Advertisement

Why You Should Always Wash New Undergarments

Why You Should Always Wash New Undergarments

Some retail stores have been found to sell used and unsanitary underwear.

Creepy but true: Last year, a woman in London made headlines after getting herself out of debt by selling her dirty underwear on the Internet for $60,000. If only her customer base had known their desires might be satisfied at a local chain store. It turns out, far too many retail companies are restocking returned, used undergarments—which is illegal—and unsuspecting customers are buying them.

The Dr. Oz Show launched an investigation into this retail misstep (watch it at DoctorOz.com). They purchased 11 pairs of underwear from top chain stores and sent the items out to a lab for testing. All but one tested positive for coliform bacteria, which exist in the digestive tracts of humans and are found in their waste. The good news is most coliform bacteria don’t cause disease, but they do come from the same source as some potentially pathogenic organisms. Half the samples also contained trace amounts of yeast. All but two samples were soiled with mold, which may indicate that the garments were kept in a damp factory or storage facility.

Fortunately, there haven’t been any reported cases of illness caused by wearing contaminated underwear—but chances are you wouldn’t associate diarrhea or another related GI disease with such a possible cause. So, let’s just assume you should wash all garments before wearing, even those in sealed plastic packaging. For hand-wash only undergarments, add distilled vinegar to hot water and soak them before using soap. This will disinfect like bleach without ruining them.

Create a Healthier TV Habit
Create a Healthier TV Habit
What boosts your risk for heart disease, diabetes and cancer, and could shorten your life by five yea...
Read More
What items of mine should I not share with others because of health risks?
Dr. Mehmet Oz, MDDr. Mehmet Oz, MD
While we might like to share our common household items, some of our possessions should never be...
More Answers
6 Healthy Life Hacks
6 Healthy Life Hacks6 Healthy Life Hacks6 Healthy Life Hacks6 Healthy Life Hacks
Just because you’re pressed for time, doesn’t mean your health has to suffer. Here are some tips and tricks to make being healthy easier.
Start Slideshow
What Are the Benefits and Risks of an Ice Bath?
What Are the Benefits and Risks of an Ice Bath?