You find an item you love from the store. You ask for a new stock, and after a quick damage check, you head to the counter and pay. You have that satisfying feeling of finding an item you will surely use in the near future. You get home and stash it away with the tag still on. Now, the day that you need to wear that item you bought finally came and you haven’t washed it yet. You still wear it, anyway. What’s the harm?
We all know this scenario all too well when it comes to newly-bought clothes. How can we ever just dump that crisply folded item straight to the hamper, right? Plus, what if you need something to wear immediately? All things considered, washing new clothes before wearing them is still a must, and it is often an important step people neglect.
According to Columbia University Medical Center Dermatology professor Donald Belsito, new clothing often contains harmful chemicals like azo-aniline dyes or formaldehyde resin that can cause rashes and itchiness. Additionally, in his interview with Wall Street Journal, the biggest culprit are bred inside the stores themselves. Dressing rooms and storage areas are breeding grounds of fungus and bacteria. Running clothes in the washing machine first will save your skin from possible irritation and infection. Belsito says it’s best if you wash them twice, even.
So, the next time you buy an item, whether it’s a new stock or that last remaining item from the sale rack—for the sake of hygiene—remember this easy two-step rule: wash, then wear!