how often should you buy new underwear

How Often Should You Buy New Underwear?

Most people play this by ear. If they have extra budget, they will buy a couple of pieces. Thankfully, some cheap sets come with four or six pieces of underwear. But what if there is a set of guidelines as to when you should go for new undies, should you be persuaded to buy more often?

mess of underwear that needs to go

Nobody is saying that you cannot take a piece of underwear and wear it for years until it falls apart. Some have done it. Some even still wear their tattered undies. As guidelines go, however, these are reasons for throwing a particular piece:

  • It smells. Yes, even after you have washed it thoroughly, it still has a funky smell. So, it cannot be saved. You change into fresh underwear after a shower for your personal hygiene. It does not make sense to wear an already smelly one! Get a pair of antimicrobial underwear if you’re getting this problem very often, as you might be breeding some stinky bacteria without you noticing.
  • It is no longer elastic. This means that it is not comfortable to wear anymore. Do you really like to have to keep twirling it around to find a more suitable position? No. It should fit well. For one, bunching panties underneath a dress is not attractive at all. Loose bras do not provide support. The same goes for men’s underwear. Boxers and briefs should also provide adequate support.
  • It has holes. Does it even make sense to keep these? Some claim that holey undies are comfortable. But why wear one at all if you are in it for the airing? It just does not provide you with protection.
  • It is faded. While more likely nobody will see your underwear, faded still means it is time to move on.

The above are just visible signs. Let us read on to find out if there are clues in terms of tangible time.

How many years do you keep wearing particular pieces of underwear?

washed underwear drying

Depending on the quality, some pieces may have more durability than others. Five years are pushing in, though. Two years may also be considered too long. Moreover, University of Arizona microbiologist Dr. Charles Gerba says that even washed underwear has minimal traces of feces.

“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,” Gerba mentioned.

The trace amounts will not affect you much, but it will still make you think. What if I continue using this particular underwear for a few more years to come?

What should you do to avoid spending too much money on new underwear?

Here is the thing: buying new underwear can be considered an investment to support a hygienic lifestyle. However, budget concerns can also be genuine. So, here is what you can do:

  • Buy a few pieces at a time. This way, you won’t feel the budget add-on. You will end up with some pieces that are newer than the others, each time.
  • Wash your underwear thoroughly but carefully. Use the right machine settings. Use a gentle cycle with cold water and skip the bleach. For drying, dry clean or tumble dry low. Iron if you prefer. However, do not iron on the elastic to prevent them weaves from tightening or shrinking.


To ensure proper hygiene and support, you need to buy new underwear at reasonable intervals. Get rid of tattered and loose pieces. You can preserve the ones you have with the right washing machine settings.

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