How to Care for Jeans
Jeans are a timeless wardrobe staple for many people. Whether you wear jeans on a daily basis or just once in a while, you probably have that one pair that you like best, above all the others - that one pair that’s perfectly broken in and comfortable, that fits just right, and that looks great on you.
It's tough to find that one pair of jeans, so when you do find it, you don’t want to let it go. While denim isn't difficult to care for, it can wear out quickly if you don’t take care of it properly. Take a look at some tips to help you extend the life of your favorite jeans.
Don’t Wash Too Often
Some types of clothes require washing after every wear, but not denim. Denim is a rough, rugged fabric doesn’t need frequent washing. In fact, too much washing will just cause your jeans to fade faster. Instead of washing after every wear, use a damp cloth or old toothbrush to spot clean jeans between washes. For 100 percent cotton jeans with no Lycra, you should only be completely washing your jeans every eight to ten wears. If the jeans have plenty of Lycra, then you can wash them a bit more frequently, but not more often than every three to five wears.
Wash with Cold Water
Hot water can hurt your favorite pair of jeans. To avoid fading and shrinking, wash with cold water water when you do need to. Plus, washing with cold water will save you money and will save electricity. Win, win!
Easy on the Detergent
To further preserve the color, it’s best to avoid harsh detergents in the load when you wash your jeans. Choose a mild detergent designed for gentle washes, or go all-natural by using a cup of distilled vinegar in a cold-water cycle in place of detergent.
Hang to Dry
Just like hot water can damage denim, the high heat from a dryer is extremely tough on the indigo and fibers in your jeans, not to mention the Lycra in stretchy varieties. Air drying is preferable to machine drying because it ensures that the colors and fabrics will remain strong.
However, when your jeans begin to bag out at the knee and backside, you can turn them inside out and throw them in the dryer for about 10 minutes before pulling them out and hanging them. This will give them the little bit of shrinkage you need to reshape them properly without putting too much strain on the fabric.
Forget About Freezing
“Freezing your jeans kills the bacteria” is one of those persistent myths that sounds like it could be a neat denim-saving lifehack, but it really isn’t. You can’t clean your jeans by putting them in the freezer, because your freezer doesn't actually get cold enough to kill bacteria. Freezing denim is a waste of both time and freezer space. You’re better off just washing the jeans when you need to (just not too often) rather than trying to freeze them clean.