There are about as many ways to wash blue jeans as there are owners of blue jeans – everybody has their own method that they claim is best, it seems. But most of the tips you’ll hear really miss the point – preserving your jeans and making them look good isn’t really about washing them at all. In fact, it’s really about not washing them so much, and changing your methods a little bit when it really is necessary.
If you’re like a lot of ladies, you probably wash your jeans more often than you really should out of a desire to be clean and tidy. Of course, there’s nothing wrong with that, but you may be putting unnecessary stress on your denim if you wash your jeans every week or two. Instead of the regular run through the washing machine, try wearing your new Wrangler jeans for six months before you wash them. After the first wash, you can clean your jeans every three months or so. It may sound like a long time, but if you want your jeans to look their best -- and really take on your body shape to make you look your best -- waiting to wash your new Wrangler jeans is best.
Not Your Normal Wash
You’re probably used to throwing your jeans in the washing machine with like colors, as the tag indicates. If you’re a denim pro, you might even turn your jeans inside out to keep the color from bleeding. But that isn’t really the best method for washing jeans, according to Carl Chiara of Levi Strauss and Co. Chiara recommends washing jeans in the bathtub in about 6 inches of lukewarm water, with 2 tablespoons of mild soap -- such as Dr. Bronner’s castile soap -- and 1/8 cup of white vinegar for dark denim. No agitation, no wringing – just let your jeans soak in the water for about 20 minutes. After your jeans are done soaking let them air dry on a flat rack, or hang them by a belt loop, instead of throwing them in the dryer. According to Chiara, avoiding heat protects the natural qualities of the jeans.
Spot Clean When Needed
If you’ve got an active lifestyle, it’s just a matter of time until a spot pops up on your favorite new pair of jeans. But that doesn’t mean they need to be washed immediately. In fact, denim can easily be spot cleaned. Chiara recommends using whatever you have under the kitchen sink – claiming that he actually uses Windex or 409 on his jeans. That might sound a little crazy, but denim is resistant and built tough, and Wrangler jeans are certainly no exception. Of course, you should spot test whatever you choose to clean your jeans with in an inconspicuous place such as the back of the knee, just in case.
A Little Steam Goes a Long Way
For a lot of ladies, jeans are perfect for everyday wear. If you work in a casual or creative environment, they’re versatile enough to dress up or down as needed. But if you only wash your jeans every few months, you’d need 100 pair in your rotation, if you didn’t have a way to give your denim a little refresher. When you go to take a shower in the morning or at night, hang your jeans by a belt loop on a hook in the bathroom. That way the steam gives your jeans a little touch-up while retaining their natural shape.