Happy New Year! I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday. I’m willing to bet that more than a few of you received a new pair of jeans this past December. I didn’t receive any for Christmas, but I did buy two new pairs recently for myself. If you didn’t get a new pair or you’re still looking, I definitely recommend what I consider to be the best value in men’s denim today. The trick with jeans is to get them to that comfortable-as-sweatpants stage without destroying them along the way. With this in mind, I present my Five Commandments for denim care.
P.S. These also apply to denim jackets.
1. Thou shalt not use hot/warm water
Nothing causes colors to run faster than hot water. You paid for that dye, and you want it to last. Setting the water temperature to cold keeps those blues vibrant. When you first wash your new jeans, some color is going to run. It is inevitable. Be sure to wash your denim in a separate load to protect the rest of your clothes too.
2. Thou shalt not use harsh detergents.
I’m a fan of using milder detergents to wash all my clothes. But, fabrics like wool, silk, and denim are a few that need special care to maintain their condition. Using a detergent designed for denim, will help those jeans age better and last longer. A small investment in some gentle detergent will save you money in the long run.
3. Thou shalt not subject thy denim to extreme heat
Tossing your denim garments in the dryer is an absolute no-no. Heat will weaken the fabric and could shrink your jeans. Weakened fabric will break down, tear, and fray. The best thing to do is hang your jeans to air dry or buy a stand-alone drying rack.
4. Thou shalt not over-wash thy denim
Frequently washing your jeans (even if you’re using mild detergents and cold water) can quicken the breakdown of fabrics. Unless your jeans are noticeably dirty, wear them again. Avoid letting them get to the point of visible stains or offensive smells. Aim for the point just before you denim gets there. Allowing your body to break them in, instead of your washing machine, helps your jeans last and fit your body better.
5. Thou shalt not was your denim roughly.
You know all those knobs and buttons on your washing machine? Well, they change things like water temperature and washing cycles. Most washing machines have a delicate or gentle cycle. The purpose in washing denim is not to beat the everliving crap out of it, but to remove surface dirt. A simple run through a gentle cycle can usually do this.
I hope you enjoyed this fun look at a way to get the most of your denim. Please share any tips you have picked up!