Is it necessary to wash new clothes before putting them on? The excitement that a new dress, shirt, or pair of jeans brings shouldn’t have you wearing it unwashed. It could cause you significant problems from skin rashes to bacterial infections, according to studies. Here are three reasons why you should wash your new clothes before wearing them.
- New Clothes May Expose You to Skin Rashes
According to dermatologists, some disperse dyes found in new clothing may cause contact dermatitis upon contact with the skin. Such dyes have allergens that may react with your skin and cause inflammation. The condition manifests as a rash and irritation on the skin a few days after exposure. Typically, the loose dye breaks away from new clothing due to the wearer’s sweating and friction. You can remove it and reduce your exposure to allergic reactions by washing new clothes before putting them on.
- New Clothing May Have Carcinogenic Chemicals
Certain brand new fabrics, such as polyester, may contain quinoline, a chemical that could cause cancer, according to a study by a group of scientists from Stockholm University in Sweden. You should beware of the chemical as the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) considers it a potential human carcinogen. The organization bases this classification on a study linking the substance to the cancerous behaviour of cells in mice.
While there are no confirmed incidences of people getting cancer from wearing new clothes, you’ll probably want to avoid the risk. Wash new clothes to reduce the number of residual chemicals that may expose you to the threat of cancer.
- Germs in Tried-On Garments
Brand new clothes—fresh from manufacturing lines—shouldn’t typically host germs. However, the risk of infection comes from clothing items that shoppers have tried on and returned in stores. Research by microbiology Professor Philip Tierno from New York University found disease-causing microorganisms in tried-on clothing such as pants, underwear, and shirts.
The discovered germs included norovirus, which causes diarrhea, fecal germs, and bacteria like strep and staph. You could get infected if you wore such clothing before washing it. As such, be sure to wash new clothes before wearing them. You never know whether some of those were tried on and put back by shoppers with contagious infections.
You may try these tips for washing and maintaining your new clothes:
- Always follow the instructions on the label to avoid accidentally shrinking or damaging new clothing. Remember to apply your laundry detergent as per the manufacturer’s guidelines. You’ll want to avoid adding too much detergent, which can leave some residue on the garment after the rinse cycle.
- Use cold water whenever possible, as washing with hot water accelerates the fabric’s wear and tear. Washing with cold water will still get you excellent results even if the garment label specifies to wash with warm water.
- To avoid damaging your clothing, be sure to turn it inside out before putting it in the laundry machine. Items with embellishments or embroidery require a higher level of care. Garment bags might be used for extra delicate items.
- Don’t bleach your clothing; it’ll damage the fibers. If you have to use a brightener, you may try vinegar instead.
- Dry your garments on the lowest heat setting and promptly remove them from the dryer. Overheating can cause new clothing to shrink and fade.
It’s not worth wearing new clothes before washing them at least once. If you have some fresh additions to your wardrobe, we are open and ready to help at Fresh & Clean Laundry. Our self-service, wash and fold, and dry cleaning facilities give you the options you need to get your laundry done quickly and cost-effectively. For any inquiries, contact us right away.
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