To wash or not to wash? That is the question many of us ask ourselves when it comes to new clothes. It’s a question I’ve asked myself many times in the past, but until recently, I had no idea how important the answer would turn out to be!
The answer is a resounding yes, you should wash new clothes before wearing them. Today I’ll be explaining the various reasons why it’s a good practice, and sharing useful tips that will help you make the process quick and easy! :-)
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3 Reasons Why You Should Wash New Clothes Before Wearing Them
1. Loose Dye Transfer
New clothes often have a small amount of dye resting on the surface that wasn’t absorbed during the dyeing process. If you don’t wash the item before you wear it, that loose dye could transfer onto your skin or other clothes.
Aside from being a bit messy, dye transfer can also lead to a rash-like skin condition called allergic contact dermatitis. Washing your clothes before wearing them is the simplest way to remove any potentially irritating loose dye that may be lingering on the fabric.
2. Bacteria & Insects
There’s no telling what may be lingering the fabric of new clothing. If the item was tried on by other people before you bought it, it could easily contain bacteria or even small insects like lice carried by those individuals.
Rather than leave it to chance, just wash the item in hot water to eliminate any bacteria or pests lurking in the fabric.
During production, new clothes are treated with all sorts of chemicals to protect them in transit. The chemicals include stain repellents, color fasteners, anti-wrinkle agents, softness enhancers, and more.
And when clothing is shipped over long distances, manufacturers may even treat it with urea-formaldehyde to help prevent mildew from forming on the fabric. You definitely don’t want that on your skin, so that’s reason enough to wash new clothes before wearing them!
5 Tips & Tricks To Wash New Clothes
Tip #1 – Wash Them Alone
It’s a good idea to wash new clothing alone if possible. This will prevent chemicals and loose dye from transferring to other items in the wash.
Tip #2 – Use Gentle Detergent
If you’re washing clothes for babies or people with sensitive skin, be sure to use a gentle detergent. Detergents that are free of fragrances and dyes are the best choice for sensitive skin!
Tip #3 – Don’t Forget Towels & Linens
It’s not just new clothes that should be washed—towels and linens should get the same treatment too! Washing new towels can also help improve their absorbency by removing any protective surface coatings.
Tip #4 – Wash New-To-You Items Too
Even though secondhand items are usually cleaned before they are offered up for resale, it’s a good idea to wash them when you bring them home. At the very least, it will ensure that no one in your family has a reaction to whatever detergents or fabric softeners the secondhand shop used to clean the item originally.
Tip #5 – Use Vinegar For Odors
If you’re washing a new or new-to-you clothing item that has a particularly strong smell, add one cup of white vinegar to the rinse cycle. Vinegar is highly effective at neutralizing odors in fabric, and it’s a great natural fabric softener too!
What was the last new item of clothing you bought?