The Proper Way To Wash Your Denim Jeans

Finding a pair of jeans that fit like a glove and make you feel good is a monumental wardrobe achievement, so employing the proper care once you own them is crucial to making them last. Any material or fabric, including denim, is susceptible to wear and tear, and washing clothing can speed up this process if not done correctly. Every item in your closet follows a different set of rules, so it's essential to heed the label instructions. When it comes to washing your jeans, there are some guidelines to ensure they stay in good condition.

One huge benefit of denim is that it doesn't have to be washed every time you wear it. In fact, Levi Strauss & Co recommends only washing them after 10 wears. By avoiding a machine cycle after every use, you're helping the fabric maintain its shape and appearance. Because of its rugged and tough nature, denim doesn't require a full wash as often as cotton, linen, or synthetic materials. In fact, spot cleaning is the best way to treat your jeans, until they've seen multiple wears and can go in the wash. Once it is time for a cycle, here is how to get the best results.

Gentle is better with denim

If you're washing a brand-new pair of jeans, the best practice is to wash them separately from other items to avoid color transfer. The dye from fresh denim can bleed if it hasn't been through a machine cycle before, so stick to like colors or other new jeans. The care label and instructions will help as a guide for water temperature and drying instructions, so take the time to double-check the tags before starting a wash.

Once your jeans are ready to go and you're sure they can handle your washing machine, flip them inside out. Whirlpool notes this not only protects the dye and coloring from the detergents, which can cause fading, but it also ensures the denim fibers won't incur too much friction which can weaken them. Levi Strauss & Co. suggests using cold water because it will cause less shrinkage, and cool temperatures are kinder to dyes. You should also avoid harsh detergents.

Hang dry after washing

Once your machine is loaded, Master Class suggests using a gentle cycle setting (this could also be labeled as delicate depending on your washing machine). You don't need a lot of detergent to get the denim clean, so only add a small amount before starting the load. If you don't have more than one pair of jeans to wash together, you can add dark colors or black garments that won't show dye if it bleeds off the denim.

Once the cycle has finished, the best way to dry your jeans is to hang them and let them air out. Not only does this prevent further shrinking, but it's less harsh on the fibers and will help your denim last longer. Jeans can either be laid flat, hung from a line or drying rack, or placed on a hanger. Choose a spot that has good ventilation so the pants can dry from natural airflow. Master Class notes that if you really prefer to use a dryer, it's ideal to opt for the lowest heat setting.