We've just learned we should be chucking our undies every year. And yes, we're panicking.

It turns out that simply throwing a dirty pair of knickers into the wash isn’t enough.

That’s because, according to The Good Housekeeping Institute, our underwear is actually a breeding ground for nasties like E. coli with 83 per cent of “clean” underwear containing up to 10,000 living bacteria.

It’s why washing them regularly just isn’t enough anymore. At least if you want to avoid contracting urinary tract infections and thrush.

It’s now recommended that underwear be replaced each and every year, no matter how well or how often you think you are washing them.

The Good Housekeeping Institute says that extra care should be taken when washing the underwear of a sick family member to avoid the spread of bacteria.

washing underwear
Image via Getty.

There are a number of other 'dirty habits' that may be contributing to an unhealthy home.

Pyjamas should be washed after three wears, or once a week as a woman, as our skin cells shed at a vast - and fast - rate.


Bathroom towels should also be washed every third use - that's every day and a half if you shower twice a day - due to the warm and damp conditions that help bacteria thrive.

LISTEN: Apparently, you need to wash your pillows far more than you think. Post continues after audio. 

After spending a third of our day in bed, it's no surprise that our sheets accumulate a whole lot of germs, sweat and skin cells night after night. That's why they should be washed weekly, and aired out every day after use to release moisture.

Sheets should be washed at least once a week, and aired out every single morning. Image via Getty.

There are also recommendations for how often we should be replacing our toothbrushes, which can contain around 10 million germs on average. The bristles should be rinsed and dried thoroughly after each use, and stored upright to air dry.

Zap bugs by soaking in boiling water for five minutes every month, and replace every time you are ill or after three months of regular use.