Part of the thrill of buying new clothes is trying them on as soon as you get home. Most people aren’t aware that new clothes often contain chemicals to enhance their appearance at the retail level. These chemicals can give some people annoying side effects such as itching and rashes.
Here’s a deeper look into why it’s important to wash your new clothes before you wear them.
Why Clothing Manufacturers Use Chemicals
Several experts in the fields of textile manufacturing, dermatology, and immunology confirm that it’s wise to always wash new clothes before trying them on. Current fashion designers use several chemicals to increase the intensity of colors and enhance the texture of the fabric. These substances make clothes easier to clean and iron, as well as prevent mold and mildew from developing. Some chemicals can even make a fabric stain resistant.
Chemicals used by the fashion and textile industries for clothing include dispersal dyes, formaldehyde, and a shiny finish. These chemicals are mainly used to project a fresh appearance for retail stores and are often still present when you take your new clothes home.
Reasons for Washing New Clothes Before Wearing Them
While these chemicals do wonders to enhance the appearance and hygiene of the apparel, they can also produce uncomfortable side effects such as skin irritation. You can get a rash and feel itchy when you slip into new clothes. Redness on your skin may become visible within 24 hours of trying on the unwashed apparel. It’s possible for the rash, known as textile contact dermatitis, to last for several weeks.
Despite these side effects, clothing manufacturers aren’t required to list all the chemicals used to make their products. At the moment, it’s very difficult for consumers to figure out these ingredients through their own research. You are somewhat on your own, but as long as you use a washing machine and natural laundry detergent, you should be able to reduce or eliminate the negative effects. The main reason you wash new clothes is to make them clean and “wearable.”
Keys to Avoiding Itchy Clothing
The best way to prevent the itchiness that sometimes accompanies new clothes is to wash them a few times first before wearing them. If the label says “wash separately,” it’s an indicator the material contains dispersal dyes. You should read the label for cleaning instructions since not all clothes are effectively cleaned the same way. Certain materials that require dry cleaning can get damaged in a normal washer and dryer.
Consumers who have sensitive skin should find out which materials create negative effects and avoid them. You may be allergic to specific materials such as dyes. If that’s the case, you should look into natural fibers without intense dyes and choose looser-fitting clothes. The clothes you wear should feel comfortable.
The appropriate concentration of chemicals used in textiles is fundamental in terms of safety and social responsibility. One way to avoid dangerous chemicals in clothing is to purchase items that meet the “Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS),” which requires at least 90 percent of the materials in the product to be certified organic. The standard was developed in 2002 by the Organic Trade Association and three other global organizations. Checking the GOTS database lets you know about eco-friendly products available in the market. You can also find the GOTS certification label on organic clothing products.
Apparel experts have made it clear that consumers should wash new clothes at least twice before wearing them to avoid exposure to chemicals. At Fresh & Clean, we are your one-stop-shop for all your laundry needs, whether it be laundry or dry cleaning. Visit our website or call us today at 619-691-7626 to learn how we can help you do your laundry and dry cleaning in no time.
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