Denim is a complex fabric and when it comes to jeans, the advice for looking after them is endless: wear them in the bath, put them in the freezer or oven to get rid of odours, rub sand on them and whatever you do, don’t put them anywhere near the washing machine. There are a few myths out there, and more than a few over-the-top suggestions but it’s easier than you might think; discover five ways to look after your jeans below, and keep that denim in shape for years to come.
Keep Washing to a Minimum
There are a few denim aficionados who swear by never washing jeans, claiming it damages the fabric and shortens its lifecycle. While this may work for some it’s not always practical (food stains and the inevitable smell that comes after a long stint of wearing them will soon have you reaching for the washing machine), but make sure you keep washing to a minimum – and wait at least six months until you wash a new pair. By leaving it, you give your jeans the chance to create a personality all of their own (think shape and fade lines) and minimising washes means the colour will last longer.
In between those infrequent washes, you’ll undoubtedly gain a few marks here and there. Eradicate stains and marks by spot cleaning them – simply apply a wet cloth with a little bit of soap to the mark, wipe and dab until clean, allowing them to air dry.
Wash by Hand
When it does finally come to washing your jeans, wash them by hand in cold water. Fill a bowl or sink with cold water, adding just a drop of detergent. Turn your jeans inside out before submerging them in the water for half an hour, then fully rinse in cold water.
Once you’ve finished washing your jeans, you’ll want to roll them up to squeeze out the water as wringing will damage the fabric. Putting them in the tumble dryer will damage the fabric too, as well as shrink it. Instead, lay them flat or hang to air dry, placing a towel underneath to catch any drips.
Steam Jeans to Keep Fresh Between Washes
To keep your jeans fresh and odour-free between washes, gently steam them using a steaming iron or place them in the bathroom while showering. The steam will lift odours, while the small amount of water vapour won’t damage the fabric.