Most of us have a few denim items in our closets, with jean pants being a particularly popular staple fashion item around the world. Jeans come in a huge range of colors, sizes and styles, from flared, ripped and stacked denim style to patterned, pastel and textured designs.
While doing laundry isn’t the most fun chore, taking the time to read washing labels and choosing the right washing cycle is important for your clothes longevity. Denim in particular is a unique fabric with special characteristics, and so needs to be taken care of properly.
Here are some of the top do’s and don’ts that you need to consider when it’s time to give your denim jeans a clean:
Do try to Minimize the Frequency of Washing your Denim Jeans
Lessening the number of times you wash your jeans will help to protect the cotton fibers and it’s good for the environment too. It is recommended that you wash them once every 10 wears and spot clean any stains in between wears.
Spot cleaning with a little vinegar and a gentle detergent will help with marks and odors. A cloth or toothbrush are ideal tools to keep on hand for this purpose.
Don’t Put Them in The Tumble Dryer too Often
Applying too much heat to your jeans can damage them. While tumble drying jeans can help them to return to the correct shape, you should select the lowest heat setting possible.
It is even better if your dryer has a no heat setting.
Exposing denim to heat can cause the material to shrink, so it is best avoided where possible. Eventually the fabric will start to degrade after many cycles in the dryer.
Air drying is often the safest option.
Do Turn them Inside Out
This is a very simple and easy trick that has great results. Turning your jeans inside out before placing them into the washing machine can help to prevent fading and damage.
Putting them inside a pillow case will also have this effect. This will help prevent visible damage from snagging on other clothes or the machine itself.
Not loading the washing machine too full will also help to prevent this type of damage from occurring.
Don’t Wash in High Temperatures
For the same reason as avoiding hot tumble-drying cycles, avoiding high temperatures in washing machine cycles is also important. Check the label for any specific guidance on maximum temperatures that your denim can be exposed to.
A cold, short and delicate cycle will have optimum results. Your washing machine will likely have a specific setting for delicate items.
Some people even suggest freezing your jeans in the kitchen freezer in between washes. This can help to kill bacteria that causes odors. While it’s not the most practical trick, there is no real harm in giving it a go.
Do Try to Hand Wash Delicate Denim
Hand washing items of clothes is inconvenient and time consuming but worthwhile if it significantly extends the life of your denim. You can wash them in the sink or bath tub in cold water, there are special gentle detergents available for this purpose.
Just be sure to roll the jeans to squeeze out excess water rather than wringing the material. You can then hang them out to dry naturally.
Don’t put Light and Dark Colors in the Wash Together
This feels like an obvious washing tip, but when in a rush it can be tempting to throw everything into the machine together. Take the time to separate light and dark items or have separate laundry baskets to throw items into once they’ve been worn.