How to Wash Jeans the right way

It’s summertime, the bars are open, and it’s time to go outside in anything other than just sweatpants. That being said, getting a new wardrobe is essential right now, and investing in a nice pair of jeans is much more attractive and better looking than hitting up your nearest thrift store for hand me down denim.
Buying a good pair of denim is the first part to looking fresh this summer, but keeping them looking new and fit throughout 30 washes? That’s the tricky part. If you’re spending your hard earned money on nice jeans, they should last you a while. Lucky for you, here is a comprehensive guide to washing jeans the correct way.

How to wash jeans without shrinking 

Trying on a brand new pair of jeans at the store takes some time; Making sure the color is perfect, the feel is nice, and they fit close to your body, but not too snug. Shrinking jeans can be an irreversible dilemma. If you’re wondering how to not shrink jeans, the answer lies in temperature.

It might seem like denim is a heavy duty fabric able to withstand hot temperatures, but warm water and heat can seriously shrink up your favorite pair. Wash your jeans in cold water. However, if you find that your jeans often get baggier the more you wear them, keep in mind that using heat in your washing methods might help out with this specific problem!

How to wash jeans without fading

Similarly to preventing shrinkage, heat is the main culprit of fading jeans. Something to keep in mind is that your jeans are dyed. That being said, if the color is the perfect shade of dark blue, do NOT add heat to these. Just like how the sun can fade colors overtime, the heat from your washer and dryer will for sure do the same.

Along with using low to no heat, the best way to prevent fading is to make sure you use a gentle laundry detergent or one specifically designed for dark colors, like Studio by Tide Darks & Colors Liquid Laundry Detergent. Make sure to also turn your jeans inside out, which helps with fading and also aids in making sure jeans don’t get rips or snags in the wash cycle.

How often to wash jeans

How many times you should wash your jeans depends on a couple factors. If you are someone who works in construction or other jobs that are on the dirtier side, or have sweat in your jeans, then washing them immediately after wearing them makes sense, regardless of how recently you had washed them.

However, washing your jeans too often will make them fade quicker, and lose the new look and quality of fabric they once had. Most jeans experts say that washing them every 3 uses minimum is a good rule to follow, but to be honest, the correct answer is, surprisingly, to just smell them. Your jeans will let you know when they need to be cleaned. In fact, some jean experts say to febreeze them to keep them smelling fresh, prolonging the time before your next wash.

How to wash black jeans (or dark colored)

Washing black jeans correctly is really crucial for a couple reasons: You don’t want your jeans to fade and you don’t want to ruin any other clothes in the wash.

Definitely make sure to first read the inside label of the jeans. Different dying processes and fabric types can make fading happen more or less frequently, so it’s good to take this one on a pair to pair basis.

It is smart to also use a gentle or dark color specific laundry detergent to make sure that hard stipping chemicals don’t fade your jeans. Whatever detergent you use, cold water is the way to go to keep black jeans dark.

Make sure to also wash in loads of only dark colors. It’s a good idea to only wash similarly colored jeans together, as to not have darker dyes transfer onto lighter colored items.

How to wash white jeans

White jeans are a magnet for stains. To effectively wash white jeans, first make sure to spot-treat any stains, then leave them be for 24 hours to let the stain fully lift.

Any laundry detergent should be fine with white jeans, but if you’re really concerned about maintaining their brightness, then use bleach.

If you’re okay with your jeans shrinking a little bit, it can be wise to use warm or hot water on white jeans to fully extinguish any stains.

General tips for washing jeans

  • Use a detergent made for the style of jeans you have. For example, Studio by Tide Darks & Colors Liquid Laundry Detergent is great for keeping the dark dye of your jeans intact. Or try using a super gentle detergent, free of harmful chemicals which can disrupt the dyes in your jeans, like Seventh Generation Concentrated Laundry Detergent, Free & Clear Unscented.
  • Wash jeans inside out to prevent tearing or snagging on the outside of your jeans. This can also prevent excessive fading. 
  • Only wash jeans when they are super stretched out, feel grimy, or smell bad. Spot-treat in between washes if only a small portion of the jeans needs cleaning. DSTLD Jeans Creative Director, Corey Epstein, recommends to not wash a brand new jeans for 4 months in order to let the dye settle in.
  • Set washing machine to the delicate or gentle cycle and use cold water.
  • Jeans should not be dried with a hot setting. Use only warm IF you need them to be tighter. If you want to preserve the fit and color of your jeans, use a no heat dryer setting or hang dry.
  • Only wash light jeans with light colors, dark jeans with dark colors, and white jeans with whites.
  • Always refer to the label tag inside the jeans for the best cleaning instructions. No two pairs of jeans are 100% alike!
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