Day 1: How to Take Care of Your Denim 101


Welcome to Day 1 of 31 Days of Fashion – Tips, Tricks and Outfit Ideas

Have you ever spent good money on a pair of denim, worn them once or twice, washed and dried them and then they didn’t fit ANYTHING LIKE THEY DID WHEN YOU FIRST BOUGHT THEM?! Pardon the capital letters, but before I knew how to wash jeans properly and care for them, this happened to me all the time. It wasn’t until I met a fellow fashion lover years ago, that I learn the tips and tricks of washing (or not washing), drying (or not drying) my denim. Read on to hear what she taught me, at an airport, while sharing cocktails and waiting for our plane.

You spend good money on your denim and you wear them like crazy in the fall and winter right? Me too. Here are some tips I learned about how to properly care for your denim so they last. Number 3 surprised me the most.
1. Wash them the least amount you can get by with

This is the number one rule she told me when it comes to taking care of your jeans and making sure they last. If there isn’t a stain, they don’t smell horrible and you didn’t just roll around in a mud puddle while wearing them, don’t wash them. If they need a refresh, hang them outside, spray them with Febreeze or put them in the dryer (on the lowest setting possible) with a fabric softener sheet.

Side note: some denim experts recommend hand washing them, but I ain’t got time for that you know?

2. When you do finally wash them, wash them inside out

I’ve heard stories of people not washing their jeans ever. I mean EVER. But if you’re like me, I just can’t go that all in. There comes a time in a pair of jeans’ life where a washing will do them (and their owner)  some good. So wash them  inside out, on the cold water setting with a mild detergent.

3. Air dry those bad boys

This is one “rule” I can not get my husband to follow (and I do his laundry btw because I am that weird person who absolutely loves doing laundry). I dry all of his jeans, but when it comes to mine and my kids’ jeans, they do not see the inside of a dryer. Unless they are so stiff you just can’t handle it – then after they’re mostly dry, put them in the dryer on a low setting to loosen them up a bit.

And just for fun…some extra tidbits I read about caring for your jeans. Do these if you want and for the love of everything, tell me if you do.

  • To wash them, sit in the bathtub with them. Yes, take a bath with your jeans ON YOUR BODY
  • To get the stink out of your denim, put them in the freezer. Move over vanilla ice cream.
  • Soak your denim in vinegar. Yes, like an Easter egg.
  • Hang them in the bathroom while you shower to get them smelling fresh and new. 
  • Don’t wash them EVER because that stain from the chocolate you dropped in your crotch while driving, that gives them character.

And that’s how to wash your jeans and take care of them properly. Do you have any tips? Do share!


  1. I’m just coming to terms with the fact that I live reading about fashion, so we are a good match! I signed up for your emails so uI don’t miss your series!

    I actually feel like my jeans fit me better after a wash — they are not stretched out and sloppy anymore. But I don’t wash them until I can see the stains, and I’m color blind, so…

    • Hey Lea Ann! LOVE your blog. You have such an amazing writing style that sucks you in and makes me feel like you’re speaking to me. 🙂 And you’re right, I think we’re a good match! I also love that fresh out of the wash jeans feeling. (And on a side note, my youngest is color blind 😀 )

  2. My son bought a pair of (expensive) raw denim and he’s never washed those. I can’t imagine. I wash my jeans all the time. Dry them even! I like the way they feel when they are clean and dried. If they wear out, I buy new ones. No problemo. Looking forward to your posts!


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