INSIDE EDITION Investigates: How Dirty Are Your Jeans?
They're probably the most popular item of clothing we wear: jeans. So it may seem crazy that considering how often we put them on, many people simply don't wash them!
So we wondered, could those unwashed jeans actually make you sick?
To find out, INSIDE EDITION's Lisa Guerrero went to her friends the Williams family in Phoenix, Arizona.
Matt Williams was a five-time All-Star third baseman who now coaches for the Arizona Diamondbacks. He wears jeans all the time.
His wife Erika has dozens of pairs of jeans in her closet, and she admits to wearing a pair of jeans for a number of days before washing them.
The Williams family had no idea that Guerrero was about to ask them to hand over their pants.
"No!" said daughter Madison Williams.
"I just started sweating," said Erika.
When they finally handed over the pants, Guerrero put the jeans in airtight plastic bags to send to a lab for microbiological testing.
INSIDE EDITION also asked Guerrero to wear her own jeans for several days without washing as part of the experiment. She also took a pair of jeans belonging to her husband, World Series-winning pitcher Scott Erickson, and sent them both to the lab.
After a week, the lab, Situ Biosciences, outside Chicago, had disturbing results. The highest number of bacteria came from the "seat" of all those jeans!
Guerrero returned to the Williams family to share the test results.
It turns out the dirtiest jeans in the Williams family belonged to the guys, Matt and son Jake.
"What a proud moment," said Matt.
Their jeans were chock-full of a bacterium called Micrococcus luteus, a common bacteria found in soil, dirt, and grease.
Guerrero returned the pants, but no one was anxious to put them back on.
But of all the jeans that INSIDE EDITION tested, Lisa Guerrero's were the worst!
By not washing her jeans for a few days, she picked up a serious bacterium, Staphylococcus, which can cause everything from stomach flu to deadly MRSA.
So what can you do to keep your jeans germ-free?
- Wash them in hot water and make sure you dry them completely. Bacteria thrive in a moist environment.
- Be sure to store them away from other clothes. Don't pack jeans tightly together in the closet since bacteria can move from garment to garment.