It’s not an easy question to answer: to wash or not to wash new clothes before wearing them. I know, right? On one hand, there’s that extra polished off look that comes with wearing anything new, and on the other, you have this wealth of hidden knowledge concerning all that happened to the garment before it landed into your closet. So you’re not really sure what to do?
But here’s the route dermatologists say you should follow.
According to the dermatologist, all new clothes should be washed prior to wearing. That’s the best way to remove excess chemicals that are on them which can trigger allergic reactions in sensitive people. Washing clothes also has the added benefit of removing allergens that may have been left out by testers.
Below, we’ll discuss more on why you should wash clothes before wearing them.
Why You Should Wash New Clothes Before Wearing
New clothes contain chemicals
Many chemicals are used to give clothes that final finish look which we all love. Without them, you won’t really admire new clothes the way you do now. The chemicals help to add a rich intensity to clothes as well as affect their texture in a way that makes them feel premium. On the other hand, too much of it is used, and deliberately, and that can actually irritate your skin when it comes in contact with it.
Wash off excess dye
This may or may not be a good thing, but washing your clothes would help get rid of excess dye on the clothes. This is a good thing for people with sensitive skin as having the dyes touch their skin can trigger allergic reactions. But for those that arent sensitive, they’d be losing out on that polished off look that only new clothes can ever deliver, by washing them before wearing.
Remove anything remaining from the previous wearer
One thing about some clothes is that they are tested during production, and wearing them means you’re wearing over what the third party tester has left off in the clothes. Depending on your position on the sensitivity scale, you may or may not be affected adversely.
To avoid any complications from that respect, it’s best to just wash new clothes before wearing them.
How to wash brand new clothes?
In the points we made earlier, we discussed how wearing new clothes without washing them can affect your health and be bad in some ways. Now let’s talk about how you can actually wash new clothes prior to wearing them.
First of all, look for that sturdy container of salt and hold on tight to it. It’s the first thing you actually need.
Salt is pretty good at keeping bright colored clothes bright and preventing them from running off their clothes. This makes it super beneficial to use on new clothes.
When it comes to using salt for this purpose, you only need ½ cups in the wash cycle with your regular color safe detergents and you’re good to go. If the clothes run off from the get go, (check the second to the last heading below to learn how to determine if clothes run off), then you should wash it inside out in a mesh bag as a double layer protection in addition to using salt.
You can also benefit greatly from using detergents like Woolite that preserve the intensity of colored clothes and also are generally safe on their fibers.
How to sanitize new clothes without washing?
Really, we only know so much concerning all that happened prior to clothes landing on our shelves. The safest course of action would be to sanitize these clothes properly before using them, even with or without washing the clothes. So how do we sanitize new clothes?
Ever heard of laundry sanitizers? They’re super great and easy to achieve sanitization and disinfection of your new clothes. Popular brands of detergents make them, like Lysol, Clorox, and even Zolflora.
The instructions on how to use them might differ, but most are added to the rinse cycle of laundry. So it’s a safe bet to add them to the fabric softener compartment of your laundry machine so it gets dispensed around that time. Still, check the product label and stick to the instructions provided there!
If you’re using bleach, then that’s another great disinfectant. Use chlorine bleach only for new white clothes and non-chlorine bleach for all kinds of clothing including white clothes.
They’ll help tackle bacteria and other pathogenic growth that may have already begun activities inside the clothes. Plus, they’re great ways to remove allergens and other things that might have been left off in the clothes by the tester.
Let’s talk babies
As you know already, babies are more sensitive in comparison to adults. So while you might get away with not washing new clothes before wearing, babies won’t, and thus make it a point of duty to always wash their new clothes before putting it on them for the first time.
Do you wash new clothes with old clothes?
When it comes to washing new clothes, do that separately, and away from old clothes.
Sort new clothes based on colors (if you have many of them to wash), and launder this way to prevent color transfer in the washer from darker or richer clothes to lighter clothes.
If you have clothes that are heavier than some, like jeans or jackets, wash these separately too to prevent snagging of delicates in the washer.
Testing if your clothes are colorfast and will bleed is pretty easy. Find an inconspicuous area of the cloth like the seam or hem, and use a cotton swab moistened with water to dab continuously over the area. Observe if there is color transfer, and if yes, then avoid pairing that cloth with any other cloth in the washer, otherwise, it will run off dye and ruin other clothes.
When it comes to new clothes, washing them before wearing is better because you could easily avoid a host of problems from doing so. They might fade and not look as aesthetically pleasing as you first brought them in, but this trade off is so much worth it, considering your health is what is on the line.
For baby clothes, don’t ever gamble, WASH THEM ALWAYS to rid them off any lingering substance that can trigger sensitivity in them.