There’s just something about finding the perfect clothing item. It looked great on the hanger, even better on, and then the sales associate wrapped it up all in a neat package for you. We get it… once home, it’s tempting to throw on your new wears right away, but we have some news that might give you pause.


First, while the item was a keeper for you, consider the others who have tried the garment beforehand, which can be up to dozens and dozens in a large department store and depending how long the style has been out. Philip Tierno, professor of microbiology and pathology at New York University, ran tests on clothing that had been tried on in stores, but not purchased. He shared his study results with the Huffington Post. Three findings were most concerning: norovirus, strep and staph bacteria, and even fecal germs. Tierno cites that risk from contracting a serious infection via clothing is generally low. However, Columbia University Medical Center Professor of Dermatology Donald Belsito offers some more extreme cases that certainly gave us the heebie-jeebies.


“I have seen cases of lice that were possibly transmitted from trying on in the store,” he told The Wall Street Journal. “The other infestation I’ve seen from clothing is scabies.”


Even if you are fortunate enough to be the first and only to try on a piece, there are some other residues to consider. During the manufacturing process, fabrics are subjected to dyes, formaldehyde resins (many times used in wrinkle free clothing), and other chemical finishing agents, which can spark skin irritation or even a full-blown allergic reaction.


All these factors combined, both Tierno and Belsito recommend giving new wardrobe additions a good cleaning, or two, before donning. Ideally, opt for fragrance and dye-free detergents and even consider running an extra rinse cycle before drying. For more delicate or high-end/designer wears, send to a dry cleaner who specializes in green technology, so you’re not removing one agitator and replacing with another.


Fashion should be fun, not irritating… so, Sudsies agrees that you should go ahead with that pre-wash. If you are looking an environmentally-friendly dry cleaner to keep your clothes in tip-top shape from the first wearing to the last, visit us at or speak personally with one of our representatives at 1.888.898.SUDS (7837) to learn about our many convenient services.