Adding a new favorite pair of jeans to your wardrobe? A great new pair of jeans is an investment worth protecting. We want to help you get as much life as you can out of your purchases, which is why we’ve compiled some of our favorite denim care tips for you.
Read Your Label
As you might imagine, the first place to start is your care label. If you’re not sure what the symbols mean on your tag, look them up.
- Here’s an online article we like to reference from Tide.
- Invest in a cute farmhouse chic sign for your laundry room. You can find one like this that defines each of the symbols for quick reference on the spot.
Check Before You Wash
- Are the pockets empty? Checking them is the fastest way known to man to make a quick buck.
- Is the zipper up and button closed? Failure here is the fastest way to snag other garments in the wash.
- Any rogue drops of ketchup or barbecue sauce? If so, pre-treat those ASAP, especially on lighter denim tones.
Most brands tell you to hand wash your bling jeans and let them air dry. If you choose to ignore them, you are at risk of damaging the bling. That said, we’ve found the following works pretty well most of the time:
- Turn them inside out for the washer and dryer
- Use a delicate cycle and the lowest heat settings
- You can be even more proactive if you put your jeans in a mesh delicates wash bag. This works best with front load washers.
Jeans will last longer if you use cold water to prevent fading and shrinking.
- Hang Dry: It is best to hang dry your denim out of direct sunlight. (Sun can cause fading.) If you can’t stand the stiffness of hang-drying, toss them in the dryer afterward for two minutes on the lowest heat setting. That’ll soften ‘em up without shrinking and cause minimal wear-and-tear.
- Machine Dry: If you can’t let them air dry for some reason, you risk damaging or shrinking them in a clothes dryer. You can minimize risk if you dry them inside out on the lowest heat setting.
Yep, this is a thing. Especially for dark indigo dyes on denim, don’t wash them if you don’t have to. If they look pretty clean, but they don’t smell clean, here’s how to de-odorize your jeans:
- Fold them up nicely
- Put them in a plastic bag, from the grocery store
- Place your jeans in the bag in the freezer for 24 hours. Yes, the deep freezer where your deer and elk meat is stored.
- Odors are caused by bacteria. The cold temperatures will kill the bacteria. (Disclaimer: this doesn’t work for skunk spray. Just sayin’.)
Most of the time, if you pre-treat stains from tomato-based sauces and wash them right away, the stains will come out. It’s oil stains that can really cause problems.
To get oil stains out of denim:
- Make sure the jeans are dry, as in, don’t try to rinse off the oil first. Remember, oil and water don’t mix.
- Use a dab of dishwashing soap (we’re told Dawn really does work best). Gently rub it into the oil stain, and let it sit for 10-15 minutes.
- Then, rinse the soap out of the jeans. You can toss them in the wash, but you really don’t want to use a clothes dryer because the heat will set any stain that might remain. Let them hang dry.
- Once they’re dry, check the spot. If it isn’t entirely out, repeat.