Does Goodwill Wash Clothes Before Selling?

The mission of the Goodwill Community Service Organization is to improve the quality of life for people with disabilities and those facing economic hardship by engaging in community service and volunteer work.

What are Goodwill Charities? Goodwill is a 100% tax-deductible, nonprofit organization that restores and enhances the value of everyday things to inspire joy, hope and renewal.

Does Goodwill Wash Clothes Before Selling?

Goodwill is also a non-profit that helps people and communities rebuild their lives after natural disasters.

This article will be covering the processes of what they do and whether that includes aspects like washing the donations of clothes and personal items, or whether they have conditions they must already arrive in to make the work much easier.

Do They Wash The Clothes?

No, Goodwill does not wash any of the clothes or material that is donated and asks the individuals who are donating to do this beforehand and to make sure that everything being donated is of a good condition for selling.

There are pickers as volunteers which will go through the donations and determine which ones are in better condition and can be sold and which ones should be discarded because they are smelly or in bad condition.

They might be a charitable, non-profit organization, but this doesn’t mean they will just accept anything because they need to sell the stuff that is donated and need it to be of decent standard.

Why Don’t They Wash The Clothes?

The whole process is of low cost, from the places where the items are sold, to having volunteers and everything they can minimize cost on.

Therefore, by doing this, they are able to sell the stuff for a cheaper price which is far more appealing for people as it is second-hand.

People will not pay high amounts for clothes that have already been worn by someone else. They need to keep all of the costs down to be able to keep the organization running.

This includes only taking better quality items and not having to take the time consuming job of washing and drying them all, ironing them, and getting them ready for sales.

If it is done beforehand, this will save a lot of time and money which can go to charity instead of the work process.

You can also think of it in a way where all of the clothes are washed but only a small fraction of them have been bought, the customers are basically paying for the laundry services and not anything else.

Hard To Implement

Hard To Implement

Even though the Goodwill asks people to wash the clothes before donating them, it is really difficult to actually get everyone to do that.

This is why they still have to go through all of the different donations to determine whether they are ok for sale or not.

However, if everyone took the time to wash them at home, more would be able to be sold straight away and more money would go to charity.

In many cases, people who are dropping off donations do not tend to wait around for someone to inspect their stuff. It is usually a drop off outside and it will be collected by volunteers.

This is why it is difficult to know the quality of what people are bringing in. it can be quite wasteful because the stuff which cannot be sold then has to be discarded.

Quality Of Clothes Sold

It all depends on how well the Goodwill volunteers are doing their job by sorting out whether the clothes and materials are clean or not.

If everything is chucked in willy-nilly, you might find that there will be some which have creeped through to be sold which might have stains or rips.

Most of the clothes which are sold at Goodwill are of a good standard and should be clean.

If it still has a smell you don’t really like, you can always take it home and pop it on a nice hot wash yourself to just make sure it is nice and clean to wear as new.

The main issue is usually the stains which will put anyone off and it does not meet the standards even if you could get them out.


Overall, when it comes to donating to Goodwill, it is your responsibility to wash your own clothes before they are sold.

If you are doing something good for charity by donating your stuff, it clearly states at Goodwill that they must be of a good condition.

If you ignore this and continue to donate clothing which is smelly and unclean, they will only be discarded.

Therefore, you will not be helping any cause at all because you could have just thrown it out yourself and now the volunteers have to take their time to do it instead of sorting the quality items.

Hopefully this article will help you understand why Goodwill does not wash all of the clothing they receive from donations.

They are trying to keep the costs as low as possible so they can make a bigger difference.

They use their time very wisely in terms of what is helpful for selling more, and when they aren’t spending their time discarded dirty clothes, they could be preparing more for sale.

If you’re looking to start donating to Goodwill, make sure you are only donating items which are ready for sale and are in good condition.

Frequently Asked Questions

Should I Wash Clothes From Goodwill?

Goodwill makes every effort to donate our gently used clothing to those in need. However, there may be minor issues with an item. Our staff can not verify the condition of each item.

The staff will try to advise you of the condition of each item, but will not make a promise of satisfaction because they are not washed by Goodwill and should have been washed before donation.

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