Almost Half of Americans Admit to Wearing Underwear Two Days or More in a Row, Survey Reveals

A new online survey reveals some unpleasant truths about American's underwear habits: According to a poll conducted by underwear brand Tommy John, nearly half of Americans admit they've worn the same drawers for two or more days in a row.

The survey, which polled 2,000 men and women, revealed that 45 percent of respondents have ignored their mother's warning about always having on a fresh pair. What's more, a full 13 percent cop to wearing the same panties for a week or more.

A survey by Tommy John reveals surprising information about Americans' underwear habits. Tommy John

Perhaps unsurprisingly, it's men who are donning dirty drawers: Tommy John found guys are 2.5 times more likely than women to keep the same pair on for a week.

How long should you keep your underwear? The industry standard—and this is an industry that wants you to buy more underwear—is that you should replace your drawers every six months. But Tommy John's survey uncovered that 46% of Americans have owned the same skivvies for a year or longer—and 38 percent of both men and women admit they have no idea how old their underwear is.

According to Tommy John's survey, 13% of respondents say they've worn the same underwear for a week. Getty Images

After a while, a waistband's elasticity starts to give, which can lead to bunching or even chafing. And researchers has found that even freshly washed undies can be a breeding ground for bacteria. "Women should be especially careful," the survey cautions, "as they're more at risk than men to experience health issues due to unclean underwear."

Some brands have launched silver-coated underwear, capitalizing on the metal's antibacterial qualities. But while these high-tech undies are touted as not being needed to be washed for weeks, being antibacterial doesn't keep them from smelling funky. Experts say that if you do laundry once a week, you should have enough underwear on hand to last you up to two weeks.

Speaking of laundry: Tommy Johns offered a few pointers on underwear hygiene.

First, tumble dry your underwear on low heat for about a half-hour. "This will minimize the amount of bacteria your underwear gathers after a wash." And don't mix your underwear in the same load with your roommate, partner or children if they're sick.

Lastly, and perhaps more intimately, wash your underwear separately from clothing containing other bodily fluids: "If any article of clothing is stained, it's better to wash it separately from your underwear."