Should New Clothes Always Be Washed Before They Are Worn

Should New Clothes Always Be Washed Before They Are Worn
Admittedly this may seem like a rather odd thing to do - considering that a large proportion of the new clothing that we buy usually looks and appears to be clean - as well as freshly pressed too.

But - as its now generally considered advisable to wash anything we buy before wearing or using it and is very definitely recommended for any items that come into contact or are worn next to the skin.

The reason being - as there is now strong evidence to support the fact - that as the majority of all new clothes - yes even those in sealed packages - are not only loaded with harsh dyes and chemicals - including formaldehyde - that all have the potential to cause skin irritation or an allergic reaction - but more importantly - as there are a number of infectious diseases - that can live in and be passed on through material and clothing - and there is no way of tracking where, how or who handled these items prior to them reaching your home or in the case of store bought clothes any way of knowing who has tried them on before you did - there is always the possibility that something very unpleasant could be lurking in your newly acquired purchase.

It does make you wonder - as not everyone does this - should we or shouldn’t we - all be taking this advice seriously enough to actually do it.


Jonathan Solomon

Most of the time, yes

In most cases, I agree that new clothes should be washed before being worn. Especially when those clothes were bought from a department store instead of freshly ordered online. Most of the time, people touch and try on clothes they don't even buy. Because of this, it's best to give your newly bought clothes a spin in the washing machine for hygienic purposes. In the past, I haven't always done this. Though nowadays it has become habitual to wash new clothes before I put them on.
Posted by Jonathan Solomon on 08-03-2017


I don't know who or how many people tried on the clothing before me or how they were stored so I like washing new clothes before wearing them. Also, there is always a smell to new clothes that I don't really like. Although I've never gotten any sort of irritation from new clothes, I'm sure that they contain harsh chemicals and dyes so I feel better wearing them after they've been washed.
Posted by lilac123 on 08-06-2017

I totally agree!

It is very important that the clothes we buy to be washed before we dress them. I know that some clothes are painted or treated with some chemicals, and if we don't wash them we may get an allergy from those chemicals, or it can affect our skin. I always wash clothes that I buy before I wear them!
Posted by wallet on 08-02-2017

Just in case

You never know where those clothes have been before. Are they safe to wear? Were they in contact with unsanitary elements? Are they loaded in chemicals?

In these circumstances is better to be safe than sorry, and it never hurts anyone to try and wash them before using them. Plus, you also get to see if the color fades with water!

Posted by VintageRose on 08-02-2017


I always wash the new clothes cause I can't stand the smell of it. It's terribly annoying for me, besides it should be washed cause you don't know who tried that piece of clothing before you and as well you don't know to what it has been exposed in the manufacture so, better be safe.
Posted by reginafalange on 07-31-2017
rose thornes
I also don't like the smell of new clothes it has strong smell that I hate. Sometimes after washing them you can still smell the chemicals or whatever they used.

Unwashed Masses

I've always been a big proponent of washing new clothes. I was only somewhat aware of the chemical issues concerning textiles before reading your post. I knew pesticides, especially from Chinese sources, have often been way higher than we would be comfortable with here in the States. That said, my primary reason is...well, look at the slobs who just try things on! You've got people putting their unwashed crotches in jeans and I'm expected to wear that gunk? No thank you.
Posted by JaiGuru on 07-31-2017

Hygiene Issues

It is always advisable to wash any new clothes purchased. The garment may have been tried on by a variety of people while in the store. The thought of some sweaty stranger previously in your new dress should be your incentive. Before washing it's important to check garment for defects and ensure it firs properly. Stores will not exchange washed items as they no longer look new and can not be resold.
Posted by Rhombus on 08-02-2017


Well... I don't think this is something mandatory (because many factors should be considered), however... I think it's interesting to consider the fact that you don't know where the product came from, so... To avoid possible problems, it's better to wash it before use it.
Posted by wiseagent on 09-10-2017

most of the time

I don't always do it myself but most of the time if not all the time I think it's better to be safe and wash new clothes since you don't know what it's been through or where it has been. Even if it looks clean you can never be sure, especially considering that there is a good chance that many have tried on that piece of clothing when trying to see if it fits them. Granted, probably in higher end stores they take care of this problem more but even so I think it's still better to just make sure.
Posted by Wubwub on 03-11-2018


Of course, you should always wash the clothes before you use because there are lots of people that have been tested it for fitting and all their bacteria stays on the clothes, whether it's branded or not. It's a good practice to always wash the clothes before you wear.
Posted by ColdFlameChris on 11-10-2017



The Clothes are Brand News

If I have to wash brand new clothes, I'm taking those clothes back to store for a refund! My mother was a dressmaker. People would bring the cloth to here and tell her what garment they wanted to be made. She would sew and deliver it. She even ironed the clothing. Her customers never had to wash her finished garment! What's up with that??!!
Posted by cmoneyspinner on 05-02-2018

Not necessarily

While I have to agree that new clothes are not exactly clean I don't see the need to wash them. Maybe i'll use them once or twice before washing them.
Posted by Marvadaum on 07-31-2017

Maybe, maybe not

I think this is dependent on the manner in which the cloth was worn. If it was a sunny day and hot weather, no matter how neat and clean the new clothes might appear, sweat has ruined the viability of wearing it again without washing it. Sweats are waste products from our body excretion and they get absorbed immediately by our clothes ones it comes out through the sweat pores.

So in order to maintain a good health and dressing conditions, I strongly agree that clothes that are worn be washed needless to say if it's a brand new clothes or preexisting ones. Once worn in a sunny atmosphere and hot weather, it should be washed before being used again.

But if the case if the opposite, I really don't see the need for washing always since there is no much means of the clothes begin dirty.

Posted by Heatman on 09-09-2017


I believe they should. We don't really know where those clothes were stored and there are probably some factory scents and chemicals that came along together with those packs. I always make it a habit to wash anything that I buy or get before using them.
Posted by galegatling on 07-31-2017
If you are conscious with hygiene and sanitation, you have to wash any clothing item that you buy whether it is brand new or used. The germs may be there and you don’t know what kind of germs that can contaminate you. Although there are no reported cases yet of diseases borne from brand new clothes, it is best to be safe than to be sorry. There’s nothing wrong in having the new clothes washed before wearing it.
Posted by Corzhens on 10-16-2018
I always wash clothing before wearing it after I buy it. I don't necessarily think it is dirty but sometimes new clothing has an odd smell to it. Denim is sometimes stiff feeling too when it is new so I like to wash it and soften it up before I wear it. I just like to wash things before wearing them because you don't know what is on the clothing and it could have a chemical that may irritate your skin if you wear it before washing it.
Posted by morgoodie on 07-31-2017
If you just bought a pari of blue jeans, then washing them might be a good idea. But as for any other type of clothing, I have never washed brand new clothes before wearing them. But I'm old; in my 60s. Maybe the manufacturers do things to clothes nowadays that people have reason to believe they should wash the clothes first. I hardly buy new clothes for myself anymore. By my sons and daughters still shop.
Posted by cmoneyspinner on 07-31-2017
rose thornes
I don't like the smell of new clothes that's why I always wash them before I wear it. Wearing new clothes without washing them can be the source of developing body odor. If you notice when you wear new clothes without washing them you'll notice that when you get sweaty the smell become strong. I better wash new clothes, you never know where it came from and who wear to fit it before you.
Posted by rose thornes on 08-01-2017
I always wash before wearing new clothes. I have no idea who has touched them before I bought them, I have no idea what kind of dyes or chemicals are used. Better to wash all of it before having it come into contact with my skin for hours. Plus washed clothing usually fits better. So win-win for washing.
Posted by fireball916 on 08-01-2017
I have bought some new pants and have worn them , the next day for the office. Yet, I didn't feel anything itchy or whatever. Though, most of the new blouse that I bought were washed first the ironed before I wear them. That's because I like that all my new blouses should be smelling freshly washed when I wear them, not the smell of the dye or the cloth. With blouses, you can smell them because the upper part is near our sense of smell.
Posted by SimplyD on 08-01-2017
There was one news report a few years ago about a woman who was afflicted with a skin disease, not sure if it was eczema or herpes, that may have caused by new clothes. Especially in classy boutiques, the clothes are always ready for fitting. When a person who had fitted the clothes happened to have skin disease and you happen to buy that clothes afterwards, it could be a reason for contamination. And the advice is to wash the clothes before wearing, whether new or not.
Posted by Corzhens on 08-01-2017
I always wash new clothes before I wear them because I don't like the feel and smell of new clothing. Also lots of times the dye will come out of new clothes and go on your skin if you do not wash them first. You never know who tried on the clothes before you bought them so it is better to be safe then sorry.
Posted by Sue on 08-01-2017
I don't do it, but I know many who do. I haven never gotten a rash, a disease or anything else from new clothes so I don't anticipate washing them in the future. Laundering clothes is hard on them, and I would just as soon wear clothes that look nice and fresh..and fit well.
Posted by kgord on 08-01-2017
If the clothes smell all chemically, I'm not going to buy them in the first place. Still, yes, it's a good idea to wash new garments before wearing them, for all the reasons previously stated. There are also other issues, such as not knowing where they came from. One of my friends ordered a new shirt and when it arrived the package was full of some kind of bugs, like tiny ants or something. What if they are there but you can't see them (haven't hatched or whatever yet)? It just makes sense to clean everything before using it these days.
Posted by Zyni on 08-01-2017
I think that washing new clothes before wearing it is the better thing to do. I too am sometimes guilty of this practice of wearing before washing but I know It could probably be unsafe to do so because the clothes could possibly have been contaminated with substances during the processing process which could be unpleasant to one skin and which could have been eliminated if the garment had been washed.
Posted by explorerx7 on 08-01-2017
I always wash my new clothes because I believe that even though they are new, it may contain bacteria from other people who have tasted it. In addition, many clothes may contain excess paints that can give us allergies.
Posted by hermessantos on 08-02-2017
I always wash my new clothes because I believe that even though they are new, it may contain bacteria from other people who have tasted it. In addition, many clothes may contain excess paints that can give us allergies.
Posted by hermessantos on 08-02-2017
I never wash new clothes. I wash my new clothes only when I have worn them for few days. I never considered that I should wash new clothes because people could have tried it before I bought it.
Posted by vinaya on 08-06-2017
Of course, it is to be washed first before wearing it. I highly advise to everyone to always washed their new bought clothes before wearing it. I've been in stores and there are stores that let their customer wear the clothes they are eyeing to know it if it fits. Isn't it a bit uncomfortable to directly wear your new bought clothes knowing that maybe there are other individuals who get to fit with the clothes? This is the main reason why newly bought clothes should be washed before wearing it.
Posted by DanoCath on 08-22-2017
Well,from the reason given in the discussion I clothes should be washed before use,especially the fairly used ones that are resold .it help keep the skin free from irritation and blemishes. it will help save us from visiting the dermatologist for one skin infection or the other.prevention is the sure bet to leave a skin infection free life.
Posted by lovely on 03-11-2018
Actually before i usually wash second hand clothes that i buy before wearing them but its not all the time that i do that now, but if it is a new clothes there is no cause for alarm that you have to wash it before wearing since it has been cleaned and treated well.
Posted by babyright on 03-16-2018
I prefer to wash stuff first because you don’t know where it’s been stored or how many people have tried it on before you purchased the garment. For safety’s sake I say go ahead and wash it!
Posted by amelia88 on 11-25-2018
Shoul new clothes always be washed before they are worn: Yes, in our family this is a part of buying a new clothes. Everytime we buy new clothes, we really used to wash it first before we wear it even we buy that certain clothes for gift we do wash it first before we give it to someone as a gift. I am not really aware of the exact reason of my mom why she won't allow us to wear clothes without washing first, but I do it what she said because of the respect until I git an idea what is realk6 the reason to do it.
Posted by mhingnhormz on 12-17-2018
It is advisable to always wash new clothes before wearing them. Unfortunately, I don't always do this. Sometimes i want to go out and i can't seem to find anything appropriate to wear for an occasion except a new outfit l just bought but have not washed. I wear it and then wash afterwards.
Posted by Tehilah27 on 12-17-2018