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How to Safely Thrift During COVID-19

Fall is right around the corner and I have sweaters, flannels and pumpkin cream cold brew on my mind. Thrifting is one of my favorite fall activities. The thrift store is always full of comfy sweaters that used to belong to someone’s grandpa that are perfect for fall. 


With COVID-19, it feels a bit odd to shop through other people’s old clothes. It took me a while to start thrifting again with everything going on, but I’ve figured out some ways to stay safe while thrifting.


Have a mask on at all times

This should be obvious but, wear a mask. Wear it properly, don’t take it off at any time while you’re shopping and keep an extra one in your bag just in case.

Wear your hair up

Keeping your hair up in the thrift store is helpful for a few reasons. Whenever I wear my hair down I tend to touch it...a lot. You definitely don’t want to constantly touch your hair while you’re thrifting in these COVID-19 times. Wearing your hair up will also keep your hair out of your face while you shop.

Don't bring a drink

Pre-COVID-19, I always brought a drink with me to the thrift store. Whether it be a water bottle, a Diet Coke or an iced coffee from Dunkin’ Donuts, there was a drink in my hand at all times. However, it’s not exactly safe to have a drink sitting in your cart in public so I would definitely recommend leaving your drinks in the car while you shop.

Protect your hands

Thrift stores are usually fairly clean but at the end of the day, you’re still looking through used clothes. Depending on the store, you never know where the clothes have been and if they were washed before being hung on the racks for you to buy. It’s important to protect your hands while you shop, you can wear gloves if you’d like but I’d definitely recommend keeping hand sanitizer with you and using it regularly. Also be sure to wash your hands when you leave the store.

Wash your items when you get home

When I get home from the thrift store, my clothes go straight in the washing machine. Any home decor I purchased also gets washed right away. It has always been important to wash your thrifted items but now it is especially important.

Take a shower and change your clothes Happy thrifting! Stay safe y’all!  

You don’t want to hang around the house in the clothes you just wore around the thrift store so when you get home, change out of them. I also like to take a shower after thrifting just to be extra safe. While you don’t have to take a full shower, at least be sure to wash your hands really well.

Happy thrifting! Stay safe y’all!


Samantha is a junior studying Broadcast Journalism and Criminology at the University of Kentucky.
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