Grody garments: Edmonton scientists study the biology of B.O.
Donate your stinky clothes to science
If you have a piece of clothing that reeks, even after hours of soaking and scrubbing, your first instinct may be to trash it — to rid your home closet of the putrid smell.
But don't throw it away.
Donate those polluted clothes to science.
A team of Edmonton researchers want your dirty laundry.
Your foul-smelling clothes could help University of Alberta textile scientists pinpoint which fabrics are more prone to odour build-up.
That's right, they've made a study out of the biology of B.O.
Rachel McQueen, a professor with the department of human ecology, needs 100 to 200 different samples of grody garments to complete her research.
"This is a sort of inquiry around what is the type of clothing that people have where there is this persistent odour they can not get rid of it, even though it's been freshly laundered, it still stinks, "McQueen said during a Wednesday morning interview on CBC Edmonton's Radio Active.
Pit stop stench
McQueen's previous studies have looked at how textiles are affected by body odour. She measures bacteria counts, and has even used panels of 'judges' to sniff out the most offensive smells.
But for this round of research, she's most interested in clothes sullied by smelly under-pits.
She's also searching for clothes that only being to emit old fumes after a few hours of wear.
"You put it on again and start going about your normal activities and within a very short space of time, you can smell that old stale odour, you know, that's not you, you're not that smelly, but it's come back," McQueen said.
"We want to collect and characterize those fabrics."
The "reeky" clothing can be dropped off in the main foyer of the Human Ecology Building, located at 116th Street and 89th Avenue, Monday to Friday between 7 a.m. and 6 p.m.
People who do not have smelly specimens on-hand, but who have gotten rid of stinky clothes in the past can also contribute by filling out an online survey about their experience.
McQueen hopes to help rid the rid the world of body odour, one smelly T-shirt at a time.
"This certainly could influence consumers on what they might purchase," said McQueen.
"And well as the potential for industry and researchers to hopefully solve the problem of those stinky clothes in the future."