To Donate Your Old Bras

We Highly Recommend

Whether you’re shopping for new everyday bras or lingerie for a special occasion, it’s always a good idea to seek out a second opinion. We know how hard it is to find bras that fit well and feel good, especially when you’re doing it on your own. If you’ve ever felt unsure about your bra size or you just don’t know where to go to find good bras, it’s time to let a bra fitterhelp.

Many specialty lingerie boutiques offer bra fittings. Their expert bra fitters will take the pain and frustration out of bra shopping and do all the work for you. Even better, their product knowledge can save you time and money. Plus, they know where all of the best bras are hiding.

If you’ve struggled with finding bras in the right size, it’s time to make a change. Visit our specialty store locator to find a store near you and schedule an appointment.

Happy bra shopping!

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Published by

Rebecca Strong

Rebecca is a Boston-based freelance writer who focuses on style, fitness, food, and travel. She has contributed to such publications as HuffPost, Elite Daily and U.S. News & World Report. When she's not writing, she can be found at home or in the studio working on the songs for her upcoming album. Her favorite bra is a black demi-cup style with all-over-lace — timeless and feminine.

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