According to a study by Charles Gerba – professor of microbiology at the University of Arizona: the AVERAGE PAIR OF UNDERWEAR CONTAINS APPROXIMATELY 1/10th OF A GRAM OF POO.
Gerba says that when you do an entire load of laundry that consists of just underwear, the wash water will contain about 100 million E. coli. That many critters won’t completely wash away when the load is complete, and will remain in the washer to infest the next load of laundry that gets washed.The scientists who conducted the study have these recommendations for ensuring that you stay clean and as sanitary as possible as you handle your own dirty laundry:
- Detergent alone does not kill bacteria. You must use bleach or very hot water (between 140-150 degrees).
- If you do a cold water wash, be sure to wash your hands after handling the clothes as they come out of the washer.
- Occasionally, disinfect your washer by running it empty with just hot water and bleach in it. Most newer models have a “clean washer” cycle designed just for this.
But don’t think that just your own dirty drawers from the hamper or the only poo-covered culprit here.
Even newly-purchased underwear can carry germs. 62% of women surveyed admitted to wearing new underwear without washing it first. The DR OZ television show tested 36 pairs of newly purchased women’s underwear for germs in Chicago, Los Angeles, Miami, and New York and found the following:
- 1/3 of all tested underwear had unwanted germs on it, most likely due to women trying on the underwear in the store, or trying on underwear without a hygiene strip in place.
- Los Angeles had the panties with the most funk, including fecal material.
- Panties bought in Chicago had Candida, a leading cause of yeast infections.
- Thong underwear from Miami contained Group B Streptococcus, which could lead to Meningitis
- A g-string from New York City had a blood stain on the crotch.
What does all this tell you? Sometimes buying a plastic-wrapped 3-pack of panties from Wal-Mart may not seem to be the sexiest of underwear options, but it certainly sounds like the safest.