Spring Cleaning: 5 Tips For Washing Your Denim

One thing I used to really struggle with as a denimphile in New York City – is that I live in an apartment without a washer and dryer. Back in Seattle I would regularly toss my jeans through the wash whenever they started to bag, or just swirl them through the hot dryer to shrink them up quickly from day to day.

I don’t have the luxury of washing my jeans (or any of my clothes, for that matter) as often as I like anymore. And the more I’ve learned about premium denim, I’ve realized that all that washing just isn’t necessary anyway. (And the dryer is a big no-no!) A great pair of jeans (that really fits you) shouldn’t have to go through the works regularly. It’s not good for the fabric and breaks down the denim!

Since Spring is officially here (Wahoo!) it’s a great time of year to give your jeans that once-and-a-while cleaning after a long , well-worn winter.

1. From Denim Therapy: To keep your red jeans bright and bold, add a cup of vinegar to the rinse cycle, and don’t use fabric softener. For other colors and prints, I recommend hand-washing or using one of the tips below, turn them inside out and wash them without anything else.

2. Try a denim-specific wash, either at home or at the local laundromat, like this one from The Laundress.

3. When washing your selvedge or super-dark jeans at home, follow these tips from A Continuous Lean. You can wash them in the tub or the sink and hang dry – no sketchy laundromat required!

4. Jennine and her husband use a nifty and rather amazing tool called The WonderWash. It’s a portable washing machine you have to hand-crank, but it’s a sure way to get your jeans really clean, whereas hand-washing can make that difficult.

5. For more quick-and-dirty denim-washing tips, check out this ESD post from May of 2010, or this as-basic-as-it-gets tutorial from eHow.com.


[Image credit: bottom right,  A Continuous Lean]


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