How To Wash Cotton Clothes For The First Time

When it comes to garments, typically, how well and long they last you is to some extent, influenced by the treatment you give them in their first wash. 

For new cotton clothes, particularly colored clothes, bleeding is bound to occur when you don’t take measures to stop it. And the measures you can take is to add ½ cups of baking soda or vinegar during the wash cycle and the rinse cycle. You should also opt for gentle cycles and cold water. 

When it comes to drying, go for air drying and avoid the dryer which can cause color loss or slight fading. 

In this rest of the article, you’ll learn how to properly wash cotton clothes for the first time so they keep their luster for a long time.

How To Wash New Cotton Clothes

Use baking soda

Baking soda is regarded as a laundry booster. What it does is to intensify the richness of dyes on your fabric as well as prevent them from running off into the wash water. Because of this amazing property of baking soda, you can use it on your new clothes to prevent dyes from running off which will cause a slight fading in the general appearance of the new cotton cloth.

This applies to new clothes that are colored only, if you have a white shirt or pants, go ahead and wash it the way you’d normally do.

To add baking soda to your laundry, pour half a cup of it into the wash water and then ½ cup also in the rinse cycle.

The wash cycle

The most important thing when it comes to washing clothes for the first time at home, in the washer, is to configure the machine to the right settings. 

When it comes to the cycle to use, it’s best to opt for the gentle cycle. The reason for this is because rough or excessive agitation can facilitate dye or finish removal which of course would force the fabric to adopt a faded or matte appearance after coming out of the washing machine.

Additionally, if you are washing a new cotton cloth, it’s always best to use cold water. That’s because cold water is gentler on fabric dyes and finishes in comparison to hot water which has fast moving molecules that can facilitate the removal of dyes and finishes.

For the type of detergent to use on cotton, opt for any kind of detergent in any kind of form. Cotton is resistant to the wearing effects of alkalis, so you can consistently wash it with soap and detergent without running into problems. Feel free to use pods, liquid detergent and also powder detergent on cotton fabrics.

When you’re washing cotton clothes for the first time also, consider disinfecting. The reason is because you might have had your cotton clothes tested out by someone along the production chain, and you do not want to wear something someone tested out! You probably don’t know how your body will react. 

So the best thing to do is to get a fabric sanitizer or disinfectant or even use bleach on the cloth.

Most fabrics sanitizers are instructed to be used during the rinse cycle of your laundry. If you have a fabric sanitizer that instructs otherwise, then go ahead and use it that way. If you opt for the route of bleach, make sure it’s chlorine bleach and that the fabric is white. Chlorine bleach offers better disinfection properties in comparison to bleaches that are non-chlorine based. 

Non-chlorine bleaches are mostly good at removing stains and odor from clothes.

And one last thing with regards to washing cotton clothes for the first time. You can use vinegar during the rinse cycle. What this does is something similar to baking soda. 

Vinegar would help intensify the colors on your colored fabrics as well as darken black clothes. Vinegar would also help manage smell and facilitate sud removal from clothes. Vinegar in fact, has mild disinfection properties. So you can benefit from using it on your clothes. 

Be wary of using vinegar as your primary fabric sanitizer though, because it’s mostly effective against food-based pathogens.

Wash alone

One thing that can never be over emphasized is washing your new clothes alone for the first two to three washes. If you have new clothes that are ALL white, wash them together. Of different colors?  Wash them separately because there’s a likelihood of color bleeding to occur in the washer, especially if any of the garments occurs in one of the many shades of red.

Dry outside

After you’re done washing your new cotton clothes, it is always a good idea to take it outside to dry as opposed to putting it inside the dryer. The reason for this is because the dryer employs agitation as well as heat to dry clothes, which can cause dyes to be released from cotton fibers. 

In order to prevent this from happening, make sure to take the clothes outside away from direct sunlight, because it will do more harm than good, and lay it out flat to dry on a rack. After drying, fold and store in a dry area.

How to wash new cotton clothes by hand

You might probably be wondering whether or not you can wash new clothes and clothes by hand. The answer is, Yes. 

You can wash new clothes by hand but you have to make sure that you’re not scrubbing or agitating too much.

You see, the main problem of washing clothes by hand is that it creates uneven spots of pressure which would cause the overall distortion of the cotton fabric.

Because of that, machine washing is preferred because the agitation it applies is somewhat even.

So when you’re washing cotton clothes by hand, create a solution of mild detergent and water and soak the cotton inside of it for an extended period of time. Then, take out the cotton cloth and use a very soft sponge to scrub the surface of areas that are soiled or stained. After scrubbing, rinse the cotton cloth properly and take it outside to dry or put it in the dryer.

Final Thoughts

Washing old cotton clothes is easy, so also the new ones that you get from your favorite store. When you’re washing new clothes, there are some things you should do a bit differently. Like choosing a lower speed cycle, using baking soda and vinegar for color protection, and opting for air drying instead of machine drying to protect the intensity of the dyes.