Real Life

How often should you REALLY wash your intimates?

Hint: It's time to put the washing machine on turbo mode.

News about how often we should be washing our smalls and bedding has made us feel a bit ill in the Take 5 office today.

It seems we're either a bit gross here or will soon be pretty cash-strapped.

The good (and presumably very clean) people at the Good House Keeping institute claim that your favourite pair of Bridget Jones' Diary-esque undies from 2008 just won't cut it anymore.

Old undies are one of the worst bacteria-gathering items, containing up to 10,000 living bacteria, including E. coli – even when they're clean!

No matter how vigorously you scrub, the recommended procedure is to replace every pair each year and make sure they go through a super-hot wash.

Also, if you or a family member is sick, it's important to sterilise them in the wash too.

Bathroom towels are another neglected item.

The fluffy, absorbent material absorbs bacteria and dead skin cells when you use it to dry yourself.

It then sits in a hot, damp environment perfect for bacteria growth.

Towels should be washed every third use – pretty rough if you like to shower twice a day.

Tea towels, which are commonly forgotten about in many households, should be washed every single day.

The findings also advised that we shouldn't be drying our hands on a tea towel, as the bacterium just jumps right back onto your hands.

The Good House Keeping Institute recommends that your quilt and pillows are washed at least twice a year to avoid build-up of dust mites and nasties.

Pyjamas should be washed every three wears, even though the average person wears them for around two weeks before moving onto the next pair.

So, that leaves us with a bunch of towels to wash and a whole new batch of undies to buy. Bummer.

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