Clean Jeans Right Without Going to the Dry Cleaner
I am a jean addict. Correction: I am a frugal jean addict; therefore, I own very few nice pairs of jeans. My first pair of brand-new designer jeans were bought by my husband through an exchange where he DJ'ed a party and I scored a fantastic pair of Joe jeans that made my booty look like I'd done squats every day all summer. The woman who handed the jeans over to me, noticing my excitement, told me "don't ever wash them." Gross. Whatever, I thought. Just give me my jeans, please.
Well, she was right. If you want to extend the life your favorite butt-hugging denim (and who doesn't in this economy), you've got to play by the rules. And although they may seem excessive, time consuming, and strange, these jean tricks have been tried and tested by the professionals. Bonus: No dry cleaners are used in the execution of these tricks. I just can't commit to spending that much every week. (See also: Dry Cleaning: Hazard to Your Wallet, and Maybe Your Health)
Keep your jeans away from the washing machine as long as possible.
Spot clean, Febreeze, hang them in a closet surrounded by lavender and cedar, do whatever it takes until you just can't stand it anymore.
When it's time to wash...
- You can hand wash them in something gentle like Woolite.
- You can wash them in the machine, inside out and on cold.
- You can throw them in a plastic bag and place it in a freezer for one week. Supposedly, this kills any odors, and that's pretty important.
Hang them to dry.
You can tumble dry on low, take them out before they're fully dry, and hang them by the belt loops to maintain the shape. Or you can skip the dryer altogether and hang dry.
Patch them as soon as you feel a hole coming on.
If you're handy with a sewing machine, there's a tutorial you can use to learn to patch yourself. But really, after watching tutorials, I was just motivated to take my jeans in to the specialist. (You know you have a problem when your jeans require more maintenance than your car.)
Re-dye your jeans.
I know this one may not always be an option. If your jeans are super trendy and acid-washed, for example, you don't want to try this. But if you're like me and just go for the dark, lovely, shade of midnight blue for your jeans, re-dying a fading pair may be an option. I definitely recommend it for the cheap pair that's become the “around the house jeans.” Who knows, it may be the breath of life that transforms those pants into your favorite pair.
I know it seems like a lot of effort, but if you're throwing a lot of money at these jeans, you want them to last. In fact, stretching the life of our wardrobes is one of the easier ways to save money. So, grab those True Religion jeans (if they're on sale), and know that you can stretch their life beyond the borders of your booty.
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