Should You be Washing New Clothes Before Wearing Them?

We’ve all heard it before; ‘Always wash new clothes before wearing them.’ But do we need to delay the debut of that flattering new outfit, or is this just another old wives’ tale you can safely ignore?


As it turns out, Grandma may know what she’s talking about. If you slip into that new pair of pants without washing them, there’s a chance you may pay the price for it—an itchy, uncomfortable price. So, if you’re chomping at the bit to flaunt that new outfit, you’ll want to pencil in a trip to the laundromat sooner than you planned. Here’s why.


New Clothes are More Used Than You Think

Think about it, regardless of where you’re shopping, your clothes have likely been touched or tried on by many different people before finding their way into your hands. Germs and other nasties are more than capable of jumping ship from customer to clothing during the try-on phase – so it only makes sense to wash the clothing before wearing it.

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Loose Dye Transfer from New Clothes

New clothing can wreak havoc on your health if you don’t wash it before wearing it due to the dye used in manufacturing. Most synthetic fabrics contain azo-aniline dyes. These dyes can cause severe skin reactions for people, especially children allergic to them. Your rush to jump into that new outfit can easily lead to an itchy rash and inflamed patches of skin.


Your Clothing may Contain Harmful Chemicals

Wash new clothes to remove chemical finishes like Urea-formaldehyde and prevent them from damaging your skin. Manufacturers use this chemical to enhance texture and reduce wrinkles in clothing. These chemicals may not bother everyone, but those with sensitive skin can develop a serve rash, especially in high contact areas like collars, armpits, waists, and thighs.


New Clothing is a home for Germs and Bugs

Now that you’ve started to itch, we’ll get a little crawly too. Unwashed clothing, as in that cool new shirt you just bought, might be harbouring creepy crawlies just waiting for a willing host. Clothing that has been in and out of changing rooms, only to end up back on the rack can transmit viruses ranging from COVID-19 to the flue, as well as bacteria, lice, and mites. A quick wash will always help avoid stowaways hiding in your new outfit.


Look Good and Feel Better by Washing Your new Clothes

A new outfit not looking quite the same as when you tried it on may be the least of your problems when buying new clothes. Wash new clothes before wearing them to avoid the potentially harmful chemicals and creepy crawlies that may be hiding in that new dress. So, before you bust out that new fit, head to our Palmerston North laundry location or other conveniently situated laundromats across New Zealand to ensure you look good and feel good in that new outfit.