Should you wash new clothes before wearing them? A simple task, yet many people get it wrong.

Do I need to wash new clothes before wearing them? This is a common concern for many people. So, what is the correct answer?


Nowadays, buying fashion items like clothes has become one of the essential needs of humans. However, there is a common question, a concern that users often have when buying new clothes: “Do new clothes need to be washed before wearing?”.

Experts conducted a survey on this question. The survey results showed that 22.8% of respondents answered that they would wash new clothes before wearing them; 61% stated that they would wash sensitive items like underwear; and the remaining 8.24% shared that they usually do not wash any type of clothes, regardless of the garment.

Illustration Photo

So, what is the most proper way to handle new clothes when they are just bought? Do users need to wash them before wearing?

Specialist’s Answer

Many users explain further that tight-fitting clothes, those in direct contact with the skin or sensitive areas of the body, tend to be washed more frequently before wearing. However, for other types of clothing, they feel that washing new clothes before wearing them is unnecessary. They even believe that the more clothes are washed, the faster they become old and no longer look new.

Experts and clothing store owners explain that from a health perspective, it is best for users to still wash new clothes before wearing them, regardless of the garment type, especially for tight-fitting clothes and children’s clothes.

Newly purchased clothes are best washed before wearing (Illustration Photo)

The first reason pointed out by experts is that new clothing items can still contain residual amounts of formaldehyde – a substance commonly used for fabric cleaning, disinfection, and bacteria elimination. In some cases, this substance is added to clothes during the production process for purposes such as printing, dyeing, or preventing wrinkles.

When in contact with human skin, formaldehyde residues on clothes can cause skin irritation, mucous membrane irritation, or allergies. In severe cases, it can even have more significant effects on human health. Products containing high levels of formaldehyde also have an unpleasant odor.

The second reason is that new clothes, even if they are new, can still contain a lot of dust from the air and the environment, especially clothes taken directly from hangers outside stores. Dust can naturally accumulate during the mass production of clothes by machinery. At this time, clothes are stacked on top of each other, and dust will spread and remain on various parts of the garment.

This situation continues when clothes are brought to warehouses, cramped areas filled with merchandise. Even if the clothes are packaged, they cannot guarantee absolute cleanliness.

Clothes can come into contact with a lot of dust during the production process and the time outside the store (Illustration Photo)

Additionally, new clothes that have been taken out by store staff for other customers to try on can also collect not only dust but also the sweat of those customers.

The third reason is that new clothes can fade. Experts explain that some types of garments can be dyed fabric. When users wear them, with the impact of sweat, they can fade, stick to the body, and cause discomfort. Chemicals from these dyes can come into prolonged contact with the human body and can cause skin allergies and other skin-related diseases.

For the above reasons, it is better for users to wash new clothes before wearing them. Washing new clothes does not have to be complicated. Users only need to wash them with detergent, laundry soap, or even with natural ingredients like diluted saltwater or diluted vinegar.

Illustration Photo

Cleanpedia, a website by Unilever, provides advice that if the clothes are colored, soaking them in a solution of diluted vinegar overnight is very useful. It not only helps clean clothes but also helps protect the durability of the garments. As for saltwater, it will be beneficial for fabric items like wool, cotton. Users should soak the clothes in diluted saltwater for about 10 minutes, then hand wash with clean water.

Other notes for washing new clothes correctly:

– Use a small amount of detergent, laundry soap. This method will make the clothes softer.

– Sort the clothes before washing them by color and material.

– When hanging clothes, do so inside out to prevent color fading.

According to Aboluowang

According to Đời sống và Pháp luật

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