by Tara Franco
It may seem straightforward — when your denim is dirty you put it in the hamper and wash it on laundry day along with everything else. But in order to give your denim a longer life (up to a decade if you do it right), follow our simple care guide.
HOW OFTEN SHOULD I WASH MY DENIM?
Of course it’s personal, but some experts say a pair of jeans can go up to six months without a wash. Basically, as long as you can stand it (barring any hygiene watch outs).
BUT WHY? THAT SEEMS RIDICULOUS!
Sure it’s unconventional compared to how often you wash the rest of your garments, but raw denim in particular is built a bit differently. For the optimal fit it’s important to allow the garment to mould to your body. And since the denim itself if more resilient, the more you wear it before breaking down the fibres through washing, the more likely that pair of jeans becomes your second skin.
OKAY, I’M READY TO WASH. NOW WHAT?
First select the right detergent to slow down the fibre breakdown of your denim. Look for something enzyme-free which will get rid of the rank, but be kind to the fabric and colour. There are denim washes on the market like Mr. Black Garment Essentials and Sugar Cane Vintage Wash if you so choose, but most important is that it is gentle.
SHOULD I WASH THEM BY HAND OR IN THE MACHINE?
It’s up to you. Obviously a hand wash is a gentler option, so here are easy step-by-step instructions for both.
ONE: Turn jeans inside out to reduce the risk of colour bleed.
TWO: Cover and soak in cold water. If they float, weigh them down.
THREE: Add detergent.
FOUR: Let soak for an hour. You can dunk them a few times. Even give them a turn once or twice, but don’t agitate them too much.
FIVE: Take them out and let them drip dry.
ONE: Turn jeans inside out to reduce the risk of colour bleed and place in machine, preferably alone.
TWO: Add detergent to the machine.
THREE: Set the machine to the lowest of the low — slow spin, low temp, easy breezy. This is the closest to hand wash. The key is to make sure the water doesn’t get hotter than 30C and start o break down the fibres and compromise the integrity of the colour.
FOUR: When complete, hang to dry.
WHAT ABOUT DRY CLEANING?
If you're looking for the same crispness of the raw denim, as well as the wear that naturally occurs (wallet lines on the pockets etc.), then dry cleaning might be the best option for you. Of course, wait as long as possible between cleanings just like the other cleaning options above. Also note that our grey denim MUST BE DRY CLEANED. If it's machine or hand washed, you will end up with a acid wash affect which you may, or may not, want.