Prepare to be surprised, and maybe even a little bit grossed out. As far back as the start of the last decade, medical experts have been telling the press that garments purchased new from stores are loaded with all sorts of germs from other people by the time they exit in your shopping bag. It’s the top reason why you should launder new clothes before wearing them – but there are other reasons, too.

Chemically Treated for Your Protection?

It’s estimated that 97 percent of the clothes purchased and worn by Americans are made outside the United States. Those garments have a long journey to the store where you buy them. For protection, some garment manufacturers may use chemical treatments to prevent mildew and make clothes less tasty to bugs or rodents hanging out in warehouses. Other chemicals, like formaldehyde, are added to fabrics to enhance texture or color.

These chemicals can irritate your skin and cause rashes. Having new clothes professionally laundered is an effective way to remove these chemical treatments.

Not-So Color Safe

That awesome deep purple shirt you just snagged at the store might have a few colorful and unpleasant surprises in store for you if not laundered first before wearing. Many fabrics – especially those made from synthetic fibers like acrylic or polyester – are made with azo-aniline dyes.

These garment dyes are easily transferred to your skin. If you’re sensitive to them, they can cause an allergic reaction that’s similar to poison ivy. Even a mild sensitivity to these dyes can give you a case of dry, itchy, or inflamed skin.

Your skin’s not the only thing that can be affected. Chemical dyes can be transferred to other clothes. These stains might be permanent. One clue here is to look at the instructions on a garment’s care tag. There’s likely to be a high possibility of either skin irritation or dye transfer to other clothes if that care tag advises you to wash separately before wearing.

More Than Your Clothes

Professionally laundering everything purchased new before use is a safe and wise practice. Those new fluffy bath towels or bed linens may also have been treated with irritating chemicals during production. Having them appropriately laundered removes these surface coatings. Towels will be more absorbent and bed linens will be more comfortable.

Stop by and let us professionally clean your new clothes. Other people’s germs, excess dyes, and irritating chemicals are three reasons why you should always launder what you purchase before use.