Why You Should Always Wash New Clothes Before Wearing Them

Credit: Austin Watts.
This story was originally published on May 26, 2015.
Often, the first thing most of us do after a day of shopping is either hang our new purchases in the closet, or — if we're feeling particularly impatient — try them on in the comfort of our own bedroom. But, it turns out there’s an important extra step between buying new clothes, and actually wearing them that many people neglect. Experts say new clothes should always be sent through the washing machine — because, contrary to popular belief, even the cleanest-looking, freshly-packed materials aren't really clean.
Advertisement

As Donald Belsito, a professor of dermatology at Columbia University Medical Center in New York, told WSJ, new clothing often contains harmful chemicals that can cause rashes and itchiness. Despite the "made-in" label on many store-bought purchases, items are often stitched, dyed, and sent out from various countries, each with different chemical use laws. Clothes containing common ingredients such as azo-aniline dyes, or formaldehyde resin can cause skin irritation — although, sending them through a wash can prevent this.

However, the ickiest clothing culprits come from the stores themselves. According to Belsito, dressing rooms are breeding grounds for bacteria, lice, and fungus. “I have seen cases of lice that were possibly transmitted from trying on in the store, and there are certain infectious diseases that can be passed on through clothing,” he tells WSJ. There's no way to really track who's tried on the clothes before you did, so rather than take the risk of a possible allergic reaction (or worse), Belsito recommends running the washing machine, twice. After all, waiting a couple extra hours before you slip on your new outfit is a small price to pay for health and hygiene. (WSJ)

More style scoop:
A Party Dress That Can Go In The Laundry? Yes, Please
How Often Should You Be Washing Your Clothes?
Do You Really Need To Wash Your Leggings After Every Workout?


Like this post? There's more. Get tons of style secrets, insider shopping dish, fashion news, and more on the Refinery29 Fashion Facebook page!
Advertisement

More from Shopping

Some trends are easy to dive into head-first: Give us all the athleisure in the world, and we're definitely not complaining. Because no matter how many ...
We first heard about Nike's plans to really, truly make the self-lacing sneakers from Back to the Future Part II a reality back in March, after the ...
This story was originally published on October 8, 2015. You can expect to see a certain set of characters at every Halloween party. Cher Horowitz is in ...
Flex dancing, a dance form characterized by rhythmic waving, gliding, and contorting of the body, is often thought of as a man’s world. But there are a few...
Kendall Jenner recently admitted that she's always either braless or in a bralette, and she's not the only one. Tons of women (regardless of chest size) ...
Velvet in fall is like florals in spring; we've seen it before, and chances are high that we'll see it again every single year hereafter. That being said, ...
Let's face it: When it comes to buying shoes, we (unfortunately) can't purchase the entire store in one go (but if you can and you got that $$$, shoutout ...
(Paid Content) Classic white Keds have been in my shoe rotation since I was a wee one. As a picky shopper early on, this simple and economical option was ...
The hunt for good-looking, affordable clothing (and accessories) can have you feeling like you're about to rip your hair out. Sure, you might happen across...
Get the skinny on your skivvies, right this way
People travel near and far to shop in New York City. And, why wouldn't they? It's practically the shopping mecca of North America. There are flagship ...
Butts: We all have them, and lately they've become a hot topic of conversation. Here at R29 HQ, we cherish derrieres of all shapes and sizes — and, we're ...
Once tights season rolls around in just a few short weeks, discussions about the quest for the perfect pair (affordable, comfortable, and rip-resistant, ...
It seems like Zara, the reigning champion of all things fast fashion, is taking notice of many shoppers' slowly but steadily developing buying habits. On ...