The other day I was driving in my car, halfway listening to the radio, when I heard something that shocked me: “You should NEVER wash your blue jeans!” Said the DJ. Wait. What? I turned up the volume to listen. A guest star (Levi’s CEO, Chip Bergh) was on the show talking about how to keep your jeans looking like new, and keep them from getting worn out over time. He explained that the best way to help your jeans last longer is to NEVER wash them. He recommends freezing them instead. Again….Say what?
I know what you’re thinking: That’s disgusting! (In fact, I thought the same thing, until I got home and started my internet search montage.) I found that this is, in fact, becoming a more popular method of “cleaning” your jeans, and that it DOES help lengthen the longevity of your precious denim! Tommy Hilfiger and multiple others agree!
Now, I’m a pretty big fan of jeans myself. BIG fan. I wear blue jeans in some form or fashion at LEAST 5 days a week, and I really only have 2 pair that I absolutely love and therefore wear quite often. (They’re the same fit and style just in different lengths. One for flats and flipflops, the other for taller shoes and heels. I love them so much that I’ll probably buy MORE of the same fit/style whenever these two pair give out.) That being said, I don’t wash my jeans after each wear (Who does that anyways?) Instead, unless the munchkin wipes his lunch all over me, I wash them about once a week (after 2-3 wears) and I thought I was doing a pretty good job at keeping them in good shape UNTIL I read about the freezing method.
I tried it, and after a week or so I’m actually really digging the results! My jeans feel clean, (albiet cold for awhile) and I don’t have to squeeze into them and suck in when I try to button like I would the first day after washing. Go figure. ,Here’s What You Do:
When your jeans start “feeling” dirty, shake them out to get rid of excess dirt and dust.
Spot clean visible dirty spots with a damp washcloth and warm water. Avoid using soap unless at all necessary. You can also use a little spritz of vinegar to disinfect.
Fold your jeans.
Place into zip-top freezer bag.
Place in the freezer for 1-2 days.
Remove from freezer and bag, allow to thaw.
Air dry, and then wear again!Why It Works
Freezing kills most, if not all of the microbes and bacteria that are present on your clothing. (Those are the little boogers that cause them to stink!) Freezing “cleans” by killing the bacteria while still allowing your jeans to retain their shape, and it doesn’t break down the material like, say, washing in hot water with detergent does.When This Method WON’T Work
This method is more for your “nice” jeans or “dressy” jeans instead of ones that you wear while working cattle. I’m totally on board with freezing off a little dirt or Ben & Jerry’s drippings, but the cow manure needs to be WASHED. ,Here’s what I recommend:
Use the freezing method for your nicer jeans, and when you DO feel that you have to wash them, place them in the washer, inside out, with ZERO detergent on a short, cold water cycle. Always, always, always air dry! The dryer is the culprit for holes and pilling 9 times out of 10.
Once those jeans have started looking not so nice anymore (which, according to Tommy Hilfiger, who hasn’t WASHED his jeans in over a year (!!!), could take quite some time) they can be downgraded to work/play jeans.What About You?
How often do you wash your jeans? Have you tried the freezer “cleaning” method?
photo credit: Dewayne Neeley via photopincc