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People are shocked after learning about how long you should keep your underwear

Emily Brown

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| Last updated 

People are shocked after learning about how long you should keep your underwear

Are you someone with a pretty regular rotation of decent underwear, or are you guilty of pulling on the same old holey-but-comfy pair of knickers or boxers you've had since you were a teenager?

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Most people have their reliable favourites, but a number of internet users have been left surprised after learning about how long you should be hanging on to them for.

One TikTok user sought to educate people about their underwear 'expiration date' by posting a video which highlighted a recommendation for when they should be replaced.

And to be clear, by 'replaced', I mean thrown out and replaced by brand new ones, not replaced on your body.

I can only hope no one thought I meant the latter.

Anyway, the video recommended that underwear be replaced every 'six to 12 months', and that revelation proved completely mind-blowing for some.

Some people are guilty of wearing the same underwear for years. Credit: @LiquidBrig/Twitter
Some people are guilty of wearing the same underwear for years. Credit: @LiquidBrig/Twitter

Responding to the clip on TikTok, one person wrote: "I have mine until they don’t fit or rip," while another commented: "I’m in college and i have some from 7th grade."

"My oldest pair is 16 years old," wrote a third.

While 16 years might be pushing it, Dr. Chavone Momon-Nelson, an OB-GYN at UPMC in Carlisle, Pennsylvania, told TODAY there is 'no rule that says after six months, cut them and get new underwear'.

Momon-Nelson expressed belief that underwear is typically fine to continue to use as long as it is being washed, explaining: "If you’re washing your underwear in warmer or hot water you are cleaning the bacteria off them."

"We should change the narrative about what they should feel comfortable about and what they should not feel comfortable about,” she continued.

“There's nothing wrong with a nice new pair of underwear that fit nice that are cotton and that are clean. And I wouldn't discourage anyone from wanting to buy new underwear. But I would not say that you have to throw away your old underwear.”

Washing might not be enough to properly clean underwear. Credit: Pexels
Washing might not be enough to properly clean underwear. Credit: Pexels

Though Momon-Nelson obviously isn't wrong about there being no 'rule' on when to change your underwear, other experts have shared differing opinions.

Cosmetic doctor and intimate health specialist Dr Shirin Lakhani pointed out that underwear can take in 'a lot of dead skin... as well as bacteria'.

Speaking to The Independent, Lakhani went on to cite research which suggests 'even washing your underwear in a washing machine won’t always rid it completely of bacteria such as E.coli'.

As a result, the specialist recommends replacing your knickers at least once a year, though advises more frequent replacements for underwear you 'consistently wear for activities such as the gym'.

Obviously, there is one thing these suggestions don't take in to account: exactly how many pairs of underwear everyone has.

If you're a serial shopper, you might have weeks' worth to go through before you run out, and therefore won't need to replace as often.

However, if you're someone who finds yourself turning pairs inside out and rinsing them under the tap just to make it to the day you plan to do your washing, then you really should hit the shops.

Though it might be hard to separate yourself from the cash, I'm sure your crotch will thank you.

Featured Image Credit: Roman Lacheev /Bernhard Classen Alamy

Topics: Fashion, Health, TikTok, Viral

Emily Brown
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