The dirty truth about new clothes

FRESNO, Calif.

But the dirty truth is, just because it's new, doesn't mean it's clean.

Before you slide on those brand-new jean shorts, slip on that sassy summer dress, tie the knot on your new bikini top or climb into those swimsuit bottoms, you may need to start thinking about what may be on your new clothes.

You buy them fresh off the store racks but do you wash them before you wear them?

"For some stuff I will but most of the time, no."

"Can't wait to get them on! Actually, I have on a new shirt that I bought yesterday, so, I didn't wash it."

But should you?

Secret shoppers bought new summer clothes at three major retailers, a department store, a big box chain and a discount store. Then took the clothing to a college lab for some testing.

"Well that way you have a lot of coverage on the swabs so we won't miss bacteria."

For this experiment, biology instructor Carrie Gordon had her class use a technique called T-Streaking for isolation. They gathered samples from the protective lining of the bikini bottoms, the underarm area and neckline of the summer dresses and the groin area of the shorts.

"The most common things that would probably pop up would be anything that's normal flora -- and it could be in a staph or strep group," Gordon said.

Every single dish had bacterial growth, some more than others.

A bursting pattern of black fungus from the department store dress. Along with colonies of brightly colored bacteria.

"The red one is Serratia, the little gold ones very likely are Staph Aureus."

Serratia can lead to urinary tract infections. And Staph Aureus has the potential to cause more serious Staff infections. Both the bacteria were found in the shorts bought at the big box chain.

Aside from the yuck factor, the risk from contracting anything found in this experiment is fairly low.

But the simple common sense advice from experts here: Wash your new clothes before you wear them, just to be safe.

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