I bought new mittens for my kid for the coming winter holiday. They should be waterproof or at least water-resistant.

Normally when i buy clothing, i wash it before wearing. The fabric may not have been washed at all between dying and sewing, meaning it could leach dye. Or the clothes could have been treated with chemicals to keep out mold and moths during storage and transport.

Especially for child-mittens, the leaching of chemicals is a problem: they are worn on sweating naked skin and once they are off i'm certain my kid will have his fingers in his mouth. Be it while eating a snack or just to pick his nose.

However, water-repellent or water proof clothing will become less waterproof when washed.

So, should i wash these mittens? What to experienced outdoor people do?

  • A minimal approach is to soak them in cold water for a half an hour or so, use a dry towel to squeeze out as much water as possible, and air dry. Or use hot water, or hot water plus soap, then rinse. The key is to skip machine drying them, which breaks down the waterproofing with no added cleaning benefit. – csk Feb 11 at 17:59

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