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This is How Often You Should Actually Be Washing Your Jeans

Finding a pair of jeans that look, feel and fit perfectly has to be one of the top five best feelings ever. That’s no exaggeration. It’s hard to find denim that you love and denim that totally and utterly loves you back. But when you do, and you will, you must take very good care of them. They’ll be there for you through all your peaks and valleys. When you feel down, your favorite pair of jeans will lift your mood instantly. When you wake up on the right side of the bed, on a beautiful morning and realize it’s even a Friday, there is no question which jeans you’ll be donning that day. You two go together like peanut butter and jelly…

Okay, enough with the sap. Let's cut to the chase. How often should you be washing your beloved jeans?


Brand new jeans — do you need to wash before wearing? Nope! Jeans are pre-washed to fit as best as possible right from the shelf. If they’re a bit rigid, wearing them is the best way to fit them to your body, not washing them. Buy, wear, flaunt —  just don’t wash right away.

Fashion experts suggest washing jeans every four or five wears. This is especially true for stretchy jeans that don’t need a wash and dry to “shrink” back up. If your jeans have zero stretch, we suggest washing every two or three wears. The fabric and weave of non-stretch jeans actually loosen up and the jeans can change shape. That’s why we naturally feel the need to toss them in the dryer or wash and dry them all over again. Hold out for a couple washes.

So you've heard freezing your jeans can be an alternative to washing them. So have we, and here's what we think. It's been proven that even freezer's aren't cold enough to kill the germs inside denim's cotton fibers. The idea of freezing them in the first place is to kill those germs, therefore eliminating odor. Freezing denim actually isn't too effective. Get your jeans out of the freezer.

When it's time to wash your jeans, wash them with gentle laundry detergent. Many regular detergents are filled with chemicals and optical brighteners. Optical brighteners are one of denim’s worst nightmares. After just a few washes with chemical detergent that contains optical brighteners, jeans will change color. “These aren’t the jeans I first fell for!” you’ll think to yourself. Change isn’t always good, right? Choose a detergent that ditches harsh chemicals and optical brighteners. Your jeans will last longer and look great wear, after wear.

Pro-washing tip: Always wash your denim in cold water. Cold water helps retain the dyes in your jeans. Hot water compromises the wash and color of the jeans.

So if you’re not washing your jeans after every wash, how do you keep them “fresh”? And what about stains? As far as potential odors go, simply hang your jeans to air out between washes, and if you dribble some mustard or spill some coffee, simply spot treat your jeans. (If the mess is intense, we advise washing, of course.)

OR take Levi’s CEO, Chip Bergh’s advice and never wash your jeans in the washing machine. He actually does this to conserve water, but says it does, in fact, make your jeans last longer. If he absolutely has to wash his jeans, he hand washes them. So if you want to take advice from an actual denim mogul, here’s how:

  1. Fill a sink or bath tub with cold water.
  2. Pour in 2 scoops of our Platinum Series Active Wear Detergent
  3. Submerge your jeans
  4. Let your jeans soak for about an hour or two
  5. Drain the water, rinse the jeans really, really well and ring out
  6. Hang to dry

We’ve heard, and we’re sure you have, too that best way to wash your jeans is actually never. But, hygiene comes into play, and that just doesn’t seem practical, so we don’t quite suggest that. Any type of fabric you wear will take on dead skin, oils from your skin, dirt and grime from whatever bench or subway seat you sat on and more. If your jeans smell, wash them. If they don’t wait until next time.

Just be sure to always use cold water and use laundry detergent without optical brighteners or harsh chemicals that can easily compromise your favorite pair of jeans. (PSSST… none of Rockin’ Green detergents contain optical brighteners or harmful chemicals.) Just plant-based ingredients that clean really well, but are gentle on fabrics.

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