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?

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.

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 . . .

Actually, my wife does it. :wink:

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.


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.

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!!

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!

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.

[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. :slight_smile:

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.

Jesus Christ yes. Do you wear new underwear without washing them first?


Umm, yes. Is that bad?

I’ve never washed new underwear before wearing it. What am I missing?

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!!


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.

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.

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.


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.

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.