Why you should wash new clothes before wearing them

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Newly purchased clothes should always be washed before you wear them for the first time. Because you never know what’s hiding on the surface.

Sometimes, the anticipation of wearing a new item of clothing is too great. But it’s better to have the patience to wash it first, says Kim Romine, hygiene scientist at Procter & Gamble in Fairfield, Ohio (USA). “The human body naturally produces body dirt throughout the day.” On average, this adds up to about one liter of sweat, 40 grams of sebum, 10 grams of skin cells and 10 grams of salt,” she says. This body dirt could be transferred from people, as several customers usually try on new clothes before they are bought.

In addition, various chemicals are added to the textiles during manufacturing, which may have come into contact with dirt or other residues during production and distribution, Romine said. “If the garment is not washed before wearing, these substances and chemicals can irritate sensitive skin,” she explains. “Textiles also pick up cross-contamination from the manufacturing process, storage, shipping and the stores where they are displayed. Washing before wearing reduces and removes many of these contaminants.”

Another reason to wash newly purchased clothing is the possible presence of bacteria and other pathogens, fragrances or harmful personal care products that may remain on the clothing after others have tried it in the store. Fragrances, whether from perfumes, detergents, lotions and more, can pose a significant risk to our health. These fragrances are often a complex mixture of chemicals, many of which can damage the endocrine system and irritate our eyes, skin and lungs. Washing removes these chemicals.

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