The Importance of Washing Your New Clothes

It's a snowy Christmas morning. Your family wakes up early with their new Christmas presents and opens brand-matching Christmas pajamas! What do you do? Well, we hoped you washed them the night before because laundry experts say that if you want your clothes to last longer (and smell fresh), then you should always wash them before wearing them. Not just only for Christmas, but year-round. Not only is it critical to wash your winter clothing from storage during the holidays, but there are important reasons why you should wash the new clothes you received for Christmas before wearing them, as well as those you give to family and friends beforehand.


There are many laundry myths that surround the topic of new clothing. Many people believe that you should not wash your clothes before wearing them, while others think they will wear out faster if washed in advance. However, both these assumptions can be untrue, and washing new or unworn clothes prior to use is actually recommended by laundry experts around the world! The reason for this is simple.


Studies have shown that new clothes are actually dirtier than they look, and you absolutely need to run them through the washing machine at least once before wearing them. Most clothes and textiles are imported from different countries and made in factories, put on cargo planes or ships, and you don't know what they have touched or the details of where they have been. You wouldn't use a cook with a new frying pan from the store before you wash them, right? Same with clothing because when they are on display at the store, you won't know who has touched them or has tried them on in the dressing room.


As this article is being written during a pandemic, the importance of implementing this new laundry habit is even more important.


A study conducted by Dr. Donald Belsito of Columbia University Medical Center and cited in The Wall Street Journal found scabies, lice or fungus on garments in clothes found off the shelves and racks of retail stores such as H&M, Express, and Target. He discovered that textiles are sometimes treated with detergents, chemical additives, dyes, resins, or tanning agents - for example, formaldehyde in the wrinkle-free cloth - that can cause skin irritation or life-threatening toxicities such as dermatitis or eczema. Clothes that are bought online and delivered are generally kept with preservatives to prevent mold from developing on them during transit.


Here are some tips for keeping your new clothes looking new:


Always read the label carefully to avoid shrinking or damaging your clothing! You should also pay attention to the washing instructions on your laundry detergent. If you use too much, the rinse cycle may not be able to remove all the residue from your clothes.


Wash in cold water, since hot water destroys textiles more quickly. Washing a garment in cold water won't damage it and will produce equally clean results.


Turn the garment inside out before placing it in the washer to avoid staining or fading on the outside. Especially clothes with decorations, beading, or embroidery should be turned inside out before being washed.


Bleach will damage the fibers of your clothing, so avoid it. Vinegar is a natural brightener, so you might want to give it a try.


To avoid shrinkage or color fading in new clothing, use the lowest heat setting on your dryer and take it off as soon after drying as possible.


Clothing is one of the most popular gifts during the holiday season, especially those ugly Christmas sweaters. Although the danger of acquiring a significant infection or sickness from new clothes is "quite low," it is possible – especially if you have an uncovered wound on your skin. We're guessing that's enough to persuade you not to skip a wash again. At Tumble Fresh Coin Laundry, we have the biggest selection of washers and dryers, including ones that can hold up to 12 loads to help you take the proper precautions during the holiday season.