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Publié le 18 November 2022

Why you should wash your new clothes before wearing them

New clothes smell good, but maybe too good. Unless you're buying a garment explicitly designed not to be washed, like those dresses marked "dry clean only", new clothes almost always contain chemicals used during manufacturing that can be allergenic. What should you do? By washing your clothes before you wear them, you will eliminate most of the chemicals used in the manufacturing process and reduce any odors from storage conditions prior to purchase.

What chemicals are used in the manufacturing process?

Many different chemicals are used in the manufacturing process. The main ones are:
  • Dyes.
Although most synthetic dyes are considered safe, some people may be sensitive or allergic to them. Dyes are generally used on cotton, linen and other natural fibers. If you are allergic to any of them, you must be careful what you buy.
  • Finishes.
Many different finishes are used in the apparel industry.
  • Manufacturing aids.
They are used during manufacturing to facilitate processes such as cutting and sewing.
  • Antimicrobial.
They are added to fabrics to help them repel bacteria and stay fresh. Unlike other chemicals, they are used more often on synthetic fabrics - such as acrylic, nylon and polyester - than on natural fibers like cotton and linen.

Why should you wash your clothes before wearing them?

New clothes smell good, but this smell can be due to chemical finishes which can cause allergies in some people. There are many reasons why you should wash your clothes before wearing them. Washing them before you wear them gets rid of the chemicals used in manufacturing, reduces odors from storage conditions prior to purchase, and gets rid of dust, lint and other elements trapped in the fabric from the factory. All of these elements can be dangerous if they come into contact with your skin. If you are sensitive or allergic to these elements, it is necessary to wash your clothes before wearing them.Washing your clothes before wearing them is also important to stabilize the color of dark clothes.  

Tips for safe washing of your new clothes.

  • Always clean dark and white fabrics separately. Dark colors contain many of the same chemicals used to bleach whites, so they react with bleach in the same way as whites. If you wash the dark fabrics with the whites, the colors of the dark fabrics may bleed and turn them dull or gray, and the white fabrics may fade.
  • Choose the right detergent. Cleaning products come in many different materials and varieties, so you need to choose a detergent that is safe for your garment fabrics. Check the care label on the garment or look for the symbols on the detergent package.
  • Use the right amount of water. When washing clothes, the water should be warm but not hot. Hot water is not necessary to clean fabrics and may even cause color loss and damage to some fabrics.
  • Do not use fabric softener or dryer sheets. Fabric softeners and dryer sheets are toxic products that harm both the environment and your health. They contain perfluorinated chemicals (PFCs) that are toxic and dangerous when released into the environment. They can also be allergenic for some people
Washing your clothes before you wear them helps remove harmful chemicals and odors they may contain, as well as dirt, lint and other elements trapped in the fabric from the factory. When buying new clothes, always check the care label to see if they can be machine washed or if they should be hand washed. When in doubt, always follow the manufacturer's instructions. New clothes are fresh and clean, but they are rarely clean enough to wear without washing.

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