Washing clothes is routine for most of us. Most of us follow a similar routine: (1) fill the washer with water to the desired level, (2) pour in detergent, (3) set the timer and spin cycle, (4) take clothes out for a rinse.
This is a pretty simple approach that will clean your clothes. However, this procedure doesn’t take into consideration the amount of care a certain type of fabric needs when you wash them. Take for example the denim jeans which has been around for hundreds of years but not a lot of people really know how to properly care for it.
This long-standing piece of clothing was created to last countless hours of work. Modern society has brought it to the forefront of fashion as an essential piece of traditional clothing we should always have inside our closets.
Even though a pair of Levis isn’t as expensive as some of the designer clothes in the market, you should still handle it with care. No more trips to the local laundry shop to have it bouncing around inside a washing machine with strong detergent. Regularly washing denim like this will destroy it and will cost you more money because you don’t want to be seen in washed out jeans.
You will keep your jeans looking sharp if you don’t wash them. It may sound really odd reading that but, it’s actually true. Some world-renowned denim designers have been on the record saying that there many reasons to not wash denim the common way.
People who keep washing their jeans will be wasting more than 800 liters of water each year. And since billions of people own at least one pair of denim jeans, the amount of water wasted is enormous and all for something that doesn’t really keep the clothes fresh and clean. Treat your jeans as an investment and follow these four tips to get them looking good at all times.
- Water and Vinegar
It doesn’t matter what brand of denim jeans you got, the one sure way to find out you’re caring for your jeans correctly is by the color. Jeans who are constantly washed using water and soap will eventually lose the color from the dye.
A proven way to keep the original color is to get cold water and mix it with vinegar. White vinegar will do. Fill enough water to make a cold water bath, pour in the vinegar, and soak, not wash, your jeans in the mixture for 1 hour.
Hang it or lay it down on a clean flat surface to let it dry out. It will smell like vinegar at first but the smell goes away once the pants dry out. Doing this will keep the dye color from fading and keeps the denim clean as well.
This method can also be done in the washer. Load the washer up to the lower level. Pour in the same amount of vinegar. The cycle should be set to mild to avoid any color loss. Avoid putting in detergent; allow the machine to finish the cycle before taking your jeans out.
- Steam Clean
Using hot water to clean your jeans will make the color fade and it shrinks the fabric as well. A pair of skinny jeans will get skinnier if you use hot water to clean them. A hot dryer or water won’t do your jeans any good.
If you don’t work in construction, chances are your denim jeans didn’t really get dirty. Steam cleaning them as you shower is a simple technique to quickly deodorize you jeans. The aromas from your shower will seep into the fabric making them smell like new. Plus, the water vapor won’t expand the denim fabric that much.
- Air drying
Don’t put your jeans inside the dryer. The heat from the dryer will shrink the fabric and tumble cycle will slowly destroy your favorite pair until it won’t look good anymore.
A sunny day is you friend in this case. The temperature outside will dry out your jeans quickly. But, avoid hanging your jeans on a spot that gets hit by sunlight. This will have a bleaching effect on your jeans. Hang them outdoors but place them under a shade.
- Use the Freezer
Another quick way to care for your denim is to place them inside your freezer for several hours. This technique freezes and kills the bacteria on your jeans and it gets rid of the worn out jeans odor allowing you to wear it again.
If you have raw denim jeans, you mustn’t wash them right away. The type of fabric and dye used on them makes them look better the older they get. Denim dealers will tell you that these raw jeans should be kept from the washer for at least 6 months. One wash will cause the dye to fade quicker; wear them out until the natural fade and distress look appears.
You must not use water to wash them so your alternative is put it inside the freezer for a couple of hours. Some of the odor-causing bacteria will be killed during the freezing process.