How to Wash Jeans So They Stay in Mint Condition

Simply said, there is a lot of disagreement on the best way to wash jeans. On the one hand, some people fervently advocate not washing and letting your jeans alone.

Yet, others claim that while washing is acceptable, they would rather do it as little as possible. Interesting. What if they are genuinely filthy, though? Is it conceivable that by putting your jeans in the washer and dryer a few times a week for all these years, you’ve been doing it incorrectly?

To find out the truth about washing your jeans, as well as the best ways to care for them if they truly do need a good cleaning, we spoke with denim specialists. Scroll down to get advice from Paige Adams-Geller, creative director and co-founder of Paige, Jamie Mazur, cofounder of vintage denim brand Re/Done, and Catherine Ryu, design director of Edwin USA (previously of Citizens of Humanity).

Cleaning Jeans

If and when you decide to wash your jeans, there are many alternatives available to you. Most jeans can be hand-washed, steamed, or washed in a washing machine, though you should always check the product care tag first. If you don’t want to wash them completely but they are beginning to feel stretched out, Adams-Geller also has a tip for you: “Put them in the dryer for a few minutes with a moist cloth to freshen them up.”

How Often Should I Wash My Jeans?

Ryu advises washing every four to five wears rather than every time you wear your jeans, with the goal of reducing frequency to preserve color and structure. Learn more about the specifics that lie ahead.

Jeans can be cleaned in a washing machine.

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Use cold water while washing your jeans in the washing machine to maintain their elasticity and prevent bleeding. Particularly true indigo jeans should be washed with complementary hues. In order to keep the fabric in its optimum condition and reduce friction on the exterior of the jeans, Ryu advises washing your denim inside out.

When to Use the Dryer While Washing Jeans

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While it may seem quick and simple to throw a pair of jeans in the dryer, doing so is not the best thing for your denim. Your pants will likely lose their shape in three years since dryer heat can damage the yarn and lycra.

You can tumble-dry your jeans if you’re in a hurry, but only on the lowest heat setting. According to Mazur, antique denim is another exclusion. He explains that vintage pants frequently become a little stretched out with use. They can restore their shape by briefly drying them in the dryer.

If Jeans Are Stained, Here’s How to Wash Them

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You accidentally spilled food, toothpaste, or a cocktail on your jeans. Denim specialists advise you to use vinegar as a spot treatment on the soiled area rather than washing the complete pair.

Ryu advises staying away from spot cleaners that include chlorine bleach. She advises using soft soap or vinegar as an alternative to strong detergent in place of stain pens or wipes.

Jeans Care: Preventing Fading

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Wash your jeans inside out and add some vinegar to prevent the dye from crocking too much if you have a pair of dark-wash indigo or black denim that you want to retain in like-new condition. Consider it like dying Easter eggs: By doing this, the dye is kept in place. To avoid fading, Adams-Geller also advises using dark Woolite in cold water on a soft cycle.