Dos and Don’ts of Clothing Donation

Donate clothes to red cross

Donating clothes to charity can be a wonderful way to give gently used clothes new life and help those in need. If you’ve chosen to give away clothing items as part of your American Red Cross donations, you’ll know that your garments will be put to good use. But before you load your clothes donations into the car and head over to the clothing donation center, you’ll want to follow these dos and don’ts for clothing donation.


  • Inspect and wash
    You’ll want to inspect all of your clothing donations for any tears, rips, stains, or odors prior to donating. All clothes donations should also be washed or dry-cleaned beforehand. Some people make the mistake of thinking they can unload damaged or dirty clothing items by giving them to charity. But donors need to remember that if an item isn’t something they’d want to wear themselves, then it should not be donated.
  • Test
    If you’re including electronic items in your American Red Cross donations, you’ll want to test them prior to donating. Check appliances, equipment, and battery operated items to make sure they’re fully functional.
  • Include
    Include all necessary parts and pieces to toys, games, or other devices. Leaving just one piece out could render your charitable donation useless! You may also want to attach and label to ensure everything is together once you take it to a Red Cross donation center.


  • Donate recalled itemsDo not give any items that have been recalled or that do not meet safety standards. You’ll want to donate items that are completely safe and useful.
  • Leave donated items unattended
    Your American Red Cross donations should not be left outside a donation center unattended. Doing so runs the risk of items being stolen, broken, or damaged by the weather.
  • Forget the toiletries
    Red Cross donations need more than just clothing for those in need. Aside from gently used or new garments or electronics, consider donating toiletries like small bottles of shampoo and soap, toilet paper, or feminine hygiene products. These items are often forgotten and are incredibly useful for needy families.

Americans throw away an average of 10 pounds of clothes per person each year, according to the EPA. That clothing can easily help those in need instead of being thrown out. If you have further questions about the American Red Cross or want to schedule a donation pickup, contact us today to get started.

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