A perfect pair of jeans can be a pretty serious investment- yet when it comes to taking care of these precious commodities, there seems to be a great deal of mystery. Use the machine, don’t use the machine, wash by hand, don’t ever wash—it can get really really confusing.
We’ve 8 truly useful tips including how to wash them, when you should wash them, and how to fold like ’em like a pro.
1. Serious denim heads know that raw denim (super-stiff jeans with no washes, fading, etc.) can take up to six months to break in and shouldn’t be washed until then. Why? Jeans really do conform to your body, and when you wash them, most of the shape is lost.
2. I understand 6 months is a long time, if your denim starts to smell, you can hang your jeans in the bathroom before a shower (the steam will freshen them up) or freezing them in a plastic bag for two days (yup, this one really works).
3. To prevent fading/ create fading, wash jeans inside out in cold water on the delicate cycle or by hand with Woolite. If you actually want denim to fade quickly, wash once in hot water.
4. Keep the denim color, add half a cup of distilled white vinegar to the final rinse cycle while doing laundry to maintain the wash of your favorite pair of dark jeans.
5. Air-dry denim pieces. If you have to use a machine, turn it to the lowest possible heat setting, and remove the jeans before they’re completely dry. Lay flat or hang upside down to dry.
6. How to fold jeans like a pro: Lay a pair on a flat surface, fold in half from left to right. Grab the stacked jean legs and fold them in half so the hems of the legs line up with the waistband. Fold the legs in half one more time.
7. Denim fibers need to breathe, so don’t pack folded pairs too tightly together on a shelf or hang denim jackets or vests in a crowded closet.
8. Jeans a bit too tight? Let them air dry, and tug the damp waistband by hand. For extra stretching, tug the damp band while blasting it with a hairdryer or going over it with a super-hot, steam-filled iron. It WORKS every time!!!