Denim, once made to withstand tough working conditions, has been a fashion staple for decades, and they can last just as long. There are dozens of reports of 100-year-old-plus denim jeans that have been discovered all over the country, many of which are in “pristine” condition.
Unfortunately, the way that most people care for their own denim jeans and jackets means that their denim pieces could never last as long as that — unless they follow these 7 steps to denim care.
Denim Care Tip #1: Wash denim less often.
If you’re the type of person who throws a piece of clothing in the laundry every time you wear it, think twice about your denim. Denim will always shrink or fade, depending on the type of denim and dye, but more washing always means more damage. If you have raw denim, meaning denim that has not been sanforized (washed and treated to prevent shrinkage prior to being sold), there is a whole set of rules to follow to ensure they’re properly broken in.
Denim Care Tip #2: Spot clean only.
Don’t toss your jeans in the wash just because you’ve spilled. Instead, spot treat the stain with an appropriate remover depending on the type of stain.
Denim Care Tip #3: Use cold water.
When you do wash your denim, always use cold water. Warm water will accelerate fading and shrinking — if you are looking for this type of denim look, you can wash them in all the hot water you’d like. Remember, however, that not only will your denim fade, but the fabric itself will start to deteriorate.
Denim Care Tip #4: Hand wash.
Even though denim is known as a tough and sturdy fabric, a household washing machine is still too rough for it. Washing machines work with agitators that are far more aggressive than human hands, even on the gentle cycle. Instead, soak your denim in cold water and a small amount of detergent for a half an hour, swirling gently just once or twice.
Denim Care Tip #5: Air dry.
You should always avoid using a household dryer with denim and instead line them line dry. If you’ve come to accept that you shouldn’t wash your denim too often, you can still freshen them up by hanging them outside in the breeze.
Denim Care Tip #6: Steam them clean.
If your jeans are a little musty and you can’t hang them outside, try hanging them in the bathroom or using a steamer. The steam will not only clean your jeans but rid them of any lingering unpleasant smells.
Denim Care Tip #7: Take them to the dry cleaners.
Full-service dry cleaners, like Dependable Cleaners, who are experts in clothing care —— are able to dry clean denim and prolong its life through using Hydrocarbon solvent and not perc. Dry cleaning doesn’t shorten the life of the fabric, but washing does. Dry cleaning does not harm the fabric nor strip the dye.
If you want to extend the life of your jeans and keep them looking good, dry cleaning over washing will accomplish it.