The Shocking Reasons You Should Wash New Clothes Before Wear Them

There’s something about the first wear of a new piece of clothing, so fresh, so clean – you would think. You might want to think again, as wearing unwashed new clothes could potentially be harmful.

Okay, it won’t kill you, but according to an article on Apartment Therapy there are some pretty gross reasons why your new piece of clothing is in need of a wash before you even get a chance to take it out on the town.

First, it is very likely not the first person to have tried them on, and you’re definitely not the first person to have handled them.

Wash New Clothes Getty Images
Image: Getty Images

That doesn’t sound too bad, but Donald Belsito, a professor of dermatology at Columbia University Medical Center has raised a red flag.

“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. The other infestation I’ve seen from clothing is scabies.”

Fungus is another nasty thing that may be lingering on your clothing, says Belsito.

If fungus and lice don’t scare you, for wha ever reason, you might not be aware that all clothing is full of chemicals that can cause skin irritation and may even end up being absorbed into your body.

Laundry Room
Image: Pinterest

Dermatologist Lindsey Bordone, M.D., a board-certified dermatologist at Columbia University Medical Center, explains what there is a cocktail of chemicals in your clothes:

“When clothes are shipped, they’re also kept with some preservatives so that mold won’t grow on them during the shipping process if there’s moisture.”

Chemicals that your clothes are treated wit, such as formaldehyde resins to prevent mold and mildew and dyes, can lead to contact dermatitis and eczema outbreaks and skin irritation.

Washing new clothes doesn’t exclude new gym gear, even before you work up a sweat in it you should wash it as sweating opens your pores and allows your skin to absorb even more of the chemicals in clothing.

So that new top you picked up at the weekend, not so ‘box fresh’ then…