Do You Have To Wash Clothes Before Donating

Donating clothes is one of the best ways to recycle unused items and contribute to society. However, just like any other type of donation, clothes-donation comes with rules, and one of the top rules is to wash the clothes clean before donating.

So do you have to wash clothes before donating? And why is that so important? Let’s have a better picture of this matter! 

Do You Have To Wash Clothes Before Donating? 

Most collecting centers always ask donors to clean the stuff they bring in. The reason is most recipients won’t have the resources to repair or clean the donation. 

If you donate to donation-based thrift stores, you need to know that these stores usually operate on a very tight budget while the quantity of clothes they receive is huge. 

Even if they can afford the cleanup, how to clean all those loads of clothes every day? That’s why these stores don’t have any merchandise resources to wash the clothes.

Washing a large pile of clothes can sometimes cost you even more than what they can be sold. But by washing the clothes clean and keeping them in their best possible condition before donating, you are helping the recipients to receive usable stuff or raising your clothes’ chance to get purchased from thrift stores. 

If you don’t, a big chance is that your clothes will end up being thrown away.

How Should I Wash The Clothes? 

The best way to wash fabric items before donating is dry clean.

Try to use fragrance-free laundry detergent if possible and skip scent enhancers or fabric softener to protect the potential recipients who might be sensitive to any of the substances. 

Also, treat any stains and repair any broken parts like broken zippers, holes if possible before donating. If you looked at your own clothes and didn’t even think about buying or wearing them again, who else would?  

Do Thrift Stores Wash Clothes Before Selling? 

As mentioned, collecting centers and thrift stores usually don’t clean the items they receive. The only thing they do before putting the clothes on display is sorting through the items and choosing what is sellable and what is not.

The staff will throw away the items with tough stains or other damages or send them to the recycling center and repair the sellable ones.

Though the term of repairing sounds quite charming, in reality, some stores only use fabric sprays, body odor, or something similar to neutralize the smell of the items or flatten the things with clothes steamers before selling them.

What to Keep in Mind Before Donating?

To avoid any incidents, while going through your stuff for donation, you should:

  • Double-check all the pockets, purses, and wallets. Make sure no personal stuff of yours like ID, money, credit cards, or jewelry
  •  Is left inside.
  • Due to body hygiene, bathing suits shouldn’t be donated.
  • Shoes should go in pairs with usable condition and cleanliness.
  • Separating donations by size, purpose, or category and labeling each container will save countless volunteer or staff hours and get the items to those in need much more quickly.


Do you have to wash clothes before donating? I believe you have found your answer.

After all, if you don’t want to wash your clothes, why donate when you can just dump them in the trash?

If you want to donate, it means you want to give your clothes a second chance. Why don’t we keep the clothes in the clean and best condition possible, so those who receive or buy can take full advantage of them? 

Thank you for reading, and let’s prepare the donations!

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