You just bought some new clothes, and you’re dying to wear them. But don’t — until you’ve washed them!
Even the most natural fabrics can carry things you don’t want on your skin. Skipping that pre-wear wash could lead to:
Here’s why washing, drying or airing out just about everything before you wear it is a good idea.
Some people are more sensitive to dyes and chemicals. Even if you haven’t reacted before, you might react the next time you’re exposed to a new or different chemical.
And then there are bugs of the insect or germ variety. You don’t want those.
Here are symptoms and causes of problems you might get if you don’t wash before you wear.
Causes: most likely due to:
Causes: Could be from lice or scabies (skin mites).
Both are contagious and can come from other people who tried on the clothing. Or they might even come from people who handled them during manufacturing. The bugs can’t live long without access to warm blood. But sometimes they stow away in natural fabrics.
Causes: stomach viruses or bacteria.
Other customers try on new clothes at the store or wear and return them. They just might carry bacteria you want to avoid. One is the norovirus, which can last a few days on dry clothing.
What to do
Launder everything that’s washable before you wear it. Wash sheets and towels, too.
Tips for washable clothing:
Tips for “dry-clean-only” items:
Speaking of dry cleaning, those chemicals can also cause a reaction too. Hang dry cleaned clothes out of the bag and on the line when you bring them home before you wear them.
So whether it’s new or used from your favorite boutique, it’s best to wash it first for your own overall health.
If you run into the symptoms above, let your health care provider know if you suspect the problem is from new clothing. That can help guide you to the right treatment sooner.