Since I live in jeans most of the time and I have quite a big experience with different brands, styles and colors I thought I share my knowledge with you here on the blog. In advance I wanna say that I’ve never ever ruined jeans with washing (and I think it’s pretty difficult things to do, but anyway I hope it’ll be useful.
1.Wash your new clothes before the first wearing.
Yes, even though they’re new as you never know what kind of chemicals were used while they were be making or delivering. Also you cannot know who tried it before you. And how we say it’s better to be afraid then get scared. Most of the new jeans treated in advance and vintage probably were washed few times before you anyway, so it won’t cause any problem but you’ll feel more comfortable in it.
2. Don’t wash it after every wear but don’t put off for half a year (or more) either.
There are a lot of debates about how many times should we put our jeans in the washing machine from half in a year to every other wear. I think the truth is somewhere in between. Washing and drying is one of the biggest enemies of any clothing but on the other hand we constantly leave little skin bits inside the our things and also we wear almost everything outside, shopping, commuting walking in them. What I’d say is that after that very first wash you can wait a bit more. Of course it depends on how many time do you wear them but if you keep changing them like me it’s 1 wash in every one or two months is just enough.
Denim, denim, denim.
3. Wash your denim inside out (and don’t forget to empty the pockets) 🙂
It’s not a biggie it takes a second and helps preserving the original color and fade. Plus the buttons, zippers and other metal details get inside so they won’t scratch and knock on the tub.
4. If you can, use special denim program.
Ok, I didn’t believe first what difference could it make but then I waited for more jeans to get ‘dirty’ to wash them once with this program and it was pretty surprising. The main difference what I noticed is that the jeans didn’t get so stiff and it was easier to get on. If you don’t have special program, then use the normal one with lower temperature.
5. Don’t use higher temperature than 30 C degree.
Actually I barely use higher than 30 (maybe 40-60 with whites, sheets, towels and extremely dirty clothes). Again it can save more energy and money and don’t ruin the fabrics. Also how dirty can a human be? Don’t answer that. If you got some stain I recommend to use a stain remover. It can do miracles.
Most of denim label is more permissive but you can’t go wrong with this. 🙂
6. Use some washing powder, detergents and conditioner.
I couldn’t really imagine a wash without any detergent and conditioner so I always use these. Lately I buy environment friendly one which doesn’t have that nice scent but at least it’s better for the environment. I couldn’t smell anything after few minutes anyway… I rather use fabric fresheners nowadays. Oh, and one more thing, be careful if you wash things with high elastane composition. It’s said too much conditioner could ruin elasticity.
What I’m using at the moment, although washing nut can be a good option too.
7. Pay attention to wash different kinda colors separately.
I don’t really make a difference between blue and blue denims let it be more darker or lighter but I’d avoid to wash new denims with anything lighter in color. If it’s not new and it’s darker you can wash it with darker colors too. White denim is tricky however. I don’t have one but if I had I’d wash it with the rest of the whites or older light blue jeans.
8. If it’s not necessary don’t use the dryer.
Well, as I’m from Hungary we never use dryer actually but leave the clothes hang dry. It takes more time but in return it doesn’t use any energy, which saves money and don’t ruin your clothes. However, as I lived in Cork too, I have experience with really damp weather too and it would have taken forever if I hadn’t used the dryer so if you have no chance just use it. I used lower temperature and shorter program to have the clothes semi dry then I used the drying frame as usually.
Best thing is drying your clothes outside.
9. Tips for washing vintage denim.
I already wrote a whole step-by-step post about it so I won’t do it again. But I think it can be useful as most of the time vintage denims are smelly and well, you don’t know where was it before. Also probably that denim was washed countless times probably an other one won’t hurt.
My own experiment with refitting vintage jeans.
10. Tips for finishing DIY frayed hems and rips.
If you make some frays and rips let finish it with a quick wash. It doesn’t have to be a long program, some extra quick cycle with low or 0 temperature is just enough. It really does make the difference.
These are the results of some DIY cropping and fraying.
So that’s all folks, it’s really not a rocket science.
Do you have any other tricks or tips? If so, let us know.