Any amount of time shopping for jeans has likely taught you that once you’ve found the holy grail of this staple wardrobe piece, you want to keep it for as long as humanly possible! Jeans that fit your figure like a second skin can make you feel great about yourself. Care for them properly and you’ll be feeling great that much longer. There’s one hitch, though. Washing denim is a controversial laundry topic! People’s opinions vary on how frequently you should launder this unique fabric, even including advocates for not laundering at all! So how can you keep your favorite jeans in pristine condition if you don’t know how? Keep reading! We’ve done the leg work, and have advice to share from top clothing designers, whether you choose the laundering or no laundering approach. Follow these guidelines to make your denim last so it can hug you in all the right places for years to come!
The Launder, But Not Too Much, Approach to Denim Care
Keep Denim Longer by Washing Less Often
Top designers advise washing denim after 4 to 6 wears. This fabric is made to form to your figure and experiences more wear and tear in the washer than on your body. According to BT.com, jean designer, Donna Ida washes her own denim after 5 to 6 wears. When you do wash, avoid color transfer and fading with a cold water setting and denim that has been turned inside out, which also keeps buttons and zippers from snagging other fabrics. Additionally, treat denim to a delicate cycle and line dry to protect the fiber’s elastane, keeping it in it’s best form. Tumble drying is particularly tough on denim and is best avoided. This extra TLC will pay off by keeping your jean’s color and fit true to when you fell in love with them in that dressing room.
Wear, Don’t Wash, New Jeans First
Don’t worry about cleaning denim prior to wearing it for the first time. Most denim has been washed as part of it’s design process, making in unnecessary to launder fresh from the store. If your jeans are of the raw denim variety, with no pre-washing or shrinking involved in their inception, wearing them first encourages the fabric to form to your unique shape.
Hang Denim When You Aren’t Wearing It
Allow your jeans to air out and maintain their shape between washings and wears. As you’ve been wearing them, they’ve been forming to your body. This is a better look than wrinkles from a rumpled laundry pile or creases from being folded flat. Keep them looking good to keep you looking great!
When You Do Wash, Wash With a Gentle Detergent
No matter how often you decide to wash your favorite jeans, be sure to use a gentle detergent formulation. Vaska is an ideal choice for the kind treatment of your hard working denim. An added benefit is that it is as gentle on the environment as your laundry!
The Just Say No to Traditional Laundering Approach to Denim Care
Freeze Any Funk Away
Fold your favorite jeans into a large Ziploc bag and bid them adieu for the week, while they will be away getting cold, crisp and, according to ApartmentTherapy.com, devoid of any living organisms that they have accumulated during wearings. While this doesn’t address any specific stains, it does sanitize those jeans and have them ready to wear without the wear and tear of wash or dry cycles.
Spot Clean Stains To Keep Your Jeans Pristine
LeviStraus.com advices spot cleaning to eradicate stains. Blot the stain with either a clean cloth or cotton swabs dipped in soapy water using a clean cloth beneath the stain to absorb it.
Refresh Denim with a Light Steam Wash
Reviewed.com recommends hanging your jeans in the bathroom while you shower to reap the benefits of a little revitalizing moisture without shrinkage or a change in fit.
Smell Fresh with a Quick Vinegar Soak
If spot cleaning, steaming and freezing just aren’t cutting it, Reviewed.com also advices soaking your jeans in a cold water bath with a cup of distilled white vinegar mixed in. This will deodorize your jeans and have them feeling fresh after a hang dry without any unnecessary rough cleansing. And don’t worry, the vinegar smell vanishes during dry time!