When you buy a new outfit, you may not think that you should wash them before wearing them. However, new studies show that putting your new shirt or jeans could save you from serious bacteria.
According to Philip Tierno, professor of microbiology and pathology at New York University, the number of people who have tried on that blouse you bought or that dress is actually a lot higher than you think. “It’s not four or five or six people; it’s dozens and dozens … if that garment sits there for weeks or a month,” he said.
In Tierno’s study on tested clothing like blouses, pants, dresses, swimsuits, and underwear he found that the articles came out positive for norovirus, bacteria including strep and staph, and even fecal germs.
There are three main ways we spread germs: from our skin, respiratory tree (think mouth and nose) and anus, according to Tierno. So, if you touch clothing that has germs on it and then touch your mouth, eyes or nose, you’re putting yourself at risk. Though it is still a “very low” risk.
Your skin can also become irritated to the dyes and finishing chemicals used on clothes, so putting your clothes through an extra rinse cycle wouldn’t be too bad.