A favorite pair of jeans can be a closet staple. And when you finally find a pair with just the right fit, you hope they’ll last forever. Here are a few denim hacks that will help you prolong their lifespan.
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So how do you avoid any grossness? Here are some tips:
Clean Without Washing: Experts say not washing your jeans will make them last longer and help them keep their shape and color. Tommy Hilfiger says he never washes his jeans, and Levi’s CEO says he hasn’t washed his jeans in more than a year.
Freeze: This cold technique is so cool. To kill off any funky bacteria, put dry, folded jeans into a zipped bag and freeze them for 8 to 24 hours, then thaw before wearing. While some swear by this technique, a University of Delaware scientist doing research in Antarctica counters that it won’t kill any bacteria, as many of the microbes will survive the low temps and repopulate once they are warmed back up.
Jean Care With Vodka: If your jeans are smelling musty or need a little freshening, consider a spritz instead of a submerge. Many experts, including the folks at Levi Strauss, suggest the following method. Mix 1 part water with 1 part vodka (the cheap stuff works just as good). Spray your jeans and let them air dry. (And while the bottle is out, feel free to make yourself a Vodka Soda. Yum!) If you don’t have any vodka on hand, you can also use a spray solution of white vinegar to freshen your favorite pair.
Spot Clean: Address small stains or spills by using mild soap and a damp cloth. Or you can use that old toothbrush for some super-scrubbing action.
A Dose of Fresh Air: Italians have long embraced the charm of clotheslines, and sunlight is a natural disinfectant. On a clear and breezy day, hang your jeans on the line to make them seem like a fresh pair.
When You Must Wash in the Machine: Use cold water and wash them inside out. This will preserve the color and expose the most agitation to the inside of the jeans, where your skin oils have built up.
Fade Back to Black: If you are starting to lose some color in your dark rinse, fade to black with this kitchen hack. Add to your wash a cup of strong brew or instant coffee. The coffee tannins will make your favorite pair a few shades darker.
Hand Wash: Hand washing is gentler on the denim fibers. Soak your pair for 15 to 30 minutes with a small amount of detergent. Rinse thoroughly to avoid product buildup.
Air Dry: High-heat clothes dryers can shrink and fade your jeans. For best results, dry your jeans flat or hang dry.
Do you have any Jean Care Hacks? Let us know in the comments below.
Lily - Refinery29 says
Hey Cayla! I’m a writer for Refinery29. I’d love to use some of your tips in a feature and shout out your website. Email me at [email protected] if you’re interested!