Should You Wash New Clothes?

Getting new clothes in the mail, as a gift, or after a fun shopping spree is exciting! Many people feel a rush when adding to their wardrobes and want to try on their new apparel as soon as possible. However, many people wonder, “should you wash new clothes before wearing them?”

The answer is, “yes, you should wash all your brand-new clothes before putting them on your body.” While it is not the end of the world if you have worn clothes before without washing them, you should take caution. You should always clean clothes that come in direct contact with your skin.

You wash your dirty clothes to maintain good hygiene and remove the day’s dirt, sweat, and bacteria. It makes sense to apply this same logic to new clothes, as you have no idea where they started and how they got to you. Consider these important reasons why you should wash new garments.

Why You Should Wash New Clothes Before Wearing Them

If you’re wondering “should I wash new clothes before wearing them?”, the answer is yes! While clothes appear new, clean, and ready to wear on the surface, you don’t see the journey your clothing took to arrive in your hands. Many people could have touched them, and you don’t know where they sat in storage. 

You’re excited about the newness of your clothes, but taking precautions and giving them a good clean is the best first step to take. You can have your very own fashion show or try-on montage after you know your clothes are clean and safe from bacteria, chemicals, germs, and irritants. 

Do you need to wash new clothes? Consider what’s on the surface of new clothing:

  • Anti-wrinkle treatment
  • Bacteria
  • Bodily fluids
  • Dispersal dyes
  • Fungi
  • Germs

There’s no telling how you’ll react to the irritants, but why take the chance? If you have skin sensitivity, you should be washing all your new clothes to avoid an allergic reaction, skin irritation, or dermatitis flare-up. A professional dry-cleaning or laundry service will give you the cleanest results.

Why Wash Clothes Before Wearing: Top 3 Reasons

You might not see the importance of washing your clothes before wearing them, but it is a good habit to get into. Should you wash new clothes? Consider the top three reasons to wash your new clothes and the consequences that may follow if you don’t.

1. Dye Transfer

Dyes on clothing can transfer to your skin and cause irritation. Clothes with synthetic fibers may especially lead to dye transfer on your skin or other clothing. It’s never fun when your white shirt has unsightly black, red, or blue stains from another piece of clothing’s dye!

No one should have to deal with an allergic reaction while wearing new clothing. Dyes on new clothes can spark an allergic reaction in children and sensitive individuals. Washing your clothes twice (once without soap), is the best tip for avoiding a reaction or unwanted dye transfer. 

2. Bacteria, Germs, & Fungi

Regardless of where you got your clothes from, there is a strong chance that bacteria and germs are lurking on the surface. If you have purchased clothes second-hand, such as through a yard sale, vintage store, or online, you should immediately wash your clothes. You have no idea if the previous owner cleaned them and could be subjecting yourself to a multitude of unhygienic substances.

For garments that come in sealed packaging like some underwear, you might wonder, “should you wash underwear before wearing it?” Yes. Any garment that directly touches your skin should receive a thorough wash before you wear it. Clothing may appear new and come in a package, but there could be dyes or debris from the manufacturing facility on the surface.

Although it is very rare, clothes could contain mold and fungus, depending on where they came from. You certainly don’t want that on your body, and wearing it without washing it is unsanitary. If someone tried this piece of clothing on in a dressing room and put it back, it could have athlete’s foot or fungus.

3. Chemical Irritants

Fashion manufacturers and developers apply chemicals to their clothes to make them ready to sell. Because these clothes may sit in a warehouse or storage for weeks or months, they need to look brand-new on the shelves so that you want to buy them. New clothes may contain harsh chemicals like stain fighters, color preservers, and anti-wrinkle solutions. 

Unless you are experienced in the fashion industry, you, as the consumer, have no way of spotting these chemicals on your clothes. Just like with dye, clothing chemicals could irritate sensitive skin and lead to a reaction.

Keeping Your Skin Safe by Washing Your Clothes

Unfortunately, germs, bacteria, and hidden chemicals are everywhere and are often unnoticeable. However, you can enjoy your new shirts, pants, undergarments, dresses, and socks immediately after they get a good cleaning. 

Remember to read the tags for all your new clothes to see if they have any specific washing instructions, as silk, cashmere, wool, and other materials require special care. Keep whites, blacks, and colors separate and follow the advice of clothes that state “wash separately” to avoid dye transfer or skin irritation. These are some of the best tips for washing your clothes:

  • Check all tags on your new clothes for proper washing instructions.
  • Keep the same materials together whenever possible. Cotton fabrics should stay together while you keep denim separate. You’ll also save time by washing similar materials in groups.
  • Wash colors separate from white garments, as bleeding and stains could occur. Pastel colors are unlikely to bleed onto whites, so you can put them in with white clothes or by themselves.
  • Group color families together, such as cool tones of greens, blues, and grays and warm tones of reds, oranges, yellows, and browns. Black, navy blue, dark gray, and purple are typically fine to wash together, as there is almost no chance of bleeding. 

If you dislike doing your laundry or can’t find time to tackle it all, you’re not alone. Many California residents wish they could forget about cleaning their clothes. A professional laundry service may offer laundry pick-up and delivery at a low cost to help you stay on top of your busy schedule.

Get Your Clothes Clean with Martinizing Dry Cleaners

Martinizing Dry Cleaning offers top-of-the-line laundry pickup and delivery, wedding dress alterations, and other dry cleaning services in the East Bay area of California. Now that we’ve answered, “should you wash new clothes?”, let our professional team clean your clothes the right way! Call us at 925-281-7083 to schedule our top-rated dry cleaning and laundry services today.