Twice a year I wash, reorganize and donate my blue jeans that I don’t wear or are threadbare. I twitted about my tedious fashion escapades; a couple of guys asked why I only wash my denim twice a year. I realized many guys don’t know how to do regular laundry properly so obviously they wouldn’t know proper denim care. As always I’m here to give “food for thought” calorie free per usual.
My dad taught me how to care for my denim and he maintained that washing denim or not washing denim is all about how denim age, mainly keeping the indigo as true as long as possible.
Rinsing denim before its first wear lessens transferable indigo, removes starch, and softens creases and whiskers to achieve desired look and fit of your denim.
I wear my denim 6 months before finally machine washing or hand washing. Other times (usually every 3 months) I may wash them earlier due to stains, unbearable smells or when the fit becomes too baggy. However, I own more than 10 pairs of denim so that’s few and far between. Also, whenever the back-of-the-knees area bunches up and fades, wash it.
To prolong the first wash, I hang up my jeans on my garment rack—it will air them out and keep them fresh.
Washing and drying your denim is tricky when trying to maintain fit and color. I do mine two ways- by hand or machine. By machine I wash an all denim load inside out on cold with Purex Natural Elements. This is a natural, hypoallergenic and dye-free detergent that is easy on fabrics. Add vinegar or salt
By hand (usually my darker denim or stained denim) I do it in my tub. Instead of Woolite Black that most use I prefer Garnier Fructis Pure Clean shampoo or eco-conscious Method dish soap that is gentle but effective.
For grass stains I pour alcohol on the stain. Let it sit for 5-10 minutes, rub it in then, rinse with soapy water. To remove chewing gum, which a child or fatty would have this problem, put the denim in the freeze or apply ice to the area. You can then peel the gum right off the denim.
Do NOT tumble dry! Machine drying weakens/fade the fibers. Dry your denim by hanging them inside to avoid them smelling like wet dog hanging them outdoors. Smelly denim defeats the purpose of washing them.
Storage is important in maintaining denim it helps with smell, whisker-ing and discoloration. You can hang them by the belt loops if you have the closet space, leave them on floor with dryer sheets in the pocket or if you’re neat and orderly like myself fold them like at the store with zipper out.