Are You Supposed to Wash New Underwear?

man washing new underwear
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There’s always this burst of chemicals whenever you’re using something that just came fresh from the store. Whether it’s a new phone, new book, or new clothes, it’s undeniable that they all have this certain smell and feel to them. 

But is it okay to wear underwear straight out of the shop, or are you supposed to wash new underwear?  

You should always wash new underwear whether it’s pre-packed or displayed in hangers! Your underwear has come a long way to get to your closet – who knows what kind of microorganisms have lingered in there.

Let’s discuss the whys and hows of washing new underwear a little further.. 

Are new underwear clean? 

Sorry to break your bubble, but no, new underwear are not guaranteed to be clean.

Look, despite the fresh smell of new garments, its production process is not that pure. It even involves a lot of chemicals, some of which are even harmful to the skin.

Cotton is the number one material used in most kinds of underwear. Pesticides are usually used in growing these plants to keep them pest-free, and these pesticides blend themselves with the fabric extracted from them.

Synthetic fabrics, such as nylon, polyester, and spandex, do not escape the presence of chemicals either. These kinds of fabric are made using tons of chemicals – one of which is formaldehyde, which can cause skin irritation especially to those having sensitive skin. 

These fabrics can then be treated with harmful dyes and different chemical treatments for, say, anti-wrinkling, color-fastness, and softness-enhancers, to name a few. 

Fungicides are sometimes even used in storage and transport. This is done to make sure that no molds or mildew will grow in the underwear while it’s in their warehouse.

In addition, your underwear has also passed a lot of hands before you purchased it. From the hands of factory workers to the other customers that fancied your pair before returning them, 

some bacteria from these hands may end up in your underwear. 

Us customers do not have any idea of its storage conditions, either. Who knows if your underwear was once the bedding of a couple of rats or roaches?

Why Wash New Underwear Before Wearing Them?

It’s quite simple, really. Washing new underwear lets chemicals and bacteria in the fabric loose, reducing the number of harmful substances that touch your skin.

Your underwear guards your most sensitive parts. Keeping anything that touches your groin area as clean as possible reduces the risk of getting skin irritations down there.

You can never be too sure so just as an extra measure, wash it before you wear it. There’s no harm in washing new underwear anyway!

how to wash new underwear 

As a starter, you should always follow the proper washing procedures from the underwear manufacturer. 

These can usually be found on the underwear’s packaging. Sometimes, the underwear’s tag also has washing labels that can tell what and what not to do with your garment.

Yes, those little washing machines on the tag are not just there for aesthetic purposes.

But fret not if you’ve since thrown your undies’ packaging and have cut its tags! We know those tags can be itchy, so we still have you covered!

The first thing is to separate the colored from the white undies. This rule should be followed especially if you love having some color varieties in underwear. This prevents any dyes from the colored undergarments from sticking to the white ones.

You also want to ensure that your underwear is inside out before washing them, as this helps with retaining its natural colors.

The next thing is to determine the water temperature that you will be using and if you can wash it in a washing machine. 

Underwear is inherently delicate, but there are kinds such as those made of wool, lace, and mesh that are more sensitive than usual. 

These kinds of underwear should only be hand-washed and using cold water, while those that are made of cotton or synthetic fibers can be machine-washed on cold to warm water.

A quick tip you can remember is if it’s more unconventional, it’s better to be hand-washed. 

If you’re putting it in the washing machine, then it’s better to have them washed separately or with other delicate garments as well. Putting them in a load with jeans or clothes with a lot of zippers and buttons can damage the fabric of your undies. 

Be sure to keep the cycle in a low or delicate setting – you want to be gentle to your underwear to not damage its fabric.

Likewise, you should be gentle in washing them by hand, too. Try not to wring them out and just squeeze or press them when removing the excess water.

By all means, try not to use fabric softener and bleach in washing your new underwear! 

While fabric softeners are good to use on cotton garments, using them on underwear made of synthetic fabrics is a no-no. Fabric softeners leave a residue on synthetic fibers and can destroy their knit. 

Bleach, on the other hand, can weaken your underwear’s fabric. It can also affect the color of your underwear. 

Besides, there isn’t any reason why you would use bleach on new underwear as there probably are no stains in them…yet.

Once you’re done washing them, try to have them air-dried and away from harsh sunlight, not tumble-dried. Heat is a major enemy of delicate garments, especially those made of synthetic fabrics. 

Excessive heat can destroy your garments’ stretch, damaging its elastics and making the fabric saggy. 

This is exactly the reason why you want them washed in cool to warm water in the first place, and not in hot water.

If you really have to get them tumble-dried, then set your dryer to its lowest possible setting. Do note however that microfiber underwear should not be tumble-dried at any point as this can melt the fabric.

You can also use these steps above for washing your not so-new underwear. But for those garments that are tainted with past mistakes AKA those poop marks, you might need to do something more complex.

No, it’s not sorcery, but yes, we got you covered on that as well! Check out one of our other articles, How to Remove Poop Stains From Underwear, to help you keep brown marks away from your non-brown undergarments.

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