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Reduce Costs - Tips to Preserve your Denim Jeans

Updated on August 12, 2019

Reduce Costs - Shopping and Laundry Expenses

Following these tips to preserve your denim jeans will not only reduce your shopping expenses but also your laundry costs. By preserving your denim jeans, you can extend the lives of all of the jeans you currently own, thereby reducing the need to purchase new ones. And by following the steps to preserve your denim jeans, you might be able to reduce your laundry expenses too.

How to Wash, Dry, and Store Denim Jeans

Follow these tips to preserve the lives of your denim jeans and help them retain their color, shape, and fit.

  1. Wash infrequently. Do not wash after each use, but rather, after at least three but preferably five wearings. Do not wash more often than once a week. By washing your denim jeans less frequently, you will do fewer loads of laundry, thereby saving money. The less frequently you wash your denim jeans, the longer they should last, which will also trim your shopping expenses and clothes budget.
  2. Wash separately. Wash denim jeans with other denim jeans or denim articles of clothing. If you do not have enough denim articles to merit a separate wash, wash with items that are of similar color and/or thickness/durability.
  3. Wash and rinse in cold water. Use the gentle cycle, less liquid detergent (powder detergent can sometimes leave a residue) than you would normally use, little to no liquid fabric softener (if you must use fabric softener, choose one with natural ingredients, free of dyes, inks, or perfumes), and cold water/cold rinse setting. Zip and button them first, then turn them inside-out before washing. Cold wash and rinse cycles use less energy and lower your energy and laundry costs (unless you are using a communal washing machine, where each use is charged the same price). OPTIONAL: some recommend to wash your jeans in vinegar to preserve the color. This can leave an odor, not only on the jeans but also in the machine, which will affect your next load of laundry. I have never washed my jeans in vinegar, and the colors have not faded.
  4. Air dry. Do not place denim jeans in the dryer. The best way to extend the life of denim is to keep it away from heat. Preserve your denim jeans by air drying them on a drying rack or hanging them vertically. If you want to preserve the color of your denim jeans, do not hang them outside to dry in the sun. Air drying helps denim retain its shape and fit. By not running a load through the dryer, you also save energy and lower your laundry costs.
  5. Hang or fold. To avoid creases, hang your jeans vertically (to reduce wear on the buttons, zippers, or hardware, you may want to hang them by the ankle area).

Other Tips to Preserve Denim Jeans

  1. Do not dry clean. The chemicals will destroy the denim fabric. This will also help you save money. Following the washing and drying tips above, and your denim jeans will last a long time.
  2. Purchase durable jeans. Avoid purchasing jeans with embellishments, holes, frays, etc. that can reduce their wearable lives.
  3. If you must use the dryer, place it on the lowest setting and remove your denim jeans while they are still damp. Hang them on a drying rack or vertically until completely dry.
  4. If you want to shrink jeans, place them in the dryer. Put them on while still damp and let them finish drying on you, to retain their shape.
  5. If you do not use fabric softener and air dry your jeans, they may feel stiff. Place them in the dryer with no heat for a few minutes to soften them up.
  6. If you want to fade jeans, wash them with lighter-colored fabrics and hang them in the sun to dry.
  7. Use liquid detergents that are free of inks, dyes, and perfumes. For black jeans, consider using a detergent made especially for dark clothes (and wash with other black/dark denim jeans or clothes).

Seventh Generation Liquid Laundry Detergent

Seventh Generation Concentrated Laundry Detergent Liquid Free & Clear Fragrance Free 40 oz
Seventh Generation Concentrated Laundry Detergent Liquid Free & Clear Fragrance Free 40 oz
I prefer to use Seventh Generation liquid laundry detergent, free and clear, unscented, for washing my jeans. They have not faded or shrunk over the years--I do air dry them and do not use fabric softener when washing my jeans.

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