When you buy new clothing, oftentimes you assume that you do not have to wash it because your pants, underwear or shoes are all new. Most people assume that it will be sanitary and clean, but according to an investigation from CBS 21, your brand new clothing may not be as clean as you might think. The news team conducted an experiment where they tested brand new clothing and secondhand clothing.
The Investigation Begins!
Taking the clothing to the science laboratory at Harrisburg University with Biotechnology Professor Patterkine, they tested each piece of attire for bacteria, and they found some disturbing results. All of the items had bacteria—including the women’s brand new underwear. In fact, the only item that truly remained bacteria free was a secondhand pair of shoes. We expect that new clothes will be clean, but truth is, human hands have often handled and tried them on at the store. The problem is that you never know how hygienic a stranger might be. You would not want to eat off a stranger’s plate, and likewise, you do not want to wear their clothing either.
In some cases, you are not even actually buying new clothing. Sometimes people wore the clothes for a while before they returned them to the store. Aside from bacteria issues, you also want to wash new clothing because formaldehyde has often been put on clothing to prevent bacteria growth when the clothes are being shipped.
When CBS 21 took to the streets to interview people, they found that most people had no idea that new clothing carried so much bacteria. The responses were normally that of shock and disgust that that happened. Even in closed packaging, you would not think that bacteria can form. However, when CBS 21 tested packaged underwear, they found that bacteria did grow on the underwear even inside the package, so you are never truly safe. Looking at the bacteria in the underwear what made it unique was how it was circular and yellow. That bacteria was different from what you might find on shirts. In most cases, you will want to wash new clothing, even if it has been inside of packaging because you never know where it has been.
Combat the Problem
In order to fight against bacteria, experts recommend that you wash all your new clothing on the hottest cycle available. This ensures that none of the bacteria survives when you wash it. What do you do about shoes? You cannot put them in the washer, but you can wipe the inside using an antibacterial wipe. After handling new clothes, it is recommended that you wash your hands.
The Difference between New Clothing and Secondhand Clothing
When you look at new clothing, you have a pretty obvious difference in terms of quality. What a lot of people do not look at, however, is the differences in bacteria. Actually, what is disturbing is that there was no difference. If anything, the newer clothing has more bacteria because more people sought it out. That is why it is so important to wash new clothing. What was curious about this investigation is how the secondhand shoes had no bacteria in them.
Washing new clothing is not only hygienic, it prevents diseases and rashes from unhealthy chemicals used on the clothing. Because clothing has been shipped from different countries with varying laws on chemical usage, you want to eliminate the risk of lice, bacteria and fungus. You cannot track who wore the clothing before you, and it is a small price to pay to stay hygienic and healthy.