Do you wash your Smalls?

Do you wash your smalls before wearing them?


I heard on BBC Radio 4 News headlines at noon that “Woman suffers anaphylactic shock from underwear she bought in Primark UK”. I checked the News links but cannot find it anywhere at the moment.

What the heck was the underwear made from. Surely she washed the items first.

I twittered about it and immediately someone came back to say she never washed new items. How many others out there think New = Clean?

When we buy new clothes they look perfect, clean and crisp but are they? They usually have some form of finishing product on them, particularly blouses and shirts to give them the crisp look. In the shop alone how many times have the items been handled. Think about it. Do you pick up clothing items to examine them? Are your hands clean. Do you try them on? Have you had a shower before going shopping or have you nipped in after a hard sweaty day in the office? How many others have done that before you. Were you/they eating on the run before entering the shop… perhaps snacking on Peanuts or other known irritant.

In the making process how many hands have touched the fabrics. Did the items fall on the floor in the workshops and was it clean. So many of our clothes come from overseas sweatshops where staff are paid a pittance. If you were paid a pittance would it encourage you to take pride in your work? Is hand washing part of the culture?

If companies are focused on profit margins will they really care about the working conditions of the manufacturers or workshops.

Now your Easter Bonnet may not take washing, but please launder the clothes that touch your skin.

Happy Easter.

27 thoughts on “Do you wash your Smalls?

  1. I don’t think I ever have, and I’ve never had a problem. I guess I should wash them first, but I never thought about it before.

  2. I had to look up anaphylactic shock. I never got that though I have gotten shocks from sitting down too quickly with newly acquired but ill fitting klax. A bit like modern hotels – no ballroom.

  3. Am I bovvered? I never wash new clothes, I think that’s taking germ-consciousness a bit too far. What could they possibly be infected with apart from the common germs that are present on just about anything? And I haven’t had any infection at all for years. Ooh and I’d love some fancy knickers like that – why aren’t male undies such fun? Oh of course I forgot, everyone would think I was gay – heaven forbid!

  4. I never wash new things . . I like the smell of newness and the sort of starchiness and crispness things have. Although my brother used to wash EVERYTHING new because he said it made him itch. Sorry but I’m on the germs are good side. I think we’re seeing more of this allergy business BECAUSE we’re so clean and germ free.

    PS: I’m very worried about Nicks gender confusion at the moment!

  5. Sorry folk I was missing for a short while.

    Judy ~ I wish I was as fortunate as you.

    Sneezy ~ ‘No ballroom’, is thankfully a problem I don’t have!

    Nick ~ As Baino says I am a little worried… πŸ˜‰

  6. Oh, no gender confusion. Just healthy androgyny and a refusal to be pigeonholed! And a desire for the best of everything!

  7. Pingback: Red Links 21/03/08 : Alexia Golez

  8. Have had a lovely misspent week mainly listening to talk/phone in radio while clearing my paper work- hence did you hear that TK Maxx let you try on the underwear!!?? Something to do with the fact that people can’t return it so have to be allowed to try it on first. Ye have been warned! And no I don’t wash new undies first but I will be now.

  9. Grannymar,

    That explains the Hieronymus Bosch painting – the ones in heaven obviously washed their new underwear first and remained infection free, the ones in hell obviously didn’t.

  10. Nick ~ I thought you had the best of everything! πŸ˜‰

    Red ~ Thanks for the link.

    Maman Poulet ~ Welcome to my party. Did you know that Marks and Spenders only introduced fitting rooms when the arrived in Dublin. Up until that time shoppers purchased the clothing to try on at home and if not satisfied, returned the goods for a full refund. I often wondered how many customers had ‘one-night-stands’ with the outfits! πŸ˜‰

    Ian ~ So there might be some chance for me even if it is the back door! πŸ˜‰

  11. All this talk about new undies makes me itch! I find new clothes need a wash and (if needs be) iron just to sort out the surface of the cloth…mind you if it was bespoke I’d not expect to do that!

    I wonder, does any one make bespoke undies?

  12. Grannymar, you address these issues in a great, acceptable way. I have never worried about bacteria, but I have recently become more aware of the new=clean issue – I do feel that, because I use eco washing powder and am a crap ironer, so everything is softer and more comfy, and cleaner looking new.

    But non-organic cotton is fillled with horrible toxic pesticides and preservatives, possibly even formaldahyde, of which there is no safe dosage… yeeks. And I’m putting clothes on my baby without washing them. What am I thinking!

    It’s such a tough one – the Eco shop in Greystones has some organic cotton vests and other baby clothes that are the most magic, soft fabric you could ever wish for, so warm and gorgeous – but sadly, one vest costs as much as a 6 pack of crappy ones in Tesco. What do I do – buy one, buy none, arg.

    I hate that organic food and clothing (and anything to do with sustainability at all) is pretty much seen as a luxury item. I’m al lfor fair and realistic pricing – but presumably the small market for organics is what drives the price up. Why should healthy living be hte preserve of the rich? Or in my case, the ridiculously indebted!

  13. Magpie ~ the answer is yes for women, it is possible to buy bespoke undies! I am sure you might fine some for men in Saville Row.

    Jo ~ do you have a tumble dryer? If so set a timer or your mobile phone alarm to ring one minute before the dryer stops. This gives you time to be there when the machine switches off. Taking the clothes out while warm and folding or hanging blouses and shirts on hangers eliminates the need for ironing.

    I sometimes wonder if all this ‘Organic’ business is not just a fad? Food I can see a point with, but clothes?

  14. Wow.I never wash new clothes :S
    How art thou,Granny? I haven’t been on here since PodCamp in Kilkenny

  15. I suppose that the idea of organically grown Cotton or even wool makes sense if you realise the amount of chemicals that can be put onto these “crops”.

    There is a suggestion that BSE type diseases might be caused (in some cases) by organo Phosphates etc. Cetrtainly the chemistry of many of these compounds is similar to that of nerve agents.
    I try not to buy flowers grown in Chile and other countries where the workers have been shown to (in the past at least) exposed to high levels of pesticides.

    My organic chemistry is ropy these days but I try to keep abreast of these things….

    So if pesticide residues can cause anaphylaxis then the lady from Primark might just have a point.

    I’m off to bed to rest my poor brain aftr that πŸ˜‰


  16. Ian Healy ~ Hello and welcome back!
    Delighted to hear from you again. Any sign of the broadband or personal blog yet? I have tried to find out how you are doing and hope all is well.

  17. Magpie

    Are those compounds similar to the nerve agents, the same ones in shampoo and shower gels?

  18. Broadband?! Ha,not anytime soon.I live beside a damn forest.Bah,nobody has any interest in my opinions,I have had blogs before though

  19. Ian H,
    you will always be welcome to air your opinions here with all my friends. Come back anytime.

  20. Easter was good.Not much free time though,started a job in SuperValu 😐 Not very fun.Spent most of my free time scoffing eggs.You?

  21. Hi Ian H,

    Scoffing chocolate eggs! Lucky you. I had a quiet time here at home. It was bitterly cold so I stayed cosy and warm.

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