Cheapskate Brits wear dirty undies

crowd of people in underwearHow often do you change your pants? The latest research suggests it is not every day.

Research from consumer trends firm Mintel reports that overall just 87% of Brits put on clean underwear every day. That's 95% of women and just 78% of men. And single people are less likely to wear clean undies (82%) than married people (88%).
Where you live appears to dictate how cleanly you live. Regionally, those in the South East and East Anglia are the most fastidious about changing their underwear, with almost 91% changing their socks and pants on a daily basis compared to just 81% of those living in the North West.


When it comes to clothes washing, 42% of British households put on a wash two or three times a week. Almost four in ten (38%) households put on four or more wash loads a week.

A large proportion of clothes are washed when they are not visibly dirty, with over half (52%) of adults wearing shirts or tops only once before putting them in the wash. Only a small minority (16%) wait for these items to look visibly dirty before washing.

In just half of homes (53%) the bedding gets washed at least once a week, but three quarters (74%) of people get the towels washed on at least a weekly basis.


Ironing tops the list of the nation's most hated laundry tasks. This household chore is hated by as many as 40% of Brits, while around the same number (37%) admit it is one of the worst household chores.

Ironing is most likely to be done just once a week, with a third (32%) of adults making ironing a weekly household chore, meanwhile, a quarter (27%) of people do ironing less than once a week or not at all.

An enthusiastic 12% of the nation are ironing addicts, ironing all clothing items including underwear. Two thirds of Brits (64%) only iron items that really need an iron.

Women's work

Some things never change. The nation's women are more than twice (79%) as likely as men (37%) to take the main responsibility for all the main laundry tasks in the home.

While the majority of men of most ages have some responsibility for laundry tasks, men aged 55 and over are significantly less likely to be involved. Just 56% of men aged 55 and over load and put on the washing machine compared to as many as 81% of men aged between 25 and 34.

Among men who are married or living with a partner, women take on the main responsibility for laundry tasks in the vast majority of homes. Only 19% of men living as a couple take the main responsibility for putting on the washing machine compared with 83% of women living with a partner.

New appliances

We are taking the environment seriously when buying new washing machines. A higher energy efficiency rating is important to 76% of adults when choosing a washing machine and using less water is important to 59% of people.

And 43% of those with responsibilities for clothes washing are doing more washing on low temperatures than a few years ago and 29% are making more use of short wash cycles to save energy and money.

Austerity Britain

So are we wearing our underwear for more than one day to economise in these tough financial times or are we just lazy, dirty so and so's?
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