What not to do when washing your jeans in a machine

Keep your denim looking better, longer.

By Gunjan Mehta | Updated 30/07/21

Our experts have tested all kinds of denim fabrics and detergents to find out if you should hand wash or machine-wash your jeans. They recommend washing them after every three years unless they’re dark blue or black in color – then it’s best not to wash those as often.

Some people swear that only a cold water hand-washer is good enough for their favorite pair of jeans though others are adamant about never putting these wardrobe staples through any kind of cycle in fear that it will ruin them forevermore.

How Often Should You Wash Your Jeans?

With the perfect balance of durability and comfort, it is no wonder that denim has been a wardrobe staple for years. However, when you neglect to wash your jeans long enough – usually 5-10 wears or whenever they start to smell bad or look dirty – bacteria can fester on them because there’s less air circulating in tight spaces like between pockets (gross!). To maintain their cleanliness and appearance washing every few weeks should be adequate but if you’re sitting most of the day then go longer without washing so as not to overheat yourself from sweat stains!

How to Machine-Wash Jeans

The best way to maintain your jeans is by following a few easy steps: wash them in cold water, hang them dry, and never put them into the clothes dryer. This will help keep colors from fading because of heat or contact with other clothing items like shirts that release dyes. It’s also important not to wear denim every day so it can breathe and air out!

  1. If you want to keep your jeans for any period of time, it’s best to turn them inside-out and zip them up. This will ensure that they last much longer without fading or shrinking in the wash.
  2. Wash your jeans with detergent designed for dark clothing to keep them from fading. This will also avoid any damage that could be caused by bleach, which can ruin the indigo dye in denim fabrics and build up over time. For an alternative technique, try using half a cup of distilled white vinegar instead; not only does it have antibacterial properties but it is capable of setting colors as well (especially on black or brand new pants), making it a great option when you’re washing blue jeans!
  3. Did you know that washing jeans with like colors will prevent dye transfer? So, if there is a new pair of dark blue denim in your laundry and another darker-colored pant (think black or gray), then it’s perfectly fine to wash them together. However, since the water holding capacity for denim is so high, don’t go too crazy by combining more than two pairs at once!
  4. Set your washing machine to the gentle cycle (or delicate, depending on your machine) and choose a cold water option. Detergent will be enough for this setting; don’t forget it! Put in just a little bit of detergent – not too much or you’ll end up with bubbles everywhere. Let the wash go through its final spin before taking out anything wet from inside that needs air drying.
  5. Although it is okay to machine-wash jeans, we recommend not putting them in the dryer. To air-dry your jeans, first unzip any zippers and unbutton any buttons; then lay flat or hang on a hanger with good airflow. If you must use the dryer, make sure they are line dried for low temperatures only.

Ways to Freshen Denim Jeans

There are several ways you can freshen up your jeans without actually having to wash them.

If the smell of sweat, dirt, or food is too much for even a few hours on the line in an open window with some dryer sheets and air circulation then it might be time to make your own fabric refresher using white vinegar diluted in water that has been spritzed with essential oils like lavender which will help reduce any odors and leave behind a fresh scent. With this quick fix installed into every dresser drawer there’s no need to spend more money than necessary relieving unpleasant smells – simply spray as needed until all signs of odor have disappeared from sight!