How often should you wash jeans? Denim experts set the record straight
Our parents can't possibly impart all their domestic knowledge on us once it's time to fly the coop, and there are some things we've got to figure out by ourselves, including the dreaded question of how often should you wash jeans.
Many of us learn the hard way that you shouldn't wash your new red socks with your whites, nor that you should put your woollen sweater in the hot wash.
But what about jeans? They're probably the most contested clothing of item in terms of best cleaning practice s0 don't feel ashamed if you still don't know the denim-washing-protocol.
How often should you wash jeans?
Chances are that you're probably washing them too much, and here's why.
According to various experts, the less you wash them, the better. Levi's CEO Chip Bergh caused a stir when he boldly claimed that you should never wash them, explaining that if he gets them dirty he'll use a toothbrush to spot clean them.
To keep them fresh, others claim that sticking your jeans in the freezer overnight will remove odours, or that simply hanging them outside for a few hours will do the trick too.
Does washing your jeans too much cause damage?
It's true that washing your jeans too often causes damage – thinning the material with the friction inside the washing machine, as well as fading them as the dye washes away over time.
But J Brand’s head of design, Mary Bruno, told Who What Wear that as long as you don't wash them more than every four or five times after you wear them, you should be fine.
"Most jeans stretch and have such great extension that it's no longer necessary to wash your jeans to get them to shrink back up again," she explains.
"Don't wash them every time you wear them. There are optical brighteners in most laundry detergents, which will change the colour of your jeans too quickly. I think it's best to wash them every four or five times."
Cofounder of vintage denim brand Re/Done, Jamie Mazur, corroborated to PopSugar: "I try not to wash my jeans. Sometimes it becomes necessary, but it is better to not wash them if you can."
What's the bottom line?
So the bottom line is to do it as infrequently as you can, and to let them air out between wear to keep them fresh.
When you do put them in the washing machine, turn them inside out and put it on a cold wash to retain the dye.
Avoid putting them in the tumble-drier, and opt for letting them air-dry instead. If you're in doubt you can always consult the care tag on the inside of the jeans. Denim is designed to last and a good pair will actually start looking better as they age.
This is especially true as the more you wear your favourite pair, the more they will form to your body and create their own "wear pattern".
Oops, I know I've been washing my jeans too frequently...