Why you’ve probably been washing your underwear wrong according to an expert

(Image credit: Dreet Porduction/MITO images)

We all have to do laundry, and for most of us, we don’t really think twice about whether or not it’s really getting clean in there. In fact, we trust our washing machines to get the job done.

Well, according to Dr Lisa Ackerley (The Hygiene Doctor), washing your underwear at a colder temperature like 30 or 40 degrees could leave your underwear riddled with bacteria - and they could contaminate other clothing too.

Lisa told HuffPost: 'With knickers and pants, anything under 60 degrees won’t kill bacteria.

'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.'


Credit: Getty Images

Read more: Mrs Hinch cleaning tips you’ll definitely want to copy at home

As gross as that news is, we understand that it’s not always easy to put underwear on a hot wash - thankfully Lisa has a good solution to this problem.

You can still wash underwear on a colder wash, provided you add a laundry sanitizer such as Lysol or Dettol Antibacterial Laundry Cleanser. These products are designed to kill 99.9 per cent of bacteria, even on a lower wash.

Better yet, they don't contain any bleach either, so you don't have to worry about harsh chemicals getting all over your laundry.

Read more: How often you should be cleaning and ditching your everyday items – REVEALED!

Immunologist Dr Jenna Macciochi from the University of Sussex has backed up Lisa’s claims, adding: '60 degrees cannot really be relied upon to kill all bacteria.'

Explaining the reasons, Jenna said that this was the case 'especially if the machine only reaches this temperature for a short time – most don’t maintain this temperature for the entire cycle'.

Honestly, it can be hard to know whether or not we’re doing everything the way the experts would like us to!

Do you prefer to wash underwear on a high heat, or have you got on fine washing it on 30 – 40 degrees? Head to our Facebook page and let us know your thoughts.

Lucy Buglass
Digital Writer

Lucy Buglass is a Digital Writer for What's on TV, Goodto.com, and Woman&Home. After finishing her degree in Film Studies at Oxford Brookes University she moved to London to begin her career. She's passionate about entertainment and spends most of her free time watching Netflix series, BBC dramas, or going to the cinema to catch the latest film releases.