Freeze Your Jeans (No, Really Do It!)

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After doing my usual Google Reader rounds this morning and reading up on ManRepeller’s latest post I was struck by something she wrote. She puts her jeans in the freezer to clean them! I know right. Now, I know you’re not supposed to wash your jeans often. Knowing this doesn’t keep me from washing mine very, very often because I’m weird and have apparently developed some sort of OCD notion where everything must be washed after one wear, including jeans. Don’t worry, I’m looking into it (my mental state that is).

In the meantime, I also did some research on this whole jeans freezing idea. A good pair of jeans is hard to come by these days, especially if you’re not willing (read: can’t) pay a month’s rent for them. In my case, the affordable jeans are either too short (read: cropped almost), too tight at the waist and too loose around the butt, or just overall not right. So when I find a pair that fits and that I can afford, I buy them and I wear them to death. And apparently it’s premature death since I also wash them a lot. Wear a lot, wash a lot. You’d think it’s logical. But noooo…

So, here’s what you can do to increase their lifespan…

  • Freeze them – Yes, this is actually a good idea. Fold them, put them in a zip-lock plastic bag and freeze for a week. This won’t actually remove any stains but according to this post it will kill off the dirty bacteria that might have you (me) worried and it will also make them feel cleaner again. Tighter, if we’re talking skinny jeans. And you’ll also be a little cold probably.
  • Don’t wash them for six months – Apparently this is what true jeans wearers do. I’m almost 100% sure this isn’t meant for mothers of toddlers but OK. If they get stained in the meantime you can gently spot clean them with anything soapy and then dry. I actually think this is mostly directed at a male audience, in which case you can adhere to these GQ denim rules.
  • Skinny/ Tight Jeans – According to Allure, these need to be washed more often to maintain their snug fit. If, like me, you do wash them often I would suggest you turn them inside out and wash in cold water, then hang dry. DO NOT and I repeat DO NOT tumble dry. From personal experience putting your skinny jeans into the dryer will also force you to immediately lose at least 7 pounds in the course of the drying cycle if you ever want to wear them again. I’m not kidding here. But if you absolutely can’t do without the dryer because we’re practically talking jeggings here, then air dry them almost until the end and then put in the dryer for a few minutes.
  • Use gentle detergent and as little as possible – I’m thinking this is pretty self explanatory. Also, wash them separately and on low “delicates” or “hand-wash” settings.
  • Follow instructions – these days tons of special dyes are used on jeans so it would be in your and your denim’s best interest if you followed the care instructions usually stapled to the pair you just purchased. If we’re talking raw denim, it’s usually best to get in a few wears before washing them. However, some brands will instruct you to rinse them inside out in cold water before wearing them in order to preserve the indigo (color). So my advice is, follow the care instructions if you want to get the most out of them. When it comes to jeans preservation the “rules are meant to be broken” doesn’t apply.

Do you have any tips? Something you do to keep your jeans looking good? As for me, I’m going to try and wash mine every two weeks, work on not getting grossed out in the meantime, and try the freezing trick.

(images via the Sartorialist and Brooklyn Blonde

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