Does New Clothing Need Laundering?

Real Simple answers your questions.

New clothes in laundry basketDavid Prince
Q. Should I wash new clothing before wearing it for the first time?
Christine Marion-Jolicoeur
Tecumseh, Ontario
 
 A. Yes, it’s a good idea. Before showing off that new top, you might want to run it through the washer. Otherwise common additives may put you at risk for contact dermatitis, says Hilary Baldwin, a New York City dermatologist. A prewear wash also prevents excess dye from staining skin or other fabrics, like upholstery. It’s particularly wise to clean intimates, like lingerie and swimsuits, before wearing them. “Although it’s rare, you could catch scabies or crab lice from others who have tried the garments on,” says Carolyn Jacob, a dermatologist in Chicago. Rinse these items in very hot water and hang them to dry (this won’t damage the fabric) before putting them on for their big debut. ―Sarah Smith
 
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