Why and how to disinfect second-hand clothes before wearing them

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Is washing second-hand garments in a washing machine enough to eliminate germs and bacteria? Here are the techniques and tips for disinfecting second-hand clothes and making them safe

The latest trends speak clearly: vintage is a must-have! Buying second-hand clothes allows you to find unique items at very affordable prices, making your look exclusive and on trend. Also, buying second-hand clothes helps to reduce the environmental impact of the fashion industry, one of the world’s most polluting industries. But can we trust buying second-hand clothing? How to clean them perfectly at home

Here we tell you how to disinfect second-hand clothes immediately after purchasing them in order to remove any residual dirt or bacteria, making “new” garments safe and fragrant.

Sanitising second-hand garments: why it is important

The first rule to follow when buying second-hand items, whatever the brand, type of garment or fabric, is to wash it. The fact that a garment may not have visible stains does not mean that it is clean and sanitised: clothes that have not been disinfected may contain hundreds of germs and bacteria, that are harmful for our skin and health. There are several safe rapid methods and techniques you can use at home to avoid any issues and make your second-hand clothes perfectly clean and disinfected.

How to wash clothes that you have just purchased: step by step.

The first thing to do after a day's shopping in second-hand stores is to put your clothes in the washing machine.

  • Wash them separately from your daily laundry as germs can spread to several other garments, even at washing machine temperatures.
  • Use a short cycle at low temperature, so that you don’t damage the most delicate garments. This way, you will remove most of the dirt before disinfecting them.
  • Immerse the second-hand items in a bowl of hot water (not boiling) with a small amount of washing powder and a powder clothes disinfectant. Leave to soak for a few hours.
  • Wash them again in the washing machine. Set the sanitisation cycle that removes 99.9% of allergens, such as Allergy Care pro on the Hoover H-WASH 500 washing machine, that has been designed specifically to sanitise fabrics through the intense steam action.
  • Use delicate detergents, to prevent further stress for the fabrics. For example, the softener and concentrated laundry detergent from the new Ecological range are perfects as made with plant-based surfactants and are chemical free.

After washing: how to disinfect second-hand clothes

For even more thorough sterilisation, the most frequently used and effective method is steam. Tumble dryers, irons or steamers (vertical ironing devices) all have ideal steaming functions to sanitise garments, which also remove the last residues of germs and bacteria.

These tips are also ideal for washing and sanitising children's clothes or any other clothing for your family.

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