Great Britain

You’ve probably been washing your pants all wrong… and you might have been spreading poo everywhere

YOU might be washing your knickers after every wear, but what if we told you that still might not be enough to get them clean.

In fact, turns out many of us could be doing it all wrong, and in doing so we're actually spreading poop everywhere.

Hygiene experts claim that for those of us washing our underwear at 40C might will be left with pants still full of faecal bacteria.

And if you've been chucking your knickers in with your other clothes - and let's face it, we all do - they might be contaminated with poo particles too.

Dr Lisa Ackerley, also known as The Hygiene Doctor, told HuffPost UK that washing at anything under 60C won't kill bacteria.

She added: "Don’t put the knickers in with the tea towels on a low wash, because you might have faecal contamination in your knickers and you wouldn’t want that near your kitchen."

But immunologist Dr Jenna Macciochi, from the University of Sussex, said that even a 60C cycle might not be enough to kill bacteria.

She said: “60C cannot really be relied upon to kill all bacteria, especially if the machine only reaches this temperature for a short time – most don’t maintain this temperature for the entire cycle."

60C cannot really be relied upon to kill all bacteria, especially if the machine only reaches this temperature for a short time

Dr Jenna MacciochiUniversity of Sussex

If you're unable to put your underwear on a hot wash, particularly with delicate lingerie, or if you're concerned about the environment, Dr Ackerley suggested adding a laundry sanitiser.

Most supermarkets carry their own brand or the likes of Dettol have an antibacterial laundry cleanser.

But Dr Ackerley said we don't need to worry too much - in fact, she says "we probably do wash our clothes too much".

She added: “You’re not going to drop dead because you’ve got a grubby bra or a grubby t-shirt or a grubby jumper."

There's no hard and fast rule for how often to wash your clothes, but she said there are a few items that need more regular cleaning.

This comes after Stella McCartney previously revealed she rarely washes her bras - and refuses to clean her clothes if they've been worn.

Previously speaking to The Sun, Dr Ackerley told us that jeans should be washed after four or five wears, if you don't want them to fade too quickly.

Your bra needs a clean after two or three wears - despite what Stella McCartney says.

Meanwhile, your pyjamas need washed twice a week, "we shed dead skin and sweat at night so PJs can be a breeding ground for bacteria," she says.

Tights should be getting washed everyday because "yeast and bacteria breed in nylon which can cause acne, skin irritation, urinary and fungal infections," said Dr Ackerley.

As for other household items, your bedsheets should get washed once a week and pillows twice a year.

Tea towels need to be changed every day as they are a "hotbed for germs and carry a food poisoning risk if you cook meat or fish, so wash at 60C".

Bath towels should be washed after a few uses and hung up to dry to stop bacteria festering.

Perhaps one you don't consider too often - your handbag, purse or wallet should get a wipe every week because they touch the floor and can be brimming with bacteria.

Meanwhile, your mobile phone gets touched nearly 3,000 times a day so it needs to be wiped down with a soft cloth every day.

​How often should you be washing your hair?

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