#1
Old 09-08-2007, 09:49 PM
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Do you wash new bed sheets?

So do you wash new bed sheets before puting them on your bed? What horrible thing would happen if I didn't?
#2
Old 09-08-2007, 10:02 PM
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I do because I wake up with rash wherever my body was touching them if I don't. Plus they smell weird right out of the package.
#3
Old 09-08-2007, 10:30 PM
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Yep. I don't get a rash, but new sheets have a chemical smell, like they're treated with something -- maybe to get them all smooth and flat and wrinkle-free (?) which they'll never be again unless I iron them. And even then . . .
#4
Old 09-08-2007, 10:34 PM
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Actually, my wife does it.

We definitely wash new sheets. My wife and I both started our careers at a big textile company. Things may have changed in the 10 years I've been gone from the industry, but based on my time there I would never use/wear any textile product without washing it first. Too much of a chance of residual finishing chemicals. I don't want chemicals like that on my skin.

Jammer
#5
Old 09-08-2007, 10:37 PM
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I do. Softens them, plus I worry about chemical residue from dyes, etc. Of course, my mother has warped me with respect to washing new linen and garments.
#6
Old 09-09-2007, 12:19 AM
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I do, and comforters too. I made the mistake of only washing the sheets and pillowcases when I bought a bed in a bag and woke up the next morning with my eyes swelled shut, face all poofy, looking like the Micheline Man from the sizing in the new fabrics. It was BAD.

I learned my lesson well!!
#7
Old 09-09-2007, 01:00 AM
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Funnily enough, last night I slept on sheets fresh out of the packaging and woke up completely rashless. So why is it that I can't find a deodorant that doesn't make my pits itch like the dickens!
#8
Old 09-09-2007, 01:10 AM
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I've been sleeping on new sheets for the past week. I considered washing them, but then thought that was wasteful. They do have that odd feeling due to the sizing, though.
#9
Old 09-09-2007, 01:19 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Inner Stickler
Funnily enough, last night I slept on sheets fresh out of the packaging and woke up completely rashless. So why is it that I can't find a deodorant that doesn't make my pits itch like the dickens!

[slight hijack] Ditch the stick and switch to roll on or spray.[hijack over]


Wash them. They're softer that way. You'll wake up in a better mood.
#10
Old 09-09-2007, 02:02 AM
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Really? You think that will fix it?

As for washing the sheets, nothing makes me sink into a morbid and depressed state faster than the idea of doing laundry. It's so, so, inevitable and endless.
#11
Old 09-09-2007, 02:09 AM
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Jesus Christ yes. Do you wear new underwear without washing them first?
#12
Old 09-09-2007, 02:27 AM
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Do you wash new bed sheets?

Eventually.
#13
Old 09-09-2007, 02:31 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SailedTheOceanBlue
Jesus Christ yes. Do you wear new underwear without washing them first?
Umm, yes. Is that bad?
#14
Old 09-09-2007, 02:53 AM
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I've never washed new underwear before wearing it. What am I missing?
#15
Old 09-09-2007, 03:06 AM
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I have never washed new sheets before using them. Towels, on the other hand, are absolutely abominable unless washed (preferably a number of times).

Undies, never either. Nothing beats the new crisp feel against the wrinkled old sags of my nether regions.......puts a veritable spark in my day it does!!

#16
Old 09-09-2007, 05:11 AM
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Towels can gather a lot of dust sitting on the store shelf, so we always wash those first. Sheets and underwear are wrapped, and we use them first before washing.
#17
Old 09-09-2007, 05:46 AM
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Only reason I've ever been given to wash something bought new before using it is in the case of non-colourfast materials (in that case, so I understand, you soak them in a salt solution or something. Never done it myself, though).

Towels, sheets, underwear, shirts -- they're new, they get worn. Then they get laundered.
#18
Old 09-09-2007, 01:17 PM
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Used to have a job in the garment industry. Yes, wash everything before you wear it the first time. One common chemical found on bulk cloth is formaldehyde. I'd prefer not to sleep in that stuff until I can't open the coffin myself in the morning.

-rainy
#19
Old 09-09-2007, 03:42 PM
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Former department store worker here. Towels arrived in plastic bags of 12. We took them out of that bag and folded them neatly for display on the shelves where they could be handled by any and all grimy members of the public, as well as their grimier children. Please refer to some of the "Do you always wash your hands when you use the restroom?" threads if you are not already bothered by this.
If the display shelves were full, we folded them less neatly and put them on our never-dusted stockroom shelves until there was room on the sales floor. Somewhere along the way of these processes, we frequently dropped items on the rarely-swept stockroom floor. Me, I wash new towels.
#20
Old 09-09-2007, 03:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ice Wolf
Only reason I've ever been given to wash something bought new before using it is in the case of non-colourfast materials (in that case, so I understand, you soak them in a salt solution or something. Never done it myself, though).
White distilled vinegar is what I use on new red items. Red is the least colorfast of all dye colors, so I soak pretty much everything new that's red in somewhere around 1 part vinegar to 3 parts water overnight before washing and then wearing.

As for sheets, I always ponder this question myself, and I think I should wash them first, but I'm a sucker for new crisp sheets, so I usually just use them and wash later. I know I shouldn't.
#21
Old 09-09-2007, 03:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WhyNot
White distilled vinegar is what I use on new red items. Red is the least colorfast of all dye colors, so I soak pretty much everything new that's red in somewhere around 1 part vinegar to 3 parts water overnight before washing and then wearing.
Thanks, WhyNot. One of these days, when I'm not so lazy, I'll give that a go. I find dark blue and black is a bit of a problem as well (and much of my stuff is in those colours.)
#22
Old 09-09-2007, 04:27 PM
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They always smell funny to me, and the texture is off -- I hate crisp sheets -- so I wash 'em. And I wash clothes, too, before wearing them. You never know who might have tried it on before you...
#23
Old 09-09-2007, 04:38 PM
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Not really into the whole watching bedsheets thing.
#24
Old 09-09-2007, 06:31 PM
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Yes, I do. I wash everything before it touches a part of my body.

I once made the mistake of wearing a new bra without washing it first. I got a bad rash everywhere it touched my skin. Itchy, red, blister-y....it was embarassing and lasted for 2 weeks. I'll never have that happen again!
#25
Old 09-09-2007, 08:07 PM
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Never! I love sleeping with those big square wrinkles! Plus, I don't entirely trust my home washing machine. It sound silly, but I always have this subconcious feeling that any clothes that don't get sent out to be dry-cleaned, or aren't bought new in some sort of package, aren't really clean. Yeah, they might smell nice, and the stains are gone... but there's some sort of mystical ooze that takes professionals to remove from clothes.
#26
Old 09-09-2007, 08:43 PM
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I almost never buy anything new, but when I do...

...straight into the wash! Sometimes twice.

Feels better, smells betters and is a hell of a lot more sanitary. God only know what 3rd world erchin has been living under/dribbling on/dressing wounds with this fabric

I only make an exception for new motorcycle helmets, for obvious reasons. But then, I'm a hell of a lot more picky when it comes to buying them!

Last edited by Gatopescado; 09-09-2007 at 08:46 PM. Reason: I like it like that!
#27
Old 09-09-2007, 09:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gatopescado
God only know what 3rd world erchin [urchin] has been living under/dribbling on/dressing wounds with this fabric
Since when have bedsheets been made out of used fabric?
#28
Old 09-09-2007, 10:29 PM
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Nope, never wash clothes, towels or bedsheets prior to first use, and I've somehow made it to age 53 without ill effect. Firstly, I doubt that customers drool on items in stores with any great frequency. Secondly, I tend to buy new clothes, towels and sheets without any obvious stains or marks on them, so I'm not going to worry too much about who might have handled them before. Thirdly, last week I bought a leather jacket. How the hell would I wash that before use?

In all seriousness, I do think about the possibility of residual chemicals, but I've felt no obvious effects so far and I'm only ever going to sleep on new sheets for a few days at a time before they are washed anyway. My mother and sister both give me stick about it though, that's probably the worst thing.

Last edited by El_Kabong; 09-09-2007 at 10:30 PM.
#29
Old 09-09-2007, 10:56 PM
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Nope - for me, the best part of buying new sheets is sleeping on them the first night when they have that "new" feeling to them.
#30
Old 09-09-2007, 11:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by El_Kabong
Nope, never wash clothes, towels or bedsheets prior to first use, and I've somehow made it to age 53 without ill effect. Firstly, I doubt that customers drool on items in stores with any great frequency.
You've never worked retail, have you?
#31
Old 09-09-2007, 11:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Inner Stickler
Funnily enough, last night I slept on sheets fresh out of the packaging and woke up completely rashless. So why is it that I can't find a deodorant that doesn't make my pits itch like the dickens!
Do you use the type of deodorant that comes as a blue-colored stick? That stuff gives me a terrible rash. I use the gel-type deodorants, and never have any trouble.

As for the OP, I wash new sheets to get the starch out. I don't want to feel like I'm sleeping under a sheet of plywood.
#32
Old 09-10-2007, 12:30 AM
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Yes. I like soft sheets. True they come sealed in a package, but I still wash them. I don't wash comforters or blankets prior to use, though.

Re the underwear: I never used to, but now I do. I got into the habit of washing things when new because of my MIL. When she would give stuff (clothes) to my kids, they stank of cigarette smoke. So, I would wash them prior to them wearing them. The habit grew and now I wash all undergarments before wearing, as well as towels and sheets. I don't wash kitchen towels prior to use, oddly enough. My MIL no longer smokes, but she's not buying Cinderella undies for my daughter anymore, either. Regular clothes I don't wash prior to wearing.

Oh, and I do wash pajamas before use (not that we buy a lot of pj's-we're more a t-shirt and boxer type family).
#33
Old 09-10-2007, 03:48 AM
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Nope. I have sensitive skin, but I've never had a problem with rashes from new sheets. Many times from various types of laundry detergent, though.
#34
Old 09-10-2007, 08:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lynn Bodoni
You've never worked retail, have you?
You beat me to it! I always washed stuff before I wore it because the clothes smelled/felt a bit odd off the rack...but then I worked a fitting room. Now I wash everything because of some of the people I saw trying on clothes!
#35
Old 09-10-2007, 06:59 PM
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Of course you should wash new sheets, as well as almost everything else. New textiles have chemicals on them for different purposes (could be referred to as "sizing"). I've even heard that textiles coming out of China have been known to have formaldehyde on them.

New sheets right out the package are stiff and have a chemical smell. I couldn't imagine not washing them.
#36
Old 09-10-2007, 07:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nyctea scandiaca
I've even heard that textiles coming out of China have been known to have formaldehyde on them.
Some links:

Article about recall of Chinese-made blankets that are so full of formaldehyde that they could cause skin or respiratory irritation...

Boy Catches Fire After Wearing Pajamas With 500 Times The Safe Level Of Formaldehyde

Chinese-Made Children's Clothes Contaminated With Formaldehyde
#37
Old 09-10-2007, 07:09 PM
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Doing a quick Google search, here are some more cites about chemicals on clothes and bedding...

http://care2.com/greenliving/rem...clothes-2.html
Wash new clothes or bedding first before wearing or putting on the bed. That "new" smell is a potent mixture of chemicals such as formaldehyde and urea resins, and they should be removed. The chemicals are used to "finish" fabric for a range of purposes including stain resistance, mercerizing, keeping them from wrinkling, and even sometimes for disinfecting. Most contain volatile organic compounds (VOCs), which, like formaldehyde, are often sensitizers and suspected carcinogens.

http://grist.org/advice/ask/2002...ing/index.html
Chemicals are used to produce and process fabrics, dye them, make them wrinkle-free, clean them, and, keep them from becoming insect nests during shipping. Many of these chemicals will give off gas either when newly applied or throughout their lives. ... Wash new clothing before you wear it...


http://minti.com/parenting-advice/1066/New-Clothes/
In order for clothes to maintain their look and avoid being shop soiled, manufacturers add a chemical finish... One of the chemicals that is used to protect garments is: Formaldehyde - which helps prevent mildew and is most common for clothing that needs to be transported long distances. ... We should also wash new clothing because we really don't know where it has been. Who has tried it on? What are other people's hygiene habits like? Think about the possible contamination that can happen through shipping. What are the storage facilities like in a warehouse or factory? Do any of these places have insect or vermin problems? The same principle applies to bed linen and towels.
#38
Old 09-10-2007, 11:48 PM
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I wash everything! Eleanorigby reminds me a story about a bloke who had a triple bypass and was recovering nicely post surgery, when he was due for a shower. The nurses were alarmed to find that his torso, arms and legs had turned bluish, indicating a heart or respiratory problem. His surgeons and doctors had tele-conferences with colleagues around the country to try and diagnose what was happening. Then his wife confessed she hadn't had time to wash his new blue pjs.
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