This post is a collaboration with The Laundress

There is a theory that denim should never be washed. In fact, this is a theory that the CEO of Levi’s adheres to! The idea is that freezing them is better for the denim and kills any bacteria, preventing smells and keeping them clean for you.

It’s also been said that a new pair of jeans should be worn regularly for 6 months before being washed to improve the fade and give an even pattern to the jeans. 

The simple truth is that most of us don’t want to wear the same pair of jeans for 6 months without washing them. The thought of bacteria crawling over our jeans or that the odor is coming from our jeans is too much for most people to take. That means we need a balance between never washing and washing them every day.

So… How often should I wash my jeans?

Before you ask, washing them after every single wear is likely to shorten the lifespan of your denim. Additionally, most jeans are dyed using a substance called indigo. This is unstable and does not fully penetrate the fibers of your jeans. This is actually the reason that jeans fade. But, if you wash them too often the jeans will fade much faster than they should.

This will also increase the abrasion levels on the jeans as they go around the washing machine, further decreasing the lifespan of your jeans.

When To Wash

The exact answer to this will depend on how often you’ve been wearing them and what you’ve been doing in them. Don’t forget that denim is pretty tough if you’ve got your jeans muddy it is possible simply to let them dry and then brush the dirt off. 

But, in general, you should wash your jeans every two-three wears. At this stage it’s essential to use fabric care made specifically for denim to help preserve the denim. 

If the jeans aren’t obviously dirty then they should only be washed when you have enough to make a full load. Ideally aim to wash them every couple of weeks, this will minimize the damage done to your jeans while keeping them clean enough to wear regularly. 

Obviously, this figure will be less if you wear your jeans all day, every day.

Additional Tips

You may also like to know the following:

  • Spot Washing

If you just have one mark on your jeans then you can use a damp cloth and a little detergent to dab the area and remove the stain. However, if this doesn’t work you’ll probably need to wash them in the machine.

  • The Luna

A new invention, known as the Luna, is actually a type of washing machine that uses a tiny amount of water in a sphere placed on your clothes. The machine then generates a cloud of electrostatically charged steam that flows through your jeans and dislodge dirt particles. These are then absorbed by the rotating sphere. 

What are your jean-washing tips? Share them with readers in the comments.

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