Why you should wash new clothes before wearing them

Whether your closet is a mess or not, when it comes to new clothes there’s a universal spot that everybody puts them in the closet: the top of the pile. Most of the time, we don’t wait more than one day to wear them and show to the entire world how cool we are now..

However, you should calm down a bit next time you go shopping and wash your new clothes (at least) once before wearing them. Yes, I know what you’re thinking: “but they are new, why should I?” Well, there are several (and not so banal) reasons why you should wash your brand new clothes.

They might contain potential chemicals

Your average clothing comes from several different countries – each with a different set of ‘safety requirements’ regarding production. Sometimes to prevent clothes from growing bacteria or wrinkles, they are sprayed with formaldehyde resin. Do you know what formaldehyde is used for, other than clothes? To preserve bodies during funerals.

If a person is seriously allergic to formaldehyde, it can cause red, itchy, scaly rashes especially in the areas where our body sweat the most, such as the waist, neck and thighs or around the armpits. That’s not the only chemical on it – clothes are sometimes dyed with azo-aniline dyes which also cause rashes. Surely red rashes don’t fit with your new t-shirt or new pair of jeans, anyway.

100% natural materials? Not completely true

To produce your 100% cotton t-shirt, things are not as easy as they seem. To grow cheap cotton, pesticides are commonly used. Once the item arrives in the store, it might still retain the substances used on it before.

So, washing your brand new clothes once or twice before wearing them won’t reduce their organic nature and it will just be safer for you!

New doesn’t mean clean

Have you ever thought about all the people that have tried that t-shirt before you? Well, whether you  believe that  or not, it’s the truth. A study has found out that new clothes can be heavily contaminated with staph bacteria and a stomach virus (norovirus, which causes diarrhea). Also, some clothes were found with traces of vaginal organisms, skin flora and (yuck) fecal flora. Remember, no matter how clean they look, dressing rooms are breeding grounds for bacteria, lice, and fungus.

Of course, this doesn’t mean that you will necessarily get sick because of this, but a quick jump into the washing machine doesn’t sound like such a bad idea.

So, next time you come back home after a shopping session, follow these instructions: calm down, take a deep breath and put everything into the washing machine. Waiting one day more to wear your cool new clothes will just be better, promise!

by Marta Ciaraglia