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How Often Should You Change Your Underwear?

As adults, we sometimes hesitate to ask questions that we should probably already know the answers to. How do you change a tire? How do you properly iron a shirt? You’d think we would have this stuff figured out by now, but the reality is that many of us are clueless on many basic subjects and could benefit from some guidance.

That brings us to today’s topic—how often should you change your underwear. No, it’s not rocket science or brain surgery, but it’s an important discussion with some active debate on either side. 

There are several factors that come into play when deciding how long to wear a single pair of underwear for a given session, or when it’s time to toss a pair in the trash and replace it with a new one. Take a second to think about it and try to justify your answer with real facts and data. It’s more difficult than you thought, right?

One of the great joys of life is to dive deep into topics that seem mundane on the surface but have a lot of substance behind the scenes. How often to change your underwear is a perfect example, so let’s get right into it.  

Basic Hygiene And Health Concerns

Before we entertain any crazy ideas, let’s take some time for a bit of common sense. We’re not going to play dumb for too long—keeping your underwear on for too long is downright disgusting, and it can actually have real negative health (and social) repercussions.

When we talk about how often we brush our teeth, shower, or apply deodorant, everyone has an intuitive understanding of how these things work. Even if we were raised by wolves, there’s a level of decency we all follow as human beings, and the same rules apply with undies.

Without getting too graphic, let’s look at what happens if you don’t change your underwear often enough. First of all, you’re going to smell. Bad. The insidious part is that you may not even realize it, since humans tend to have a degree of “nose blindness” to their own scents and odors. You could be walking around your city with literal poopy pants and not even know what’s happening until a brave soul tells you to clean up your act. 

Yes, tiny droplets of urine and feces end up trapped in our underwear, no matter how careful we may be in the bathroom. It’s only a matter of time before you jostle something loose downstairs, and your underwear is there to trap it in place. 

Thank goodness you have strong and durable underwear to keep everything in order, but if you don’t change out your drawers often enough, that stink is going to build and worsen with each passing hour, especially if they’re made from standard cotton. 

Aside from the offensive odor, you run the risk of causing damage to your undercarriage by failing to swap out your underwear frequently enough. We’re talking about chafing, fungal infection, acne, sores, or worse.

It’s no laughing matter—these are real conditions that can cause permanent harm to your most important hardware, so don’t be walking around in the same pair of underwear for too long. The pain and possible injury are simply not worth the five seconds of time you save from switching out your undies. 

Ever had an infected cut or scrape on your arm or leg? Now imagine that in the worst possible area, where you sit daily and are constantly trying to maneuver without aggravation. It’s an illegal form of torture in many countries. 

If you take away one thing from this article, just know that it is NOT funny or cool to wear the same underwear for too long. It doesn’t matter if you’re living in a frat house or you’re a millionaire with no worries in the world. Change your dang undies!

What Most Americans Are Saying

With our Public Service Announcement out of the way, what does the average American think is the appropriate length of time to wear a single pair of underwear? As you may have come to expect, the general population gave some concerning responses. 

From a sample size of 2,000 people, close to 50% said that they wore the same pair of undies for two days in a row—or longer. Even scarier is the fact that 13% said they have worn the same pair for more than a week at a time. We aren’t surprised they wanted to remain anonymous.

When broken down by gender, it looks like men are way more likely to wear the same pair for a questionable length of time. One out of every five dudes has worn underwear for several days in a row, compared to less than 10% of women.

It’s also more common for younger men to wear underwear for longer durations, but that isn’t very surprising. 

With all these facts and figures taken into consideration, the rule we all need to follow is the “one and done” policy when it comes to wearing underwear. That means one day, one workout session, or one full night’s sleep.

If you wear a pair of undies through any of these singular events, it should be an immediate reminder to send those skivvies into the wash, hop in the shower and slip into a fresh pair. This isn’t revolutionary stuff, but it seems like we all need a reminder. 

That’s right, even if you woke up, showered, put on new underwear, then went for a 45-minute workout in the gym, you need yet another shower and another pair of underwear. Are we teaching aliens what life is like here on earth?

It’s the best way to do things for your health, happiness, and the people you interact with daily. Be an actual human being and follow the “one and done” rule with no exceptions. 

When To Replace Worn-Out Undies

Now that we’ve provided you with a lesson you should have received at the age of 5, we can talk about something a bit more advanced—when to get rid of old underwear that is nearing the end of its lifespan.

There are a few tell-tale signs that underwear is on the way out:

  • The elastic band does not have the same level of “snap” it once did.
  • Looseness in seams surrounding the crotch or the pant legs.
  • An unfortunate odor that doesn’t seem to go away in the wash.
  • Unsightly stains that can’t be removed with bleach.
  • Fuzzy bits coming off cotton stitching and compromising the thread.
  • Rips, holes, or tears that ruin the purpose of the underwear.

Don’t try to stitch or mend a pair of underwear that’s on its last legs, just part ways and forget about it. They served you well, and it’s time to move on!

With that in mind, you should be replacing your underwear every six months or so if you want to get the best use out of every pair. Even high-quality boxer briefs can start to see some wear and tear after that span of time, especially if you are an active person and work out a lot. 

Of course, you should go with your gut when it comes to assessing the end-of-life process for a pair of your favorite undies. If they have some sentimental value or an entertaining print, it can be tough to let them go.

How Many Pairs You Should Own

Eventually, you’ll need to pull the trigger and toss those trusty underpants, so you need to always have more lined up in the chamber. Underwear experts suggest that every man must own around two weeks-worth of underwear ready to rock, so that means 14 pairs minimum.

You never know when you’ll need to pack up quickly and hit the road, so it’s smart to plan for those unlikely scenarios with plenty of underwear to last you a while. 

Give yourself every advantage when it comes to underwear, and have a clear idea of your inventory at all times. Most men barely have an idea of how many pairs they own, and how long they’ve been in the rotation. Step up your game and lock into an underwear subscription service if this sounds like you!

With a membership or subscription delivery plan for your favorite boxer briefs, you can replace each pair at the exact perfect time and never be without fresh undies. 

Conclusion

This has truly been an educational experience for us all, and hopefully, you came away feeling enriched and enlightened on the subject of underwear hygiene and life cycles. 

Use this moment to commit to better underwear management and never fall behind the curve.

 

Sources:

https://manofmany.com/fashion/mens-fashion-advice/how-often-should-you-buy-new-underwear

https://www.clickorlando.com/news/2019/08/14/heres-how-often-americans-change-their-underwear

https://www.thehealthy.com/habits/heres-what-happens-if-you-dont-change-your-underwear/