Not washing before wearing? GROSS! - - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

Not washing before wearing? GROSS!

By Sara Story - bio | email
Posted by Ellen Krafve - bio | email

TYLER, TX (KLTV) - New clothes, straight from the store, are something you may think are squeaky clean. But, just because it is wearing a price tag does not mean it is not full of bacteria.

Putting new clothes to the test, we found out what could be living in your new outfit and if it is harmful.

It is something your mom always told you: Wash your new clothes before wearing them.

Putting the phrase to the test, we found out it is valid.

"There's bacteria on all of them," said Dr. Richard Wallace, an infectious disease specialist with UTHSCT.

Our sample of clothes came from five East Texas stores. They consisted of men's and women's underwear and outwear. Ranging in prices, all of them were new.

Dr. Wallace did not think they would find anything.

"It seems like it is fresh out of the place that makes them and people don't even touch them," he said.

After swabbing each piece of clothing they found surprising results.

"That looks nasty...armpits," said Angela Lanphier, a microbiologist at UTHSCT.

We waited a week for the results. The most sterile piece of clothing was a woman's jacket.

"You wouldn't be surprised," said Wallace. "Normally people have shirts on underneath so skin contact is very small."

One woman's bra was swimming in germs. But, the award for the dirtiest was a men's collared shirt. It was the only piece of clothing hosting harmful gram negative bacteria.

"In the appropriate person, it could potentially cause disease," explained Wallace.

The bacteria on the other items turned out unharmful. It was simply normal skin bacteria. But, Wallace says it proves they have been tried on and worn. If he tested more, he is concerned he would find MRSA. A bacteria linked to staph infections.

"That can affect people who are perfectly normal health-wise, they can still get a big boil or abscess that has to be drained," said Wallace.

So wash before you wear. It is a step towards protecting your health.

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