Why You Should Always Wash New Clothes Before You Wear Them

It’s exciting to purchase new clothes. There’s the fun of window shopping, the thrill of trying them on, and, of course, the emotional high as you purchase them.

It’s no wonder you want to rush home and put your new clothes on, ready to show them off to your family and friends. 

Unfortunately, it’s not a good idea to wear your new clothes straight away. In fact, there are several reasons why you should invest in a specially formulated laundry detergent and ensure your clothes are properly washed before you wear them.

Coloring

Many clothes have dyes in them to create the colors and patterns that drew you to them in the first place. Unfortunately, many of the dyes can actually transfer to your skin while you’re wearing them.

At best this can make you look funny, who hasn’t experienced blue legs from their new jeans?

However, it can be much more serious than this. Most polyester or acrylic clothes are colored with azo-aniline, this type of dye is harmless to most people but, if you happen to be allergic, it will give you a nasty rash.

It’s not unlike falling in a bush of poison ivy. Of course, some reactions are less severe; you may just have dry, itchy, and inflamed skin.

Lice

The clothes are new but that doesn’t mean they haven’t been tried on by other people, who have rejected them. 

Unfortunately, people with lice, fungal issues, bacteria, or even scabies, can leave these compounds in clothes they have tried on. You won’t see them but if you start wearing the same item without washing it, you could be infected by the same bug.

Chemicals

You may not realize it but most new clothes have a chemical finishing agent. This is often urea formaldehyde; it enhances the color of the clothing, making them look even more appealing to you.

However, if you have sensitive skin this is likely to be an issue, any part of your body that is in constant contact with the item of clothing will develop a rash. 

The most common areas are the cuffs, collars, armpits, and even your thighs. All these areas are generally more sensitive.

It’s worth noting that this chemical does also serve a practical purpose. When clothes are shipped long distance they will be subject to an array of conditions, including heat. This is likely to cause moisture inside a container and lead to fungal growth.

Urea formaldehyde prevents this from growing on the clothes, ensuring they look as good when you receive them as they did in the catalog.

You should also note that one wash may not remove all the chemicals. If you have really sensitive skin you’ll need to wash your new clothes 2 or 3 times with the right detergent to avoid causing a reaction.