Friday 30 September 2016

You've been washing your jeans all wrong (or have you?)

Sasha Brady

Published 16/08/2016 | 13:10

B*Witched were fans of denim
B*Witched were fans of denim
Kim Kardashian and Kanye West are fans of denim (Photo by Marc Piasecki/GC Images)
Britney Spears and Justin Timberlake in 2001
The Strokes will headline the British Summer Time gigs in Hyde Park

When was the last time you washed your jeans?

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Yesterday? Last week? They're in the wash right now?

According to a recent survey conducted by Mashable, most people wait every three wears before throwing their jeans into the wash.

But the CEO of Levi's believes you're washing them too often.

Britney Spears and Justin Timberlake in 2001
Britney Spears and Justin Timberlake in 2001

In fact, he insists you should never wash your jeans.

"A good pair of denim doesn’t really need to be washed in the washing machine except for very infrequently or rarely," he told Fortune magazine.

Apparently machine washing breaks down the fibres in your jeans, as well as causing the colour to fade over time.

He claims it's best to rub them with a damp cloth if you need to remove stains.

Denim aficionados also swear by sticking them in the freezer to kill bacteria or putting them outside on a 'good drying weather' day to get rid of unwanted smells.

But what about body soils such as salt, sweat, grease, skin cells, and flakes? None of these magically disappear by hanging your denim out in the wind or submerging them in sub-zero temperatures.

Kim Kardashian and Kanye West are fans of denim (Photo by Marc Piasecki/GC Images)
Kim Kardashian and Kanye West are fans of denim (Photo by Marc Piasecki/GC Images)

Only a good wash with a proper detergent will kill bacteria and get rid of any odours.

So taking all that into account, the best time to wash your jeans is when they start to smell. Use your own judgement. You'll know  when they feel grubby. Depending on how much you sweat, how often you wear them and how dirty the areas you park your bum, that could be once every week to once every few months.

And what's the best way to wash them to preserve their lifespan?

Wash them in "cold water," recommends Mary Johnson, fabric-care principal scientist for Tide and Downy.

She told Stylecaster that a cold wash "helps preserve the denim’s finish and minimises unwanted shrinkage."

To maintain the jeans' fit and shape, skip the dryer and lay them flat to dry.

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