It’s safe to say that you and your favorite pair of women’s jeans have a solid relationship. You trust those babies almost as much as you do your closest friends — and that’s because they are always there for you. Think about how many times you’ve worn them, from errand runs and football games to impromptu lunches and shopping sessions. There’s never a bad time to wear them, honestly.
But for all that they do for you, are you doing the same for them? It turns out that, while denim care and maintenance aren’t exactly difficult, they are necessary. Putting a little extra energy into caring for your jeans can make all the difference to their longevity and integrity. Wouldn’t you hate to see the pair that’s been through so much with you end up at the back of the closet because they just don’t look so great anymore? Spare that unnecessary drama by adding a few of these denim care tips to your life.
First things first: You definitely do not need to wash your jeans every time you wear them. In fact, that’s a surefire way to contribute to the loss of your denim’s integrity. Frequent washing may lead to everything from color fading to fabric deterioration. Denim is a fairly rugged and durable material, so technically those women’s black jeans that you can’t live without should stand up to those frequent washings — but why take a chance when so many denim experts recommend washing less frequently?
Washing frequency depends largely on factors like how often you wear them and even how you wear them. If you’re working outside and sweating up a storm in heat and humidity, you definitely should wash them more often. But if you have a routine schedule where you wear them casually, you can freely wash them infrequently without worry. Some people choose to wash them every 10 times, while others can go months without washing them. There are even denim “purists” who choose not to wash them much at all. It’s all down to your comfort level, but at a bare minimum, you should toss them in whenever they start to smell or look a little worse for wear.
When you do choose to toss your beloved high rise jeans in the washing machine, you should make sure that you commit to an actual method. The right practices ensure that your jeans turn out as good as new when you pull them from the washer. Turn them inside out before you toss them in the machine; this is an easy way to prevent the color from fading and to clean the inside of the jeans, where sweat and body oil accumulate.
Avoid warm or hot water, which can cause the material to shrink. Cold water is a better preservative, helping retain both the color and the structure of the jeans. Avoid harsh cycles, too. Washing them on gentle with a mild detergent is the easiest way to safeguard the fibers, protect the depth of the color, and prevent premature wear and tear. You can even add a cup of vinegar to the cycle — it serves as a protectant of sorts, helping the color remain crisp and true.
Some people are a little uncertain about tossing their jeans in the dryer — and rightfully so. The machine can cause the fibers and indigo in your jeans to break down and wear away prematurely, leaving them thinner, less substantial, and lighter in color over time. Whether it’s your favorite pair of skinny jeans or straight leg jeans, it’s best to air dry them if you want them to retain their appearance.
You can hang them up and line dry to help maintain the fit and to prevent them from shrinking. Doing that also prevents the fabric from losing its integrity. You can also turn them inside out to keep the color consistent and to avoid dealing with wet and baggy pockets. They may feel a little bit stiff at first, but should feel normal after a little while. You can also toss them in the dryer on a low heat setting to complete the process. That will help them feel softer without ruining the fit or affecting the texture.
Oh, no! That little stain on your curvy fit jeans is way too noticeable for you to ignore. But you just washed your jeans and you don’t want to put them through the entire experience again. So what’s the solution? Stick with a spot treatment and commit to resolving small imperfections in this way moving forward.
You can use a toothbrush or a washcloth dampened in cold water to massage a touch of mild soap into the affected area. Tackle yellowish stains or grass stains with baking soda, which helps cut through the debris when the denim is lightly damp. You’ll notice the stain starts to look even more yellow; use your toothbrush at this point to scrub and lift the debris. With a little effort, you should notice that the stain dissipates.
Your jeans are your wardrobe’s VIPs — and they definitely deserve some attention from time to time. But, clearly, less is best when it comes to denim care and maintenance. Give them just enough love, and they’re sure to stand the test of time.