Your favorite pair of jeans never lets you down. But are you doing your denim right in return? If you’ve ever suffered the demise of a beloved wardrobe item, you already know how awful it feels. The good news? You can keep your jeans looking and feeling their best by following these six basic care tips. 

Read and Follow Care Labels

All clothing comes with an attached care label. That label is there for a reason. Read it! All pairs of jeans aren’t created equal. The manufacturer’s label identifies specific instructions for washing and drying jeans depending on the material they’re made of. Always follow these as they come directly from the manufacturer. 

In some cases, the richest dark denim jeans may require washing prior to wearing to prevent the indigo dye from rubbing off on you or your other clothing. It can also be helpful — although not necessarily essential — to use specialized detergent for darker colors. 

Turn All Denim Items Inside Out Before Washing

When items rub against each other during the wash cycle, this creates friction which leads to fading. Turning your jeans and denim jackets inside out before tossing them in the machine minimizes friction and helps maintain color. Also, make sure to fasten all buttons and zip all zippers before washing jeans as this helps protect both the machine and the jeans. 

Avoid Overloading Your Washer

Think you’re doing your jeans a favor by not washing them? This is only partly the case. While excessive washes do lead to unnecessary wear and tear, dirt and oils can cause fabrics to degrade faster. The solution, in this case, isn’t neglecting to wash your jeans. Rather, limiting the number of jeans in the washer can help ensure the effectiveness of the cleaning process. Experts recommend including no more than three or four pairs of jeans in a single wash.

how to care for jeansWorried about being wasteful? We are, too. Fill the remainder of the machine with lighter weight dark clothing to conserve water.

Wash Only When Necessary

In an interview with Well + Good,  wardrobe stylist and fashion expert Heather Loduca recommends waiting at least three to four wears before laundering cotton jeans. “These are meant to form to your body and actually become very comfortable with time. They are like a fine wine that gets better with age. Unless you have spilled something major on them, or gone to a hot yoga class in them, you can get away with spot treating.” 

Stretchy jeans, however, may require more washing in order to maintain their shape and fit. “If they’re supposed to be really fitted skinny jeans you can get away with washing after each wear because you want them to shrink back to their original shape,” Loduca continues. The only exception? Dark blue or black denim which will fade too quickly if washed too often. 

Keep Them on Ice

Yes, you read that right. If you’ve been wondering whether the wives’ tale recommending popping your dirty jeans in the freezer is legit, it is according to designer and wardrobe consultant Diane Pollack. “Jeans are not really meant to be washed much…You can put them in an airtight bag in the freezer and the cold will kill the bacteria,” she told Well + Good. 

Remove Quickly From Washer and Hang Dry Immediately

Leaving clothing too long in the washing machine can lead to wrinkles. Instead, remove your jeans promptly from the machine, turn them right side out, zip and button, then hang to dry using a two -lip pant hanger. In a pinch, jeans can go into the dryer on the “tumble dry” setting but hanging them outside to dry is the best way to preserve them.

Have Your CAKE and Eat It, Too

Haven’t yet found jeans worthy of going the extra mile for? Then you haven’t yet experienced the luxury of CAKE DENIM. Our jeans are anti-microbial, so you can rock them without worrying about them getting smelly, and unlike most jeans, you can go longer periods without washing them. Shop CAKE DENIM today to find the perfect pair of high-quality, anti-microbial, eco-friendly, fashion-forward jeans.