Seeing mold grow on your underwear can be pretty disgusting. It is not just because underwear is the most personal of your belongings. But also because you’ll probably wear them again knowing that mold was once on them. So, you may wonder exactly how to keep yours from growing mold.
To keep your underwear from growing mold, you’ll have to ensure they are disinfected and washed regularly. They should also be properly dried and changed once in a while.
Do you want to know more about mold growing on underwear and what to do when they infest yours? Then please keep reading as I have written about them in this article.
What Causes Mold to Grow in Underwear
Mold will grow in any place it can. Mold is a type of fungi that spreads rapidly. This swift growth is because of their reproduction process that involves releasing spores into the air. These spores land on everything around their original parents and will thrive if the new niche is conducive.
Furthermore, since most surfaces aren’t sterile, mold can survive on them. Sadly, this includes your underwear. Certain conditions make mold grow on your underwear. They include:
- Moisture: Moisture is critical for mold growth. Mold needs water from the air and its habitat to survive and reproduce. Because your underwear isn’t completely dry, mold can grow on it. Moreover, used unwashed underwear contains a lot of sweat on them. So if you leave yours in the laundry bin for long without washing it, it may come as a surprise to see mold on them.
- The material used to make the underwear: Mold pretty much grows on anything organic. So, if your underwear is made from cotton, wool, or any other organic material, it’s pretty much conducive for mold growth. Unfortunately, even if your underwear is made from synthetic fibers — nylon or polyester — mold can still grow on them. Especially if they have cotton lining or threading, this can be surprising.
- Dirt, sweat, and discharges: You may wonder why sweat and discharge are still here even though I’ve mentioned moisture. However, they aren’t here because they’re liquids; it’s because they all contain dead cells. Mold feeds on organic matter, and this includes dead cells discharged or washed off. These include dead skin cells from sweat, dead blood cells from urine, etc. All these are found on dirty underwear, and mold will spread on areas where they accumulate and grow.
What if your underwear is clean? Well, there’s a high possibility that your washing didn’t remove all the organic matter on your underwear. So, mold can still grow on them.
What Could Happen if You Wear Moldy Underwear?
It’s pretty frightening to know that mold can grow on your underwear. However, it’s even scarier when you know what would happen if you wore moldy underwear by mistake. Below are the possible consequences of wearing moldy underwear:
- Infection: Of course, infection is the first thing that will happen when you wear moldy underwear. You can get infected with mold and have a colony living in your system. Just by smelling the underwear to check if it’s neat after taking it from the wardrobe, you can get mold spores in your respiratory system. Sadly, it gets worse when you wear underwear. They could infect your genitals and cause serious problems.
Although it is rare for mold to grow in your internal genitalia because of your immune system, it still isn’t ruled out. This abnormal growth could lead to dangerous diseases that would be uncomfortable to live with.
- Allergic reactions: Allergic reactions can be a severe problem, especially when it has to do with your private regions. Mold could cause the areas of skin they come in contact with to itch. And because it’s embarrassing to scratch these in public, it can be frustrating. Also, rashes could form in the areas where the mold touched.
Apart from these, you could have sneezing bouts and asthmatic episodes if you sniffed the infected underwear you got from the drawer before wearing it. So, having mold on your underwear can be frustrating.
How to Keep Your Underwear From Growing Mold
Moving on to the heart of the matter, how exactly do you keep your underwear from growing mold?
Well, there are some ways to prevent mold growth on your underwear. These include:
- Keeping them dry: Keeping your underwear dry is one of the best ways to prevent mold from growing on your underwear. Ensure that your underwear is completely dry before folding and keeping it in the wardrobe or drawer. You could iron them after you take them off the clothesline to remove extra moisture.
Furthermore, you could use silica gel to remove moisture in your underwear. Two or three small bags of silica gel in your wardrobe or drawer is enough to keep your underwear dry enough.
Also, if your wardrobe or wherever you store your underwear is wet, make sure to take away all the clothes from it and expose it to air. This way, it will be unconducive for mold growth.
- Regular washing: It would be best if you didn’t pile up your underwear for more than three days. If you don’t want mold to grow on your underwear, you should wash your used ones regularly. This way, you’ll be killing off any mold spores and discouraging their growth. You’ll also be washing off dead cells that could be feed for the mold.
- Washing your underwear with vinegar: White vinegar is a strong disinfectant, and it’s effective in killing mold. If you notice any mold growth on your underwear, soak it in concentrated vinegar solution for about 30 minutes before washing it off. Also, bleach is good, but if you use black or colored underwear, this could be a problem. Nevertheless, if you use white underwear, it would be best to soak them in a bleach solution to kill off the mold before washing.
- Changing them yearly: Even though you take all these precautions, you could still see mold growing in your underwear over time because it’s stubborn. And they can adapt to uncomfortable situations very quickly. So it would be best to change your underwear once a year to avoid mold infestation.