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3 Reasons to Wash New Clothes Before Wearing


You go clothes shopping and pick up a great new outfit. Can you put it on and wear it right away, or do you really need to wash it first?  The idea of washing brand new clothes can seem like overkill. How dirty can they possibly be? you may ask. 

The answer may surprise you. There are a few good reasons to give your new outfit a wash before you wear it out for the day. 

Reason Number One: Extra Dye

Have you ever washed something new and had it bleed dye all over your other clothes? This is especially likely to happen with new clothes, as they may have extra dye that needs to be washed out before wearing. If you don’t wash this extra dye out, the dye can bleed onto your skin, as well as onto the rest of the clothing that you’re wearing. 

If you have sensitive skin, you could develop skin rashes or dry itchy patches from the dye. Even if it doesn’t bother your skin, wearing a shirt full of extra dye could be bad for the jacket you wear over that shirt if the dye bleeds. It’s smart to wash new clothes separately before wearing to get rid of any extra dye on the clothing. 

Reason Number Two: Chemical Finishes

New clothes are often coated with chemical finishes that enhance the color or texture of the clothing. These finishes can contain potentially irritating chemicals like formaldehyde. Like dye, these chemicals won’t bother everyone but can cause rashes, itching, and dry skin in some people. 

You’re most likely to experience a skin reaction in areas where the clothes rub against the skin, like your armpits, waist, thighs, or wrists. You can have a reaction to these chemicals even if you’ve never had one before, so why not play it safe and wash your clothes before wearing? 

Reason Number Three: Previous Try-Ons

You know that when you buy new clothes it’s possible that someone has tried them on before, but you’re probably underestimating how many people have tried on the item. In a busy store, dozens of people could have tried on an article of clothing before you decided to buy it, especially if you wear a common size. Are you shopping at outlet stores that take unsold articles of clothing from other department stores and sell them at a reduced price? Those clothes have been through even more trips through the dressing room. 

That means that when you put on the clothing, you’re also putting on dead skin cells, bacteria, sweat, and other things left behind by previous people who have tried on that clothing. Lice and scabies have been found in dressing rooms and can be transmitted by wearing new clothing. If the previous person to try on that outfit – or the store employees who handled that outfit – had a virus, even that could be passed on. Avoid the potential germ fest and wash your clothing before the first wear.

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