4 Things I ALWAYS Do When I Wash my Jeans

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A discussion that comes up about 3-4 times a year with my husband goes as follows:

“I want to get some nice clothes”, says Justin.

“Great. I want that for you too! You cannot simply throw them in the washing machine on hot and right in the dryer on hot as well. They will not maintain their shape/size”, I reply.

“Okay, never mind then”, he says.

And then he goes to Academy and buys more Under Armour t-shirts.

The point is: you have to be willing to take care of your clothes if you want them to last, fit great, and keep their shape!

I have a mix of high-end clothes, as well as a great deal of mid-range items, and the best thing I do to keep my clothes in tip-top shape is to be mindful of how I’m washing them.

When it comes to jeans, here are a few things I do to make sure they look good as new, no matter how old they may be.

One. I do not wash after every wear. Does this surprise you? I typically wash my denim after about 4-5 wears, OR I’ll wash them if I wear them to a restaurant and they’ve absorbed the restaurant aroma.

Two. I turn my denim inside out and wash on cold. Washing them inside out will help keep the color true. The cold water will also help prevent fading.

Three. I hang every pair of jeans to dry. Hanging to dry is what keeps mine from shrinking up or in. I usually lay them over a laundry basket with holes to allow airflow.

Four. I toss them to remove wrinkles after they are dry. Once the denim is fully dry, I’ll toss them in the dryer for about 15 minutes with a wet washcloth to remove wrinkles. I use medium or low heat for this!

Heat affects fabric negatively more than cold temperatures, so I try to avoid heat, whether it be in the washer or the dryer.

Following this routine has worked beautifully for me for so many years. If you’re either looking to better care for your denim, or you just bought a brand new pair for fall, this laundering routine will help your jeans look and feel great for a long, long time.

P.S. If you’re shopping for new jeans, I always keep this in mind.


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Lynn Bass says · 10.02.23

I’ve also heard if you but some vinegar in the wash the first time you wash them they that it will keep them from fading. Only need to do it on the first wash.

Kate says · 10.03.23

oh really? good to know!

Ellie Fancuillo says · 10.02.23

You should really keep your disdain for your dermatologist’s staff off of your business account. It’s not a good look for you personally or your brand.

Kate says · 10.03.23

I can make my own choices about what feelings and experiences I choose to share, thanks.

annie says · 10.02.23

I’m wondering how you get 4-5 wears out of a pair of jeans. I have a nice jeans from Madewell but even those I feel like after one wear are stretched out and feel gross to wear a second day in a row. Am I doing something wrong or is it personal preference? I feel like they stretch out after a full day of work and then look worn and need to be washed to shrink back up. Any insight?

The good news is Madewell jeans from my experience stand up to being washed after everywhere!

Kate says · 10.03.23

I don’t have that level of stretching but I wonder which style you have?

Miriam says · 10.03.23

Good tips! Another thing I do is to just dry them right away for about 5 minutes or so..that takes wrinkles out and they don’t dry stiff with weird wrinkles. Saves form putting them back in once dry.

Kate says · 10.03.23

Interesting method!

Helen says · 10.08.23

I do this with most clothes as that’s what my mom did. I dry the whole load for no more than 10 minutes then hang it all up to finish drying.

Amie Haroldsen says · 10.08.23

Ahh interesting! I must not be getting high-end-enough jeans because mine stretch out, and I depend on the dryer to shrink them back up. Ha ha but I do like the idea of washing them inside out and on cold. Same for me, I only wash them every three or four wears. Thanks for sharing.

Kristine says · 10.08.23

Oh my, finally found someone that does exactly what I do! My daughter always asks me why I turn them inside out. I always tell her that the colt will last longer!

Lisa Nardoni says · 10.18.23

You can also roll them up, put them in a bag then in the freezer. This cleans them and kills all germs in between washing them.