HELOISE Is it necessary to wash new clothing and linens?

Dear Readers: When it comes to washing clothes, Heloise Central gives you the dirt on clean.
We had a discussion in the office, and the question was: "Is it necessary to wash brand-new clothing, linens and towels before wearing or using them?" Most of the women in my office said they didn't think washing new clothes was necessary.
The office is split when it comes to washing lingerie before wearing. However, when it comes to linens, we all agree that it's wonderful to slip into freshly laundered sheets, and washing towels seems to make them softer by washing away some of the sizing that is in new towels. Skip the fabric softener with towels because it can decrease absorbency.
We would love to hear your thoughts on this subject. Send a postcard addressed to: Heloise/clothes, P.O. Box 795000, San Antonio, TX, 78279 or e-mail to: Heloise@heloise.com. Heloise
Fast facts
Don't throw away those used tissue boxes. Once empty, they can be used for other things, such as:
UHolding notepaper to keep on a desk or near the phone.
UKeeping girls' hair clips and hair bands.
UStoring small toys or puzzle pieces.
UStoring cotton balls.
UCut off the tops and use to store photos.
Dear Heloise: For the fiberglass shower stall in my second bathroom, I used an inexpensive shower liner and a lace window panel.
After measuring the appropriate length from the floor, I folded the top of the lace panel over and, carefully using an ice pick, poked holes at appropriate intervals large enough to attach the shower-curtain rings. Works great! A lace shower curtain for an inexpensive price. Frances M., Fayetteville, Ark.
Dear Heloise: We are deluged with the little perfume samples that come in catalogs and magazines. I open the samples and place them in the toilet-paper cardboard roll, then put the roll on the holder.
Every time the roll is turned for use, the scent wafts into the area. The closer to the end of the roll, the stronger the scent. Since they are free, I change them often. Now that's recycling! E. Alexander, Seattle
Dear Heloise: Upon moving into a new home or just redoing kitchen cabinets, instead of buying the usual shelving paper, get self-sticking vinyl wallcovering.
It's washable and, if you purchase an end lot, usually will be very economical. B.L., Port Charlotte, Fla.
Sound off
Dear Heloise: What really bothers me are people who wait in line at a store and, when they get up to the counter, they decide to write out their check. Why can't they have all the information already written on the check except the amount? Just filling in the amount would only take a minute, and it would certainly make a lot of people happy. Karen B., via e-mail
XSend a money-saving or timesaving hint to Heloise, P.O. Box 795000, San Antonio, TX 78279-5000, or you can fax it to (210) HELOISE or e-mail it to Heloise@Heloise.com.
King Features Syndicate