the dirty truth about new clothes: why washing matters

We’ve all probably done it at least once in our lives: wear new clothes without washing first.

Perhaps you liked the slippery feeling of a fresh-from-the-store top. Or necessity played a factor, such as ripping the seam of your pants before a big presentation and running out to the store for a new pair.

While it’s not the end of the world, wearing new clothes without washing them first does put you at risk of exposure to potential irritants and infectious microbes. Same with linens like bed sheets, towels, facecloths, etc.

Say what?

There are many steps involved in getting consumer goods into a store (brick and mortar or online) for you to purchase. From production and manufacturing to packaging, sitting in dusty factories, handling by various workers, shipping, handling and hanging in stores, and other customers trying on, your clothing and linens pick up various stray chemicals that can irritate skin and cause rashes. Even cloth made from natural fibers can be exposed to potential irritants.

So what can you do? It’s simple: wash before wearing! Here are some tips for washing new clothing or linens effectively but without harsh chemicals:

  • Be sure to follow the care tag in your clothing or linens.
  • A heavy-duty wash with harsh detergents or bleach is not necessary. Opt for a thorough wash with a non toxic detergent instead.
  • Choose a fragrance-free and dye-free detergent with fewer ingredients that could irritate your skin. Plus, it’s better for the environment!
  • Cool water settings are gentler on delicate fabrics — and the environment.
  • Hanging clothes and linens outside to dry is also gentler on fabrics and the environment. Plus, sunlight can help kill errant bacteria.
  • Cool water washes and hanging outside to dry also help extend life of a product, reducing shrinkage, fading, and stretching.

Ask your Pure Haven Consultant about our laundry products today, along with a complete line of safe, effective products to help you and your family reduce your exposure to harmful toxins.


Harris, C. (27 May 2023.) Should You Wash New Sheets or Clothes Before Use? (

Milbrand, L. (10 May 2024.) Should You Wash New Underwear Before You Wear It? (