So you’ve invested in a pair of designer jeans – a garment that will complement any number of stylish looks – yet how do you keep them looking their best? Denim is a hard-working, hard-wearing fabric which will last for many years if cared for correctly. It’s worthwhile taking a moment to check out our simple care tips to keep your jeans looking top dollar.
Different types of denim will react in various ways to the cleaning process, so be sure to check the manufacturer’s label before washing. However, there are some care and cleaning rules which will apply to the majority of jeans on the market.
- To wash or not to wash? The most common consensus is to wash your jeans as rarely as possible. If you buy raw or dark indigo denim you should ideally wait about 6 months (or as long as you’re willing to dare) before the first wash. This will allow the denim to wear and fade naturally with your body and lifestyle, giving you the perfect fit and finish. This will also help to sustain the vibrancy of the colour. Any spills or marks that occur during this time should be rinsed with cold water. Regular airing and odour spray should be able to deal with any other issues. Be aware that colour transference is likely with dark denim especially indigo, even after washing, so be sure to avoid light-coloured furnishings and clothing.
- If your jeans do need to be freshened up before washing, give freeze cleaning a try. Place your jeans in a sealed plastic bag and place in the freezer for roughly 24 hours. Although this doesn’t get rid of stains, it will kill most germs which cause bad odours.
- When you do eventually wash your jeans, fasten any zips or buttons and wash them inside out. Only wash clothing of a similar colour as dark dyed denim has a tendency to leak colour during the first few washes. Hand-washing is best, though if you don’t have the time for that (and frankly, who does?) machine wash at 30° with a bleach-free detergent. Avoid over-loading your washing machine as this will increase the possibility of creasing.
- Don’t tumble dry your jeans, as this will cause shrinkage and distress the fabric. Either line dry or lay them flat, stretching the seams whilst they are still damp to help maintain their shape.
- Should you iron your jeans? That’s really a matter of taste. A powerful steam iron will make short work of any creases and shouldn’t cause any damage to the fabric. It is always best to iron your jeans inside out as this avoids the possibility of colour fading and shiny marks.
Please note: This guide is for general advice only – always check the care instructions on your garment before cleaning.