There are so many myths around caring for your denim and jeans, but demystifying them can lead you down a rabbit hole with some people recommending that you never wash your jeans! Ever! Let’s be real, not cleaning your jeans in their lifetime is, quite frankly, gross. We’ve taken a deeper dive into the truth about denim hygiene and what really works.
Women’s jeans come in a variety of styles, shades and washes — from high-rise jeans to straight leg jeans, and everything from whitewash to women’s black jeans — but one thing stays consistent: the denim fabric. These days, a good pair of denim jeans is a necessary closet investment, and with quality women’s jeans costing more and more, you’ll want to be sure they are kept in top condition.
Here’s a guide for washing jeans and keeping your favorite denim in great shape.
There are so many myths about washing jeans. First, some companies insist that you simply don’t wash your denim jeans … ever, and that the natural oils of your body soften the fibers over time. Others state that you should wash your jeans every few wears as to not “overwash” them. Some denim companies suggest only hand washing or dry cleaning your jeans, making denim care more time and cost-intensive. Here's good news for you: for best-kept denim, you can simply wash your jeans as you would any other item, with just a few minor tweaks to keep your favorite pants in mint condition.
And unlike the others, yes, try washing your jeans, at least every few wears.
Washing and drying your jeans is not rocket science, although many companies will kid you into thinking that. Simply begin by reading the fabric care label on your new pair of jeans. For the first few washes, keep your new jeans separate from other clothes when washing them as to avoid any unwanted dyes or discoloration on other items. Next, if the label indicates that your jeans are machine washable, turn your jeans inside out before washing them to protect any of the fibers or threads on the outside. Use cold water and detergent designed specifically for jeans and dark washes. This will prevent any dyes from running or your jeans from losing their vivid coloring. Be sure to only wash your jeans with similar colors.
When drying your jeans, be sure to also follow the fabric care label instructions. As a general precaution and rule of thumb, your jeans will typically last longer when you remove them from the dryer a little bit damp and let them air dry. Smooth them into shape and let them dry flat or on a hanger.
At times, you will need to wash your jeans by hand, or maybe you even prefer to wash your jeans by hand as you think it will make them last much longer. Whatever your preference, here are our tips for washing your jeans by hand.
First, begin all washing by checking the fabric care label. Take into account any specific instructions listed on the label and fill a bathtub, sink, or bucket with warm or cold water. Add a small amount of liquid detergent and mix in the water. Now, add your jeans and swish them around in the water to make sure they are soapy. This should take about one to two minutes. Leave your jeans in the soapy water for 15 to 30 minutes, then drain the water and refill the container with clean water. Let the jeans soak in the clean water for another five to 10 minutes before draining the water and squeezing out any excess water. Be sure to not wring out the jeans, though. When drying your jeans, consult the fabric care label and place the jeans in the dryer if it permits, or dry them flat once put back into shape.
There are many tips and tricks for keeping your jeans looking brand new. Here are just a few. Did you know that if you store your jeans by hanging them up, they are likely to hold their shape much better? In fact, hanging your jeans will stretch the fibers and allow them to recover from any friction between wears. For distressed jeans, it’s better to spot clean any dirt or stains rather than wash each time. This prevents your jeans from becoming overworn. And, while you should wash your jeans when things start to get a bit funky, do not overwash them. The agitator in washing machines tears fibers over time, weakening the wear of your jeans. In between washes, use a refreshing linen or fabric spray to remove any bacteria and to freshen up your jeans.
Remember, wash your jeans when necessary, but don’t go overboard, or your much-loved jeans will not last through the years.