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HomelifestyleHow often should you wash your jeans? Cleaning experts settle the debate

How often should you wash your jeans? Cleaning experts settle the debate

It could be a tale as old as Levi’s: People debating how frequently to wash their jeans and the right way to get denim clean and spiffy. 

It’s time to settle the argument.

How often you should wash jeans ultimately comes down to personal preference — and whether you’re wearing the jeans to go to brunch or you’re about to corral horses. 

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That said, there are some general guidelines to keep in mind when it comes to how frequently (or not) you should wash your jeans — and the right way to clean your denim.  

How often should you wash your jeans?

folded jeans

Did you know you can wash your jeans too much? An expert cleaner has chimed in on the timing of cleaning your denim. (iStock )

Maria Mooney, cleaning expert and director of marketing operations in Detroit, Michigan, for TrulyFreeHome.com, an all-natural cleaning and laundry subscription service, says the recommended wash time frame can range anywhere from 3-to-10 wearings.

Some brands, however, will suggest you never wash your jeans in order to preserve the material and appearance.

Will Cotter, COO of FreshSpaceCleaning.com, a local cleaning service with locations around the U.S., said that if your jeans still look good and don’t smell funky after a day’s wear, feel free to give them another spin before laundry day. 

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“But if you’ve had a little coffee mishap or encountered some spaghetti sauce, it’s probably time for a wash,” he told Fox News Digital — noting that if you use wear denim to work, you should be sure to wash them after a few wearings to keep them looking sharp.

jeans folded in a pile

If you want to preserve your denim and keep it from wearing out, try to wear your jeans longer in between washes, experts advise. (iStock)

A good rule of thumb, added Mooney, is to wash your jeans if there’s visible dirt or smell. 

“Washing them too often will wear them out faster,” she said. 

“To preserve the condition and form of the denim, going longer in between washes is best — it will keep them looking newer, longer.”

Cotter further emphasized that you shouldn’t overthink the matter. 

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“Sometimes jeans look their best with a bit of wear, so don’t stress too much about washing frequency,” he said.

“Accept that jeans will naturally wear and develop character over time.”

Washing your jeans for the first time

sale assortment denim in store

When you get new jeans from the store, it’s best to wash them first because the denim will lose more color on its first wash. (iStock)

Here’s a hot tip from Cotter: “Fresh-out-of-the-store jeans can lose a bit of their color in the first wash, so it’s a good idea to give them their own space or toss them in with similar-colored ones,” he said.

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You may want not your favorite white towels streaked with blue, in other words.

Wash your jeans at the proper temperature

jeans in washer

If your jeans develop an odor, it’s best to wash them on a warmer temperature setting, experts advisel. (iStock)

The temperature you use for the spin cycle can impact how the clothes smell afterward. If your jeans are particularly smelly, try washing them in hot water to remove lingering odors,” advised Mooney. 

“For a less smelly pair, opt for a cooler temperature to help preserve the scent of your detergent,” she continued — recommending using a non-toxic laundry detergent such as Truly Free’s Laundry Wash to revive your jeans without using harmful chemicals or toxins.

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Before you put your jeans in the washer, Cotter said you should undo the cuffs if you’ve rolled them up so they can be thoroughly washed. 

“If buttons fall off, replace them promptly before washing to avoid stretching the buttonhole,” he added.

Deal with stains via spot treatment

kids with grass stains on jeans

If you have an annoying stain on your denim, it is best to spot-treat the stain rather than throwing the pants in the washer. (iStock)

Soy sauce or pen ink on your jeans? Or wine? How about a nice old ketchup splotch? 

“For jeans that are facing a stain crisis, spot-treat them vs. loading into the washer,” said Mooney, suggesting a stain stick product. 

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Cotter further noted that you can gently blot stains with cold water and a mild detergent — and avoid rubbing. 

Dry your jeans

jeans drying on rack

Did you know that the physical drying process in a machine can cause more damage to the denim than the heat itself? Opt for hang-drying your jeans next time you pull them out of the wash. (iStock)

Yes, don’t skip this step before you put your jeans in your closet or drawers. 

“Damp clothing can develop a musty smell, and with the thicker material of jeans, this is guaranteed,” said Mooney.

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“Opt for a hang-dry to avoid possible damage from the dry cycle (the process of drying is actually more damaging than the heat itself),” Cotter said.

Cotter cautioned against mixing jeans with other fabrics in the dryer to prevent lint transfer. 

jeans drying outdoors

A quick tip for smelly jeans: Let your jeans hang out in the fresh air to lose any odd smells if they do not need a full wash. (iStock)

“And don’t go overboard with the heat; high temperatures can cramp their style and cause them to shrink,” he said, noting that if your jeans shrink, soak them in warm water with hair conditioner.

Another savvy tip from Cotter: When your jeans don’t need a full wash, let them hang out in the fresh air to lose any odd smells. 

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“Just keep them out of direct sunlight to avoid fading,” he said.

how often should you wash jeans split

Next time you throw your denim in the laundry bin, ask yourself about the best way to wash them. (iStock)

For the more delicate pairs of jeans, Cotter advised considering a gentle hand wash — “and if you want to keep them feeling soft and looking their best, a bit of denim conditioner goes a long way.”

Now, it’s time to head to the laundry room. 

How often do you typically wash your jeans? Drop your thoughts in the comments section below!

For more Lifestyle articles, visit www.foxnews.com/lifestyle.

Perri Ormont Blumberg is a contributing lifestyle reporter for Fox News Digital.

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