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Here's why you should always wash new clothes before wearing them

Do you wash new clothes before wearing? If not, then you should definitely read this.

Written by Naz Haider |Updated : January 27, 2017 6:01 PM IST

Washing clothes before wearing is a rule that I follow for my baby and for myself. However, I have realised that a lot of people have no qualms about wearing new clothes without washing. Now washing clothes before buying is something that naturally makes sense to me, because the cloth material has undergone so many processes, then has been to so many places, must have been handled by so many different hands and packed in different materials, before it even reached the retailer. So it is simply a hygiene practice for me to wash it before wearing. However, a lot of people aren't convinced about it, so here are specific reasons why you should wash new clothes before wearing.

  1. A lot of people try the clothes in the store: Do you even know how many people try the clothes in the stores. So many people, sweaty, (sometimes) dirty people. People who might have god knows what skin problems, maybe lice. Maybe I am overthinking, but it is a possibility. You don't want to catch a skin infection just because you cannot be bothered with washing your new clothes.
  2. Chemicals used in dyes can irritate the skin: You have no idea about the number of dyes used in clothes. Natural fibres do not come in colours, so obviously you need to dye them to get a good colour. Most dye used to colour fabrics are azo textile dyes [1]. The more colourful, more vibrant a cloth is, the more dye it contains. Azo dyes are known skin irritants and can also cause dermatitis and skin allergies. When you wash a cloth, you wash away the excessive dyes too.
  3. Clothes are extensively starched to keep away wrinkles: With so many people trying the clothes at the store, the apparels are bound to get wrinkles. To avoid this, most clothes are extensively starched to keep wrinkles at bay. Yes, we also starch our clothes at home, but the quantity is not to the extent to what the manufacturers use. So it is better to wash the clothes beforehand to wash away the excess starch too.

Reference

Saunders H, O'Brien T, Nixon R. Textile dye allergic contact dermatitis following paraphenylenediamine sensitization from a temporary tattoo. Australas J Dermatol. 2004 Nov;45(4):229-31. PubMed PMID: 15527435.

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