Advice
|19 Apr|4 mins

Myths About Washing Your Denim

And how to REALLY keep your jeans just the way you like them
Matt Coyte
19 Apr
Share:

When raw denim became the new hotness in the mid-2000s, there were a lot of whack tips flying around about how you should care for them. Popping them in the freezer, never washing them, washing them in the ocean – there was no end to the madness. Over a decade later, most of these fanciful care tips have been debunked. Here are some of the better myths, busted wide open, and some real tips for keeping your denim minty.

Advice
|19 Apr|4 mins

Myths About Washing Your Denim

And how to REALLY keep your jeans just the way you like them
Matt Coyte
19 Apr
Share:

When raw denim became the new hotness in the mid-2000s, there were a lot of whack tips flying around about how you should care for them. Popping them in the freezer, never washing them, washing them in the ocean – there was no end to the madness. Over a decade later, most of these fanciful care tips have been debunked. Here are some of the better myths, busted wide open, and some real tips for keeping your denim minty.

Myth: Freeze your jeans to stop them smelling

The idea behind this was that low temperatures removed any smells that would build up in your jeans, meaning you could wash them less and avoid the risk of the raw denim indigo colour fading in the wash. The boffins at the Smithsonian debunked this myth, arguing that not all bacteria could be killed by cold, and that if just one microbe survived the big freeze, it would multiply again once your body heat warmed up your jeans again.

Myth: Freeze your jeans to stop them smelling

The idea behind this was that low temperatures removed any smells that would build up in your jeans, meaning you could wash them less and avoid the risk of the raw denim indigo colour fading in the wash. The boffins at the Smithsonian debunked this myth, arguing that not all bacteria could be killed by cold, and that if just one microbe survived the big freeze, it would multiply again once your body heat warmed up your jeans again.

Myth: Wash your jeans in the ocean

Sure, rolling around in the white-wash in your jeans has a certain romantic appeal, and the idea is that the salt water and sand will result in fading that looks pleasing and natural. The reality is that most of the beaches we swim at will just deposit more silt and bacteria into our beloved denim, resulting in having to wash them with soap and water again anyway. So yes to the artful fading, and no to the idea that this is an alternative to a machine washing.

Myth: Wait six months before you wash your jeans

There is a general consensus that waiting six months before washing creates that desirable high-contrast creased fading. This might be true, but the same effect can be achieved by washing them only when they start to get stinky. Six months is a stretch and not washing raw for that long can result in the dirt weakening the fibres, meaning your jeans ripping and tearing more easily.

Myth: Wait six months before you wash your jeans

There is a general consensus that waiting six months before washing creates that desirable high-contrast creased fading. This might be true, but the same effect can be achieved by washing them only when they start to get stinky. Six months is a stretch and not washing raw for that long can result in the dirt weakening the fibres, meaning your jeans ripping and tearing more easily.

How Should You Really Care For Your Denim?

The general consensus is that you should wash your jeans as infrequently as you’re comfortable with. You should be getting at least three wears out of them between washes (more if you can stand it), but you shouldn’t wear them for over two months without washing. Turn them inside out and cold wash them in a machine, on their own or with other raw denim for best results. Hang them up to dry — hot water and the heat of a dryer will prematurely fade your denim.

Find your new favourite pairs from all the biggest brands and latest arrivals in our +denim STUDIO.

Matt Coyte
Writer
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