Thursday, July 28, 2011

How to Wear "Clean" Clothing During the Nine Days

As the Nine Days approaches, you should begin preparing your clothing. During this period, we do not wear "freshly laundered clothing" and don't do laundry. 

So what will you wear without looking and smelling like a crazy homeless guy? It's easy.

A) You may wear freshly-laundered (aka, clean) underwear and socks (and some say undershirts) because of hygenic reasons. I have also seen some opinions that include any clothing worn to absorb perspiration in this category.
B) You may wear freshly-laundered clothing on Shabbat for the honor of Shabbat.
C) You may wear freshly-laundered clothing in honor of a mitzvah. The classic example is for the participants at a bris (parents, sandek, and mohel).
D) If you have young children whose clothing gets soiled frequently, you may launder their clothes and they may wear them freshly-laundered.

What do you do about the rest of your clothing? You take the "freshness" out of them. In practical terms, you need to plan what you want to wear during the Nine Days. Do your laundry, including those items. After they are clean, you remove the freshness by wearing each item for a short amount of time.

What happens if you forget to "wear in" something you want to wear during the Nine Days? If you want to wear it before Shabbat, you're out of luck. If you want to wear it after Shabbat of the Nine Days, you wear the clothing for a short period of time on Shabbat (when freshly-laundered clothing is allowed) so that it will lose its freshness for the remaining days.

There is a more in-depth post about the Nine Days already written, but just for your reference now, the dates of the Nine Days for 2011 is sundown of Sunday, July 31, through the evening of Tuesday, August 9.


  1. what is the gregorian dates for the Nine Days.

  2. Are you allowed to use Febreze, or other "freshening spray?"

    Can you toss clothes in the dryer w/ a dryer sheet to freshen?

    I'm really curious about this!

  3. I was told in seminary that as a last resort you can drop an item of clothing on the floor for a second, then wear it.

  4. Originally posted: July 28, 2011 at 5:55 PM

    Anonymous: I will add the dates as an update to the main post. Please read above.

    MamaSuperPow: That would kinda defeat the purpose, don'tcha think?? LoL, you always come up with good questions. The "de-freshening" I described above is literally like 5-10 minutes. Nothing that will really make your clothes need Febreeze. Because of the laundry, I would guess the dryer is a no-no, but I don't know that.

    Sarah: That makes sense. Worst case scenario, I've heard of stories from the shtetle about doing the same, but on the ground outdoors (or a dirt floor).

    All that said, I can't imagine really needing to wear something THAT bad.