Why you should wash new store-bought clothes: fecal & other bacteria

You should wash those new clothes before you wear them!


Because scientists say they may harbor fecal germs, norovirus and other bacteria, such as strep and staph.

Fox News reports, April 12, 2018, that Philip Tierno, professor of microbiology and pathology at New York University, told Huffington Post his studies indicate germ counts are quite high on garments featured for sale in stores because many people have tried them on and deposited germs from their skin, respiratory tree and anus. “It’s not four or five or six people; it’s dozens and dozens … if that garment sits there for weeks or a month.” Even touching germ-infested clothing puts one at risk. Tierno said many clothing items are also treated with chemical-finishing agents and dyes that can irritate the skin.

Donald Belsito, a professor of dermatology at Columbia University Medical Center, told the Wall Street Journal he has seen unwashed store-bought garments facilitate the spread of scabies, lice, fungus and infectious diseases.

Tori Patrick, a former retail saleswoman, told Good Morning America: “A lot of people just come home and if it has a tag attached, they think it’s brand new and they wear it. You really never know where it’s been.”

Some choice readers’ comments on the FoxNews article:

“Oh great another thing that will kill us.”

“My daughter-in-law worked in a ladies clothing store and she said she saw lots of fat, sweaty women try on clothing, so she washes everything she buys before she wears it.”

“My sister worked at the Gap in high school, you’d be surprised how often people left poo-filled pants in the changing room”

“Imagine the bacteria in Hillary’s clothes. The Secret Service has said she had bad body odor.”

“I am never shopping again. . .”


26 responses to “Why you should wash new store-bought clothes: fecal & other bacteria

  1. Reblogged this on kommonsentsjane and commented:

    Reblogged on kommonsentsjane/blogkommonsents.

    For your information.


    Liked by 1 person

  2. must be some nasty ass stores to second hand thrift shops the author goes too…


  3. I wear nothing but white, not because I buy them that way, because I bleach the hell out of everything I buy.
    Some call me the ‘White Knight’.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Yes. This is an excellent idea and it has always been one of my protocols: I always wash new jeans first, to rid them of any excess dye, and, because new stiff jeans chafe my skin.
    When I do my laundry at the laundromat, I always put a bit too much detergent in it, and I also either put a touch of vinegar in with the soap, or I spray Lysol when the water goes down, in order to kill any germs left over from the previous user. Then I always do the wash a SECOND time without adding anything: This gets rid of the excess soap and really rinses everything out. And vinegar can be a good bleach substitute, provided you don’t use too much of it, as it can make the colors run. (About an ounce is plenty).
    We have to be careful in public places, because no one knows what is lurking. In the boarding house I live in, I always wash and rinse the shower stall out before I use it, too.

    Good hygiene is ESSENTIAL to good health!

    Liked by 5 people

    • Steven . . . . Your comments were excellent.

      Upon my father’s death, I inherited his four-plex. One of my nephews just moved into a vacant apartment upstairs. As I was preparing it for him to move in, although I go through the same procedure for every new tenant–I scrub the toilet, wash basin with bleach. I purchased a “steam cleaner” which I had him use in the shower (after it had already been cleaned using a chemical cleaner.) I always put up a brand new shower curtain just before each new tenant moves in. Much to Andy’s amazement that I clean the floor, by spraying a cleaner onto the floor, then wiping off with paper toweling.

      Not to gag any of you, but after the last tenant moved out, and I was cleaning the kitchen floor, using my method of spraying the cleaner on the floor–then shipping the spray off, which allows one to really pick up any debris you may find on the floor; I found on the floor what could only be described as pubic hair.

      I happened to tell Andy about this, that this tenant had evidently used his mop in both the kitchen and bathroom, and that it was for the very reason that I never use a “regular mop.” As a consequence of this conversation with my nephew, he decided he was going to go purchase a new mop–I suppose so that he would not be bringing “anything with him from his previous apartment.”

      I would not want to sit in someone else’s dirty bath water. For that reason, I always go the extra mile in cleaning after someone has left an apartment. Many prospective renter’s comment on how clean the apartment is when they come to see it. I would not have it any other way.

      I also always wash any new garments before wearing them. I feel you just cannot be too careful about coming in contact with germs that may have been left by someone else.

      Thankfully, I have my own washer and dryer, which no one else uses . . . otherwise, I would have to revert to some variation of the method Steven uses. I always feel profoundly sorry for individuals who have to use a launderette, I feel as Steven does–it’s just not completely sanitary to use those washers/dryers that only knows who has been using.

      None of us knows who may have previously tried on garments we at purchasing. If I order from a catalog, I always feel rather ticked off if I get a garment that you can tell has been repackaged because it was returned by a previous customer. I must admit, if the garment say is one which must be dry cleaned–it is not out of the question for me to just return it to the company, saying I had changed my mind, and did not want the garment.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I made washing clothes before wearing them a high priority many years ago. I just felt better doing it. Now I can say I have a reason.

    Liked by 3 people

  6. I thought everybody did that. In my house we have ALWAYS washed clothes we buy before wearing them. Besides the manufacturing, you don’t know who (or what!) has handled them.

    Liked by 3 people

  7. Even if the germs were not an issue I always wash everything about three times because of the chemicals in the fabric. Manufactures use formaldehyde and other chemicals to preserve and keep clothes from wrinkling in shipment. Formaldehyde is nasty stuff. Then there is the fact that everything is coming from China and India etc. and they literally fumigate the containers for insects. I was at the store one day as they were opening a shipment and I was almost knocked out by the insecticide smell. As well, the perfumes other women have on leave the overwhelming chemical stench on the clothing that you can barely get out with washing. I quite consider anything from the store contaminated and act accordingly .

    Liked by 5 people

    • Some of those Chinese products have toxic chemicals that will rot the wheels off your skateboard.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Lana . . . . Very well stated. I really hate getting stuff from both China and Indian. They utilize far too much chemicals in the manufacture of items they sell. What an excellent statement, “I consider anything from the store contaminated and act accordingly.”


  8. Always been SOP in my house…..
    “Speaking the truth in times of universal deceit is a revolutionary act.” Geo. Orwell

    Liked by 2 people

  9. Helen V. Garvey

    Hi : So glad I buy everything online.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I know some close relatives who will buy a fairly expensive blouse (or jeans, whatever), go for a night out on the town (with tag still in place), then return the item purchased.

    That’s why many places no longer offer a cash refund, but instead will offer store credit.

    Liked by 3 people

  11. Gaaaah! I’ll go with “I am never shopping again. . .” !!

    Good to know re shipping crates full of clothing are fumigated with insecticide! Never thought about it.

    White Knight’s comment was hilarious. I’m a bleach fan, too, & “color-safe bleach” for colored items.

    Jackie Puppet’s comment: Good grief, how low-life can people be, to “buy” something on purpose to only wear once & then take it back. Who thinks of such things!

    Agree that online clothing purchases would not be safe either. And that includes everything: towels, bedding, etc.

    Clothes are a royal pain in general: Looking shopping hunting, finding things that fit, too long, too short (slacks, long sleeves, etc.), cleavages too low these days, hemming & alterations if things don’t fit, some items require ghastly dry-cleaning, washing, ironing, then they wear out, fade out, etc. (& those are usually your favorites, naturally). Wash Rinse Repeat back to hunting looking shopping. Imagine all the time & energy/effort spent on clothes alone. Adam & Eve had it good in the beginning & didn’t realize it.

    Liked by 2 people

  12. About the only thing I buy in person clothing-wise is jeans.

    And I wash them at least four times because new jeans are like wearing sand paper until they are broken in.

    Everything else I buy online.

    Liked by 1 person

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