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It Turns Out You Should Throw Away Your Knickers After 12 Months

It Turns Out You Should Throw Away Your Knickers After 12 Months

Ladies, a quick hands up: who has knickers in their underwear drawer that have been there for YEARS?

I do - and a quick poll of my girlfriends and colleagues, reveals they do to.

It's not in a gross way, it's just we all have pairs that we become attached to for one reason or another - be it comfort or they fact they make you feel good when they're on - and if they're being washed after each use, then why they hell would we bin them?

However, it does turn out that despite that logic, underwear does have a 'sell by date' for both hygiene and condition reasons.

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How often should we be throwing away knickers? (Credit: Unsplash)
How often should we be throwing away knickers? (Credit: Unsplash)

Beginning with the former, and perhaps most important, Tyla spoke to cosmetic doctor and intimate health specialist, Dr Shirin Lakhani, about the ideal time to give your underwear drawer a revamp if you're looking at hygiene.

Because (and we were today-years-old when we learnt this) germs and bacteria can hang about on your undies despite them going through a hot wash.

"Your underwear is in close contact with your skin and more specifically your intimate areas for prolonged periods of time," Dr Lakhani told us.

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"As a result it comes into contact with a lot of dead skin from those areas as well as bacteria - both the healthy naturally-occurring bacteria that we all have, as well as more sinister bacteria that can be a result of infections such as thrush and STIs.

"There is some research that suggests that even washing your underwear in a washing machine won't always rid it completely of bacteria such as E.coli."

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Bacteria can hang around on your underwear even after washing (Credit: Unsplash)
Bacteria can hang around on your underwear even after washing (Credit: Unsplash)

Dr Lakhani added that while most bacteria won't hurt you, there are some that can, especially in your intimate areas.

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"I would advise buying new underwear at least once a year, although underwear that you consistently wear for activities such as the gym should probably be disposed of more often," she says.

We also spoke to founder and director of Love2Laundry Nadeem Abbas, who gave us the low-down on how often to swap out your undies from a condition perspective.

"General advice is to change underwear every six to 12 months to keep them at their best but there are a couple of things you can do to extend the life span of your underwear," she told us.

You should ideally be revamping your undies drawer once every six to 12 months (Credit: Pexels)
You should ideally be revamping your undies drawer once every six to 12 months (Credit: Pexels)
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"For example, only washing underwear in cool temperatures helps prevent the elastic from being weakened. Avoiding high temperatures at all times is best for elastics, which means no ironing or tumble drying.

"As for bras, the best process is to wash them by hand in cool water and lay them out flat to dry to avoid them stretching when hung out."

So there you have it: it's best to revamp your knicker drawer every six to 12 months.

What better excuse to go underwear shopping, we say.

Featured Image Credit: Shutterstock

Topics: Life

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Ciara Sheppard

Ciara is a freelance writer working for Tyla. After graduating with an English Lit and Media degree from the University of Sussex, Ciara held jobs at GLAMOUR and Yahoo Style before packing up for a solo travelling trip around South America.