51 thoughts on “Jeannie #3 (Out of Space and Time)”

  1. i dont understand it, complete waste of time, however my missus insists on washing them. who ends up taking them to get washed? muggins 'ere

  2. irrrr… irooo.. ironniOH I see, that thing I try and avoid wherever possible.

    Proper post-wash hanging usually means most stuff doesn't need i***ing unless it's for an interview or something. Which bedsheets rarely are.

  3. There is one very good reason for washing new stuff, and that's if it's black or dark blue or red or purple. Especially specially if you have light-coloured upholstery.In the shop, they want the colours to be bright as bright can be… they don't care that the colour will then bleed all over your sofa/skin/other clothes/boyfriend if you don't wash it first.

  4. I bought some last weekend and I didn't think of ironing them, after one use the creases are gone anyway! They didn't feel rough though…

  5. ugh, ironing, it's bad for the planet, just think of all the electricity neat people waste. That's my excuse, and I'm sticking to it. I'm trying to get it banned.

  6. Jeannie is a sensible person. and is not mad. The chemicals that are on unwashed fabrics can give you a rash. They also smell nicer when freshly laundered. Ironing, however, is not necessary and a complete waste of time! I hope Jeannie has a chance to see the Museum of London while she is there. Its very interesting.

  7. I love these debates! I wish they'd have a “Have Your Say” on this on the BBC news website. Very entertaining.I'm reasonably sure that stuff is often dyed or treated in some way before going on sale, and they do put the starchy stuff in clothes still. I forget what they call it… anyway, skin absorbs things, so it is just common sense to wash everything before it goes next to your skin.

    I think it's probably even more important to wash clothes, especially the type people try on in shops. Not everyone has a strong grasp of personal hygiene. Bleh.

    Even if you never wash anything else Reynolds, wash the pillowcases. They go next to your head. You mustn't put your head on things when you don't know where they've been. 😀

  8. You always need to wash new bedding and towels before you use them.”Why?” I hear you asking.

    Because my mum did. Her mum before did. And my gt gran who worked in the cotton mills in Lancashire producing the things did.

    So I do 🙂

  9. When I had the kids, was advised to wash everything before using it, 'cos of the fabric conditioners etc they put on them in factories. Wouldn't do it for MYSELF though…..

  10. If you wash them before the first time you use them then you remove the starch they put in them to make them look nicer in the packet. No starch makes them softer and more comfortable to sleep on + they then smell nice of whatever brand of washing powder you are used to rather than plastic, dust and whatever place they have been stored in.

  11. I'll go with stroppycow. But I have to admit, the only time I ever washed brand new sheets was when they came out the packet as hard and crinkly as the thick cellophane wrapping. Not comfy at all.

  12. I always wash any bedding or underwear before using because it is so much more sanitary, comfortable, and smells better. Regular clothes, on the other hand, have less starch and chemicals so I often wear them before washing.

  13. Phibius thinks you are both right. By male standards, any avoidable hygiene-related activities are a complete waste of time, and therefore this pillow-case washing is, at the very least, highly eccentric. However, females generally have, shall we say, different standards, and Jeannie is therefore perfectly well.

  14. It depends… traditionally such things have been treated with size to make them look good in the shops. Not so much starch as water-based glue — not good if you sweated on the pillow and woke up stuck to it. Size can also pong a bit.These days, they seem to just wrap the product round a bit of cardboard and put it in cellophane instead. So I would smell the pillowcases, and possibly see if they stick to a licked finger.

    I totally agree that ironing seems an unnecessary exercise.

  15. Depends how expensive they are. if v cheap, wash themor they'll be like a board. If v expensive, make the most of how they feel before you wash them cos you'll never get them to feel like that again.

  16. My wife washes everything new before its used. She claims that when studying torts for her law degree (disclaimer: she chose not to be a lawyer) there were a number of cases where chemicals contained in new clothing caused various things to fall of people (and yes I am talking about mens underwear among other things), so although seemingly irrational to my male sensibilities it sounds like theres a good reason to do these things. Unfortunately I can't cite any cases.

  17. I wash everything small before using it–underclothes, sheets, towels. I wash outer clothes after I wear them, probably because I can't wait to be seen in them.The “bleed factor” mentioned above on dark items is one reason I've learned (nothing like permanent dye in 'strange' places to convince one, I think!), and the fact that unwrapped items (especially) have been touched and tried on by who-knows-how-many people.

    I used to iron pillowcases. Then again, I used to iron, period.


  18. Jeannie's sane, IMO. I always wash new linens before using them as it removes all of the sizing used. Besides, the machines used to process the sheets before packaging aren't clean. However, I think ironing sheets is too much trouble (I'm simply too lazy, honestly). Why is Jeannie buying linens?

  19. I washed my (insert cheep supermarket name) sheets last week, they were super cheep and even after washing them with masses of conditioner they still feel like weetabix

  20. Speaking as someone who only washes clothes when necessary and never irons, bed linens and underwear must be washed before using, unless your skin is like rhinocerous hide.Great blog by the way!

  21. The feel of the fabric definitely changes after washing, it may also shrink a little. It is not unreasonable to wash a fabric item before wearing/using it, although in many cases it is unnecessary (but you don't know whether it's necessary or not before you try wearing/using it without washing). Occasionally, for example, you might get an item that sheds fluff/hairs/colour onto a little bit if you use it without washing it.When I buy new fabric, I always wash it before using it, because it tends to shrink a little and bleed a little colour.

    So…. SANE is the verdict, Jeannie!!!

  22. And if you can, dry them in the fresh air. They smell sweeter and whites stay whiter. I'm betting Tom bought new pillow cases as his own were not pristine enough for Jeannie.

  23. I always wash things before wearing/using them. I can see how it might be considered strange but then I just put it into perspective, because I remember seeing someone at college who ironed his towels after washing them…

  24. mad… I avoid the iron at all costs…. Personally cant excited about creases in bedsheets so dont iron them ever.Straight from the pack is fine, no ironing asnd no washing….

  25. You anonymous posters are a problem. I was going along, doing a small scientific study (male vote: don't wash, quite mad; female vote: mostly wash) and the correlation was perfect, perfect!, until you anons messed it up for me. Do any of you realize how rare unequivocal results are in research? Oh, well. Another Macarthur fellowship gone by the bye.Nothing to do now but add my vote: mad, certainly, but usefully mad. Keeps you from rolling around on the nasty chemicals in cheap sheets (I assume they were cheap sheets?) and getting eczema or something. Not that I'd have the energy myself, but it's nice when someone does it for you.

  26. I have to wash such things, else I get a rash all over from the starch/sizing/detergent involved. That wasn't always the case – it's something that started happening in my mid-30s, possibly due to overexposure to starch/sizing/detergent!

  27. Definitely wash bed linens before using them. As for ironing, WHY? (Then again I don't iron more than 5 times a year) However, I have a washer/dryer in my home, so it's easy to do this.By the way quixote, I am female.

  28. Sorry, it's my husband who needs to have any new clothing or linens washed, sometimes a couple of times, or he gets an itchy rash. I don't really care, especially since I no longer have to buy the cheap ones that start out rough and never get soft.I don't iron anything that doesn't show, and even then only if completely unavoidable. And even then if I can just smooth the creases out enough.

  29. eww you have to wash it. Have you ever been inside on of those factories. Someone might have wiped their nose with it 😛

  30. puckman here, I wash everything I buy new as the starch often gives me a rash. I also like to iron my sheets as that sleeps MUCH nicer!

  31. Mad as ham re washing new pillowcases (and even clothes- yes I know people who wash new shirts), I never wash new things unless I might be eating or drinking from them – ie cups, glasses, mugs, knives, forks, plates etc

  32. May I just say – WOW! &nbsp &nbsp 😉 Quite the debate going on here, and I thank each and every one one of you (or your spouse) for siding with me. A pox on the rest of y'all.For the record, I was in a bit of a dilemma as to what to get Tom for his (hopefully*) gracious hosting of me during my stay in London/happy housewarming/sort-of-imminent birthday. Had to be something I could get here as cheaply as I could in London (HA!), something I could bring with me and would work here (i.e., nothing electric), or something that would cheap to ship. Then a friend crashed here at Tom's while he was in Mexico and hepped me to the fact that he seemed to be in need of pillows – voila! So I got him some nice ones (okay, one really nice alpha pillow, two mid-range, and one emergency backup) and sent them over. Sadly, they did not arrive until today. Sigh.

    Also for the record, they are 275-thread count, 100% Egyptian cotton (white). Not ueber-fancy, but nice.

    My mother was rather rigid about household tasks in my youth, and even she didn't iron sheets.

    I base my “wash before wearing” policy on a) where I bought it, and 2) what part of me it's going to be touching. I like the way clean sheets smell, so I usually wash bedding before using it.

    HOWEVER – and this is key – if Tom did not have a washer in his flat**, they would have gone unwashed…I'm not that much of a freak***! &nbsp &nbsp

    *Hopes realized – he's been very gracious. Well, mostly. Okay, very, for a guy who used to living his flat to himself.

    **See how I'm using the lingo??

    ***Shut it. Now.

  33. I agree with Jeannie. Even tightly sealed in their polythenes, somebody packed them, they've been chicked into boxes and warehouses. Also some new cotton goods are bulked with lanolin etc, to give them a 'brand new' feel and to reduce creasing & keep them looking pristine, but you sink your head into them all night and they reflect more heat, feel somehow slightly waxy, and can smell.Well, you asked!

  34. Wash – definitely! (You don't know where they've been before packing.)Iron – umm. I have an iron around here somewhere. Comes out every time I have an interview so not seen it for 20 years or so…

  35. Apparently you should wash pre-packed clothes and sheets and pillowcases et al because they have been in packaging that can give off noxious gases if not aired sufficiently before use, they contain free fibres that can irritate eyes or skin as can the starch used to keep the items crisp in the packet – so washing is advisable!

  36. To wash or not to wash?To Iron or not to Iron?

    To post or not to post?

    As gran would say always wash the new anything! You never know who's naked body parts have been were.

    And as for the word “Iron”, it should officially become one of those nasty four letter words we all know and love.

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