How To Care for Denim

If you've finally found the perfect pair of designer jeans, you probably want them to stay that way for a while. Even if you didn't spend a lot of money on them, you don't want to ruin your jeans by caring for them improperly. Denim can fade or wear out quickly without the proper care. Here's how to care for denim:

  1. Don't wash them daily. Your denim does not need to be washed every day, and doing so can make them wash out much faster. Instead, go a few days between washing, as long as there are no stains or spills. Go as long between washings as you can. Denim will become thinner each time you wash it, and after many washings some areas may be so thin that they will be prone to tearing. You can use Febreeze or air out the jeans between each wear to keep them smelling fresh.
  2. Wash by hand, if possible. If you don't want the dark color of the denim to fade, wash your jeans in lukewarm water, never the hottest cycle on your washing machine. If your jeans are stretchy, consider soaking them in water and soap and then rinsing them, without agitating them in the washing machine. Washing these jeans in the washing machine will make the elasticity wear out faster. If you do not use a washing machine, pay special attention to the hems; this is usually where dirt will gather fastest.
  3. Be gentle when washing denim. When using a washing machine, turn the jeans inside out. This keeps the dark blue color from fading. Wash in cold water on the delicate cycle. Hot water is not good for your jeans, and agitating them too much will just make them wear out faster. If you want the denim to fade quickly to achieve an aged look, wash once in hot water. Wash the jeans by themselves or with other jeans; the dark dye used to color denim can bleed onto the other items in the wash.
  4. Treat to remove stains. If you have stains such as grass stains on your denim, pour alcohol on the stain. Let it sit for a few minutes, rub at it with your thumb, and then rinse with soapy water. To remove chewing gum, freeze your jeans or apply ice to the area. You can then peel the gum right off the denim. Soaking denim in lukewarm soapy water is a good way to remove other stains.
  5. Dry the denim properly. Besides washing, drying can also be heavily damaging for denim apparel. If possible, try not to machine dry them. If you must, turn down the temperature to the lowest heat setting, and remove before they are completely dry. Lay flat or hang upside down to dry.
  6. Repair promptly. If your denim does develop a hole, or even just a thin spot where tears seem imminent, patch the hole from the inside of the jeans. Repairing as soon as you spot the problem will keep it from growing larger.

Denim jeans may seem very sturdy, but they're actually delicate. They require gentle care that will prevent them from fading or wearing out quickly. Remember that each wash and dry cycle wears out your jeans. Caring for denim properly will ensure that they last as long as possible so that you can enjoy your great-fitting jeans for a long time.


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