Saving Your Jean’s Life


Behind all wardrobes there are great pairs of jeans that anchor them.  I should actually say “most” because for my uncle Sam, he will wear nothing but corduroy.  I’m sure we all have a favorite pair of jeans that fit just right and look great with anything including last years ugly Christmas sweater from “Nanna”.  I have a few of them.  Unfortunately, it could have been many, but some have died in my possession and I was forced to donate them or throw them out.

The day your jeans die, you’re taking a small financial setback.  You have to spend the time finding a new pair and dish out anywhere from $30 to $300 to replace them.

Here are a few tips that will help keep your jeans ALIVE:

Before you purchase the jeans

98% cotton and 2% lycra/spandex

This is not super important but jeans made in this setup are usually more comfortable and do not shrink as much as their 100% cotton counterpart.  It will suck to have your favorite pair of jeans shrink on you just because you washed it wrong ONCE.

Buy the right size

Yes, that means you have to try them on before you purchase them.  But you always wear a 30×32 or size 6 regular?  Sadly, not all jeans are made equal.  One brand can be vastly different than another.   You should really focus on the waist size here.  Your height is static while your waist size can fluctuate.

Choose a lasting style

Your jeans don’t need to be trashed in order to die.  If they fall out of favor with the fashion police, then they’re pretty much dead.  Here’s an example: Super distressed jeans and jeans with lots of paint or oil stains on them.  They were cool for a quick minute, but now, they just look funny.

After the purchase

Get them hemmed

I’m guilty here.  I often wear pants that are too long.  I keep telling myself to get them hemmed, but I always seem to put it off.  Hemming will save you hundreds / thousands in your lifetime if you need it.  The surefire way to ruin your jeans is by stepping on them with your heels.  If you think hemming looks tacky, get an “original hem”.  Note: You should wash your jeans at least once before you get them hemmed.

Read the care label

Take the time to read the care label.  Jeans were built to last.  If you follow the care label, they will last even longer.

Do not wash them

Your jeans do not have to be washed after every use.  Unless you’ve done something that caused you to sweat, you rolled around in crap, go commando, or marked them up somehow, there’s no reason to wash them after you use them.  Jeans are best when they’re broken in.  I like to wash my jeans after 2-4 usages.

Wash them in cold

If you do have to wash them, cold water all the way, unless the care label says otherwise.  Warmer waters will ruin your wash =(

Wash them inside out

This helps with maintaining color.  It also protects seams and zippers from snagging on anything.

Do not put them in the dryer

For obvious reasons.  Helps keep your wash intact and prevents fading.

Change out of them when you get home

If you’re going to stay home for the rest of the day and are not expecting anyone, take em’ off.  There are so many potential accidents waiting to happen at home (cooking spills, dirty shoes as you pick up your kids off the floor, furniture snags, etc).

Cut loose threads immediately

If you see your hems giving way or your seams begin to split, cut off the hanging thread immediately.  It will prevent you from stepping on it or having the thread snag as you sit down.

Have any additional tips to saving your jeans?  Let’s hear them…

Photo Credit: Susan Kane

17 thoughts on “Saving Your Jean’s Life

  1. A good read….Although I am very finicky with my laundry, especially when I have a nice new pair of jeans.. I Wash them inside out in the delicate cycle. Moreover I don’t forget fabric softener either. Also I would suggest to always Hang them dry. Or if you must dry them in the drier, do it on low heat! Also, don’t wash every time you wear them. I wash mine after 4-5 wears. This has kept my jeans new looking for years!

  2. Wow!! a must read… Few tips that I personally follow would like to share in here…Take your holy jeans, a sewing needle, and some thread. When choosing the color of thread, consult your inner fashion designer. (We all have one somewhere.) If you want the thread to show when you’re finished sewing, then choose a color of thread that would look great with the rest of the stitches on the jeans. If you don’t want the thread to show, then choose a color similar to the fabric of the jeans.Trust me…it works….!!

  3. Such an useful article this is all the way. Few days back I lost one of my favorite jeans for ever just because of my stupid maid who by mistake poured hot water on it. I am still not over the trauma fully. Jeans is a part and parcel of our daily life. So no matter if we get harmed or not, our regular wear shouldn’t get affected by any means. The suggestions that have been given above, each of them are really effective to give the jeans (specially the most costly and favorite ones) a long life.

  4. @Ethan: That’s new to me. I don’t think i have room in my freezer! I will try that one of these days. I’ll even take a picture and twitpic it.

    @Visfor: Very nice. That’s something I would have never thought of.

    @Bobby: So comfortable. I’m not sure if there is a Marshall’s in my area, but Ross works for me!

    @Mommy247: If you’re expecting, Congrats!

  5. i usually spray my jeans with antibacterial febreeze and then toss em into the freezer. this helps with odors and any sanitary issues you might have with not washing them for long periods. it doesnt remove stains or anything though, i usually take em into a dry cleaner when i do decide to wash em. hand washing in the tub works well if you dont feel like getting dry cleaned also. HTH

  6. @Kim – Thanks for that tip. It’s hard to believe something so smelly can have so many uses. I may have to put together something on the many uses of “vinegar” in the near future.

    @Visfor – I need to learn how to use spell check >.< You’re right about knowing your jeans. You definitely need to be careful with those designers. @JoeD – It’s all about discipline baby!

  7. Somehow I have always known what I was supposed to do in terms of taking care of my jeans. The thing is, I never DO it! Why am I so lazy?!?

  8. I was wondering when you were going to post this…

    Everything looks great! except the minor typo “This helps with maintaing color”

    Also advice when purchasing jeans…know your brand. For example the denim of Citizen of Humanity jeans are thinner/lighter than True religions. Avoid less wear and tear with more delicate jeans. Try to wear/wash them less frequently.

  9. You know if you was them with a a 1/2 cup to a cup of vinegar it also saves the dye/wash. Just thought I should throw that in there.

  10. I don’t think jeans get all that dirty during normal use, so I’ve adopted a washing regimen similar to that of Nick from Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist in that, I like to keep the “night” on them and wash them infrequently. I even heard the maker of GAP(or similar company) jeans only washes his jeans once a year.

Leave a Reply