It’s a common dilemma: You’d like to have clean jeans, but you don’t want to wash them often because that causes them to fade. Or you like the way that they wear.
So what do you do?
Dark wash jeans are popular right now (thankfully, acid washed is not popular like they were in the 5th grade) but they take a little more care to keep them that way.
I’ve written before on how to keep your jeans from fading. But how do you know when they are too dirty to wear and should be washed?
Here are some good indicators of when to throw those jeans in the wash.
Noticeable stains that cannot be spot-cleaned
Some stains can easily be removed just by spot-cleaning and do not require an actual trip through the washing machine.
Stains such as baby spit up, juice, some foods, and mild dirt stains can often be removed by just dabbing them with a clean, wet cloth. If needed you can use a clean cloth with a pea-sized dot of detergent to rub away the stain.
For stains such as ketchup, mud food grease, you’ll need to wash them in the machine.
Anything from sweat to body odors to smelly stains (think barbecue sauce) will necessitate jeans being washed.
If an obvious smell is the only factor making your jeans ‘dirty’, you might can get away with hanging them outside a couple of hours in fresh air. Or running the jeans through the dryer on a ‘touch-up’ cycle if you have one.
Lastly, you could try a product such as Febreze to rid your jeans of smells. Some smells you just can’t mask and the only cure-all is a wash in the machine.
Jeans look too worn
Some people really like the ‘worn jeans’ look. Others definitely do not.
There is no way to make a pair of jeans look as if they haven’t been worn unless you wash them. Ironing will take some of that look away, but washing them is the only way to get the best results.
I realize that these bullet points seem obvious…I mean we all know when clothes are dirty, right?
Well, maybe and maybe not.
I think jeans are in a clothing class all their own when it comes to how often they should be washed. People are reluctant to wash them simply because they like the way the fit or they don’t want them to fade.
As I mentioned in my other post on jeans, my roommate in college had two pairs of jeans that she alternated wearing every other day. She didn’t wash either pair of jeans the entire semester.
Please don’t go that long.
More reading: How often should I wash ____? Find out how often you should wash sleeping bags, dust ruffles, curtains, car seat covers, and more.