In A New Study, 45 Percent Of Americans Admitted They Don’t Change Their Underwear Everyday

Putting on fresh underwear everyday may seem like a given to most people, but studies show that not everyone changes their underwear everyday.

Woman poses by washing machine.
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Putting on fresh underwear everyday may seem like a given to most people, but studies show that not everyone changes their underwear everyday.

One of the most basic rules of hygiene is to put on a fresh pair of underwear on a daily basis. For many people, it’s not something they think about. They simply grab a clean pair of underwear when they hop out of the shower. Although this may seem like something that most people are taught when they are as young as preschool, recent studies show that not everyone changes their undergarments on a daily basis. A recent survey quizzed 2,000 American men and women about their daily hygiene habits and the results were pretty surprising, according to Today.

Clothing retailer Tommy John conducted this recent survey about hygiene. One of the primary questions asked was about whether or not the subjects changed their underwear every day. Surprisingly, 45 percent admitted they wore the same pair of underwear for two days or longer. While the thought of not putting on a fresh pair of underwear every day may seem gross and unsanitary to many, it might not actually be as bad for you as it seems. Philip M. Tierno, Ph.D., clinical professor of microbiology and pathology at New York University recently spoke about this hygiene misconception. He said while wearing the same pair of underwear for more than a day is definitely not something to tell other people about, it is most likely not posing a risk to your overall health.

“Generally speaking, it’s not going to hurt you as much as your hygiene may hurt your reputation. Since they are your bacteria, unless you have a break in the skin or another conduit of entry into the body they won’t do you harm,” Dr. Tierno said.

Just as is the case with all the other clothing pieces that are worn on an everyday basis, bacteria does build up after extended use. The amount of bacteria that is built up is dependent upon the amount of physical activity that the person wearing the garments does each day. For example, if they are simply sleeping in the clothes, built up bacteria is far less of a potential issue than if they worked out in the clothes and then continued to wear them without washing them the next day.

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The longest one should go without changing their underwear is two days, Dr. Tierno said.

“Two days would probably be very little detection unless you grossly contaminate your underwear. If you talk about a week or two, now we’re getting into robust growth of organisms and clearly there will be odor.”