Denim is a classic fabric that has been in style for decades. It’s the go-to material when you want something that’s both durable and stylish. It is comfortable, sturdy, can be dressed up or down depending on the occasion, and can be worn during every season. Denim jeans are timeless and will never go out of style, which makes them the perfect investment for your wardrobe.
In order to keep your denim looking fresh, it’s important to know how to properly care for it. If you don’t treat it correctly, it can lose its shape and fade with time. To prolong the life of your favourite pair of jeans as well as any other denim garments (such as denim jackets) in your closet, check out this guide on how to wash and clean your denim items!
Don’t Wash Them Too Often
Yes, your favourite pair of jeans can be worn multiple times without a wash! Many people wash their jeans every time they wear them, as they believe it will help them maintain a crisp appearance. This is not actually the case, though. Washing too often can cause jeans to prematurely fade, shrink and lose their shape. Instead, try washing your jeans every two to three times you wear them, or even once a month. It’s time to wash your denim when there’s a noticeable odour.
When you do wash them, use a small amount of mild detergent, as too much detergent can cause fading in the fabric. You can also add a cup of white vinegar to help fight stains.
Don’t Put Them in the Dryer
You should never put your jeans in the dryer. Denim is a fabric that shrinks when it’s put in high heat. The only exception is if you use a low-heat dryer cycle. This is especially important when washing jeans that are already a smaller fit. If you put them in the dryer, they may shrink beyond repair. The heat can also damage the fabric and lead to premature fading.
Instead, try line drying your jeans whenever possible. Hang-drying denim on the clothesline will prevent it from shrinking. If you don’t have space to hang your jeans outside, you can also place them on an indoor drying rack. If possible, keep them out of direct sunlight, though, as even indirect sunlight can fade denim.
Brush Off Excess Dirt Before Washing
You’re bound to get dirt on your jeans. However, do not wash them immediately afterwards. Instead, brush off the dirt with a soft-bristled brush. This will help prevent the dirt from setting into the fibres and staining your jeans. If you do have a stain, brush it off first before washing. A damp cloth can also be used for this purpose.
After brushing, wash your denim as soon as possible!
Wash in Cold Water
The cold water cycle is the best way to wash your denim. It will not harm the fabric, and it helps prevent fading and shrinking. Cold temperatures are also gentler on your clothes than warm or hot water, which can result in shrinkage and colour loss. If you don’t want them to fade and shrink, wash your pants in cold water. If you must use warmer water, do not go over 30°C to extend the denim’s lifetime.
If you can, the safest way to wash your dark jeans is by hand in cold water using a gentle detergent or soap bar.
Turn Inside-Out Before Putting in the Washing Machine
If you want to prevent premature fading and staining on denim, always make sure that you turn your items inside out before tossing them into the washer. This will help protect the fabric, and keep your jeans looking great. It’s a good habit to get into, because turning your jeans inside out keeps them from fading prematurely.
If you don’t turn your denim inside out before washing it, there’s a chance that the dye could bleed onto another garment or even transfer to other fabrics—like towels and sheets—in your laundry basket. This can cause some pretty ugly stains if you’re not careful.
Don’t Use Fabric Softener
Fabric softener can leave a sticky residue on your jeans. It can also cause them to fade, and make them feel flatter and less sturdy. Avoid using fabric softener when washing your denim. You should also skip the dryer sheet, too—it can leave a waxy residue on your clothing that makes it stiff and crunchy instead of soft and smooth.
If you really need to, you can put your jeans in a pillowcase before washing them. You could also try adding baking soda or vinegar to your washing machine to help remove odours and soften the fabric. Vinegar will also help get rid of any left-behind detergent build-up that might be causing problems for your denim (and other fabrics).
Use Dry Cleaning Products With Caution
If you have a stain that won’t come out in the wash, you might be tempted to use dry cleaning products to get rid of it. However, you should use dry cleaning products with caution. Dry cleaning solvents can break down the fibres in your jeans, causing them to lose their shape and fade. If you do use dry cleaning products, you should use a very light hand. To be extra cautious, you can use a stain pre-treatment product before putting your jeans in the garment bag for dry cleaning.
There you have it. The best way to care for your denim is to treat it gently and not wash it too often. We recommend hand washing and air drying whenever possible. If you can’t do that, use cold water and turn items inside out before putting them in the washing machine. Never use fabric softener or dry cleaning products on your jeans—these chemicals will damage the quality of your clothing.
If you follow these denim care instructions, your jeans will last longer and maintain their shape and colour. They’re an investment worth taking care of. With the right maintenance, your jeans can last for years to come!