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A pair of jeans that fits right is both beautiful and miraculous, so you don’t want to make a mistake by washing jeans the wrong way. You’ve been there, right? You’ve had those amazing jeans that you broke-in just perfectly, and then one bad trip through the wash, and they were never the same.
So, if a good fitting pair of jeans is a miracle, then a poorly washed pair is a tragedy. Having made mistakes in the past, you are determined to protect your valued denim by learning everything there is to know about washing jeans.
Five Things to Know About Washing Jeans
So, go ahead, relinquish the pair of jeans that you vowed never to wash again, clean everything out of the pockets, and get ready. You’re about to learn the five things you need to know about how to wash jeans the right way.
1. Using Cold Water is a Must
Whether you like hand washing jeans, or putting them in a machine, the temperature of the water is what’s most important. You might be wondering, do jeans shrink? Well, they’re made of cotton, so in hot water, they sure will. They can also lose their deep, rich colors in hot water.
That’s why cold water is so important. With each wash you lose a little bit of the indigo dye, but cold water can help those colors last longer, and it can help keep your jeans fitting better, longer.
2. You Should Wash Your Jeans with Other Jeans
Denim is a tough fabric, which is great for your jeans, but not so great for your other clothing. When you wash your jeans with your sweaters, and t-shirts, you expose those items to the ruggedness of denim. As your jeans tumble through the wash, they rub up against those other items, and cause unnecessary wear and tear.
This wear and tear is actually not even just from the denim itself, but also from the zippers and rivets. By only washing your jeans with other jeans, you help prolong the life of your entire wardrobe. You also help keep your jeans from dyeing everything blue or black.
This is especially important if you buy raw denim jeans. These are jeans that have not been pre-washed. That means when they are washed, they will bleed indigo dye, and they could easily ruin your other clothing.
3. Line-Dry Your Jeans Whenever Possible
It’s not just a bad trip through the washing machine that can damage your jeans. You also have to be careful about how you dry them. Your safest bet is to line-dry them in the beautiful fresh air. The cool fresh air will help keep your jeans from shrinking and fading, and it will keep them smelling good too.
If you have to put them in a dryer, then you want to use a delicate setting without heat. The heat of the dryer air, just like hot water, will shrink, and fade your jeans.
4. Your Jeans Need to be Washed Less than You Think
You might think that friend who never washes his jeans is a little crazy, but he might not be that far from the right answer. Jeans are not like the rest of your clothes. They really don’t need to be, and aren’t meant to be, washed after every use. The more you wash them, the more they fade. You can even change the fit of your jeans with too much washing, so it’s important to know when to wash them.
Barring any obvious signs of dirt, you only need to wash your jeans every few months. Obviously, if it’s a pair you wear every single day, you will need to wash them more often, but if you find yourself washing jeans weekly, you might want to invest in another pair.
5. You Can Wash Them Without Washing Them
To help limit the number of times you run your jeans through the wash, you can try a few simple tricks to keep your jeans clean without actually washing them. Spot cleaning them is the simplest way to deal with small stains, like a drip of coffee or a smudge of deodorant. Why run them through the wash for something that can be dabbed off with a cold cloth?
And speaking of cold, many people actually suggest putting your jeans in a freezer. Yep, go ahead and Google “jeans in freezer,” and you’ll see. This is a way to deal with the odors that your jeans soak up with wear. Simply place them in a breathable bag, like a canvas bag, and place them in the freezer. The cold air will kill the bacteria that cause the odors, and you’ll end up with fresh-smelling jeans that still fit perfectly.
Prolong the Life of Your Favorite Jeans
Now that you know more about how to care for your precious jeans, you can keep them in tip-top shape for a lot longer. You’ll save money on jeans, water bill, and detergent, and you just might have enough extra cash to invest in another well-fitting pair.