Washing denim the right way

Who doesn’t love a good pair of jeans? They’re comfortable to wear, and look good in any situation. Not to mention that denim is a super durable fabric that is versatile and can last for years if you take care of it well.

However, improperly caring for denim can cause it to fade, shrink, or lose its shape. It can also exacerbate rips and damage, even ones that are stylishly meant to be there. If you don’t take care with your denim, it won’t last nearly as long as it can. 

To keep your denim looking good and lasting as long as possible, it’s important to follow proper washing techniques. 

Read the care label

It’s basic advice, but it works. Before washing your denim, always read the care label on the garment. This will provide important information about the fabric composition and any specific washing instructions. The fabric, colour, and embellishments will affect how you should wash your denim. Some denim calls for handwashing or is best washed alone or with similar garments. 

Turn it inside out

Turning your denim inside out is a great way to protect it from any potential damage during the washing cycle. It can limit abrasion and friction that could result in micro-tears on the outside of the fabric. Turning denim inside out also preserves the integrity of the colour and is especially important for dark wash denim. Buttons, zippers, and any embellishments or embroidery will also be protected. 

Use cold water

Keeping your denim looking good is important, but what could be more important than retaining a great fit? Cold water is gentler on denim, which will help retain its shape and prevent shrinking. Hot water can cause denim to lose its shape and size, which affects how it feels and how it looks when you wear it. Cold water guarantees your jeans will fit the way they did when you first got them or had them hemmed. 

Choose the right detergent

The detergent you use can make all the difference in your washing, especially when it comes to denim. For jeans, you should choose a mild liquid detergent that will be gentle on the fabric. Avoid powder or pods, as these don’t dissolve well in cold water. You should avoid using bleach, even colour safe bleach, on denim as it can damage the fabric. And put down the fabric softener! It will leave a residue on your jeans and isn’t necessary. 

Wash separately

If you have enough denim, consider washing it on its own. This will prevent colour transfer and keep the denim fabric from causing harm to some of your more delicate garments. 

Don’t overload the machine

Denim is a bulky material, and it can easily fill a washer to the brim. This can cause friction and abrasion between garments, which can lead to damage and premature aging. It can also keep the denim from being washed properly since detergent and water can’t move effectively between the denim. If you’re a real denim enthusiast, you might want to consider getting an industrial-sized washer so you can wash all your denim without doing multiple cycles. 

Air dry

Unless you’re in a rush, you should aim to always air dry your denim. Denim can shrink and lose its shape when exposed to high heat, which warps its precise shape. Instead, lay your denim flat or hang it up to let it dry. If you need to speed up the drying process, use a fan or dehumidifier to help circulate air around the garment.

Store properly

If you aren’t going to wear your denim right after washing it, it’s crucial that you store it properly. You should fold your denim neatly so it doesn’t wrinkle. Avoid hanging it, as this can cause stretching and puckering. Make sure it’s stored in a dry place away from direct sunlight and too much heat or moisture. These will cause wear on any fabric, especially denim. 

Denim is an awesome and versatile material, and a favourite amongst pretty much everyone. If you want to keep your denim in peak condition and ensure it lasts, you take special care when you wash it. By following the above guidelines, you can help to keep your denim looking good and lasting for a long time.

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