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Fabric Care: Denim 101

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(Photo Credit: The Jeans Blog)

 

Finding that perfect pair of jeans is like finding a needle in a haystack. But once they’re yours, you want to hang on to them forever, which means keeping them super clean, right? Nope! Actually, most denim experts (including Levi Strauss CEO Chip Bergh, Tommy Hilfiger, and Madewell specialist Mary Pierson) say that washing your denim as rarely as possible is the key to long lasting and great looking jeans.

The fibers of your denim break down and soften with each wash, leaving your favorite jeans flimsy and faded before you know it. Our experts say you can go at least 5-10 wears without washing your jeans, but it all depends on lifestyle, activity level, and, of course, your personal preference. 


So what do you do when you get a stain on your jeans, or when they’re just a little too dirty (i.e. stinky) to wear again? Chip Bergh recommends spot cleaning if any stains should arise with a soft-bristled brush or damp cloth and just a little bit of a gentle, bleach-free detergent. Dropps Mini Detergent Pacs are perfect for stain removal—less detergent, less waste.

When they really need a good cleaning, it’s ideal to hand wash, but machine washing should be okay (always check the fabric care label first!) if you turn them inside out and use cold water. Turning your jeans inside out prevents the fabric from fading, and the cold water prevents them from shrinking. Always use a gentle detergent (Scent + Dye Free is best to avoid any unnecessary chemicals), and stay away from any fabric softeners or bleach (yes, even with white jeans!), which can wear down the fibers and cause discoloration. Always air-dry your denim as well, or tumble dry on very low heat.

 

As for that pesky iron? No need! Your favorite jeans are meant to have that lived-in look, so don’t sweat the small wrinkles.

If you’d like a more polished look without all the hassle, try steaming your denim instead. It takes half the time, and no adjusting lumps and bumps from pockets!

 

 

 

 

 

(Photo Credit: Babble

 

Happy Washing (Or not—we won’t tell!)

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