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Style SOS: How often should I be washing my jeans?

Style SOS: How often should I be washing my jeans?

"Someone told me I shouldn’t actually be washing my jeans. Is this true? - Leo via email 

Ask a true denim head, Leo, and they’ll tell you to never wash your jeans, which might seem like a surefire way to become a social pariah, but this advice is actually not far from the truth. Our stance is yes you should wash your jeans, but just really not that often. Good news? We hope so. 

The science is, as denim tends to be a thicker, harder-wearing fabric than say a t-shirt, for example, it can take on a lot more wear before washing is required. Our general rule of thumb is to wash jeans around every six weeks. And for any raw denim, we suggest waiting at least four months before washing your jeans – this gives them a chance to properly wear in before being exposed to chemical detergents. 

In between washes, you can hang them outside on a dry and windy day to give them a refresh. Then, when it does come to laundry day, one thing you should never do is wash your jeans with hot water or put them in the dryer. All you’ll end up with is a pair four sizes smaller than the size they were when they went in. Instead, wash them in cold water, inside out, and with little soap. And just to reiterate – do not tumble dry. 

So, what’s the benefit to all this, you might ask? Well, not only will the wash of your jeans last way longer, you’ll avoid breaking down the fibres of the denim, and prevent your jeans losing that stiffness you bought them with. Plus, you’ll be doing your bit for the environment by not turning the washing machine on as much. 

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Words: Yasmine Kennedy
Illustration: Ryan Gillet
Styling: Toby Standing