A well-made pair of jeans can last for many years with proper care, but all too often we unknowingly abuse our denim during wash and dry cycles, causing our jeans to prematurely wear and lose that fresh, crisp look that initially drove us to purchase them. There was a time when distressed denim was all the rage, but nowadays the trend is dark, dressy denim devoid of distressing and fading, and maintaining that look means a change in the way you care for your denim. Additionally, good denim can be costly, well over $100 in some cases, but consider that high cost of entry an investment in a clothing item that you will enjoy for years if you take proper care of it. These six tips will help you keep your denim looking new and fresh for years to come.
Wear Multiple Times
Some denim connoisseurs never wash their jeans at all, but that just isn’t realistic and is certainly not hygienic. But, all too often, I see people who wash their blue jeans too frequently, sometimes after every single wearing. If you wear those jeans just twice before putting them in the washer, then you have effectively doubled the life of your jeans, at least. If you are not profusely sweating or doing manual labor in your jeans, you should be able to wear them at least a handful of times before sending them through a single wash cycle.
Now, you might be asking how to keep those jeans from smelling dank between those newly extended wear-cycles. As I said, if you are wearing jeans to do yard work or during summer months in the deep south then you should keep washing them with every wear. However, if you are wearing denim in other settings, like to the office or dinner, then you might want to freshen them up between trips to the utility room. The answer is simple: Febreze. It gives you fresh jean smell without having to worry about preserving the color and wash of your blue jeans.
Wash Inside Out
Denim is a rough and tough fabric, but washing machines put clothing through an unnatural amount of stress due to the spinning and heat. Surface abrasion, particularly at the hems, pockets, and other stress points, can take its toll on jeans over just a few wash cycles. Turn your jeans inside out before putting them in the washing machine; this prevents premature fading and wear, keeping your denim’s external appearance factory fresh.
Cool Water Only
Cool water wash cycles reduce the stress that washing machines can place on all clothing items. Jeans are particularly susceptible to the damage that hot water wash cycles can cause. Washing in cool water prevents shrinkage, keeping those jeans fitting as intended. Additionally, many high-end designer jeans contain a small percentage of spandex in the fabric for stretch and fit; this 1%-spandex blend fabric can easily be damaged by the heat of washing on hot or warm cycles, causing permanent wrinkles and bubbles to form over time.
Put your jeans in a pillow case before washing to give that denim the ultimate protection from the wash cycle. This ensures that surface abrasion, fading, and shrink are kept to a minimum and is particularly useful on jeans with heavy embellishment like those 7 for All Mankind jeans adorned with Swarovski crystals on the pockets.
Do NOT dry your denim in a dryer under any circumstance whatsoever. Drying denim in a machine even just a few times can cause noticeable fading, which undermines all efforts to preserve the original wash of the jeans. Surface abrasion from the heat and spinning is brutal and shrinkage is guaranteed. Drying your jeans in a machine can also quickly damage those spandex blend jeans that are favored by many fashionable women. Dry your jeans the old-fashioned way to ensure that color, fit, and finish remain true to design.
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