Beware Before You Wear or Use Fabric
One of the great things about the holidays is getting presents. Whether it is the new shirt that you wanted or the ugly sweater from your aunt, presents are fun. Few people think how to take care of their new clothing. This is doubly important if you have any type of skin problems. It’s triple important if the item is new. Yes, this even includes the crocheted blanket from grandma.
What might be hiding on or in that fabric?
- Chemicals – Many manufacturers use formaldehyde to prevent clothes from getting wrinkles. While this makes for a nice pair of pants, you want to be sure the chemicals don’t rub off on your sensitive skin. Wash them!
- Pesticides – Some of your new gifts have traveled a long way. If they come in cargo containers across the sea, they have probably been sprayed first. Rodents, moths, and other insects could potentially destroy articles of clothing during transit. Wash it off!
- Dye – One day at the mall, I kept sneezing in a small store. An employee explained that she had been sneezing too. She said it always happens when a new shipment comes in because of the dyes. Now, I can detect it easily and leave the store. But think about what we’re putting on our skin – run it through the washer!
- Manufacturers– In the factory, seamstresses are stitching and sewing for hours every day. They may be sneezy or have skin issues themselves. That’s ok, but I don’t want any residue on my body. Soak it out!
- Sales– I knew some college kids who worked cargo at a popular clothing store. They worked a “reset” shift when new clothes came in. Several people took down the outdated items and boxing them. Then they filled the display racks within an 8-hour shift. They had a blast eating and listening to music. Plus they got the store discount. I doubt their handwashing methods. You know what I mean? Wash it first!
- Shoppers – I admit to loving the feel and texture of fabric. My family teases me about running my fingers over a sweater or scarf. I keep hand sanitizer in my bag because I don’t know who has tried it on before me. To be honest, I try and get my items from the bottom of the stack – that way I’m the first to wear it. Then, if I buying something, I take it home and wash it.
I hope this didn’t spoil your anticipation of new clothes. It’s easy enough to solve. I even wash sheets, blankets, and other items before wearing. It may seem like overkill, but this keeps my skin doesn’t from having any sensitivity issues with my new items.
To help an item stay colorfast, add a few cups of vinegar to cold water to set the dye on that first wash. Warm water on a bright color is sure to cause fading. This is especially true with natural fibers like cotton, linen, and silk. I hope whatever touches your skin is clean and irritation free!
Have you been diagnosed with atopic dermatitis?