How to Wash Jeans So They Stay in Mint Condition

Darrel Hunter

To put it simply, there’s a lot of controversy over how to wash jeans. On the one hand, some people swear by leaving their jeans alone and refraining from washing them. On the other hand, some say washing is OK, but they prefer to do it as little as possible. Interesting. But what if they’re really, truly dirty? Is it possible that you’ve been doing it wrong all these years by tossing your denim in the washer and dryer a couple of times per week?

To get to the bottom of it, we talked to denim experts to find out the real deal when it comes to washing your jeans, plus the best ways to care for them if they really do need a good cleaning. Scroll through to read tips from Catherine Ryu, creative director of Edwin USA (formerly of Citizens of Humanity); Jamie Mazur, cofounder of vintage denim brand Re/Done; and Paige Adams-Geller, creative director and cofounder of Paige.

How to Wash Jeans

Your options for washing jeans are aplenty, if and when you want to. You should always check out the product-care tag first, but most jeans can be hand-washed, steamed, or put in the washing machine. Adams-Geller also has a trick for if you don’t want to give them the full wash, but they’re starting to feel stretched out: “Put them in the dryer for a few minutes with a damp cloth to freshen them up.”

How Often You Should Wash Your Jeans

While most people wash their jeans as needed, rather than after every wear, Ryu recommends washing every four to five wears, aiming to reduce frequency in order to preserve color and structure. Get more details on the nitty-gritty ahead.

– Additional reporting by Sarah Wasilak

Related: The 1 Thing This Fashion Editor Does to Every Pair of Jeans After She Buys Them

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