Your jeans are going to be some of your most worn pieces of clothing. Whether you have to trudge through high snow and slushy puddles on a winter morning or your little ones have been playing in the dirt all day, you're eventually going to have to wash your jeans. Follow these tips to keep your family's favorite pairs intact.
Find ways to wash less
With jeans, the general rule is if you can't see any visible stains and they don't smell there is no need to wash them. Help keep your jeans fresh by wearing a different pair each day, and do the same for your kids when dressing them. Try rotating different jeans through your wardrobe so that all the pairs get equal wear time and no single pair gets too dirty.
Read cleaning instructions
This is especially important with denim that has embellishments and other non-denim pieces. Some of these pairs may require dry-cleaning to preserve the delicate details.
Sort your jeans
Just as you separate your lights and darks, you should do the same with your jeans. This will ensure that darker-wash jeans don't bleed off color on your lighter-wash pairs or onto any other light-colored clothing.
Turn them inside out
The friction of the washing machine against denim can fade the dye in jeans. To prevent jeans from losing their color, turn them inside out before putting them in the washer.
Unless you need to shrink your jeans, do not run them through the dryer. This can put unneeded stress on the denim. If you want to avoid the stiff feeling of air-dried jeans, put them in the dryer on the lowest heat for a half cycle. Take them out and hang them to dry rest of the way.
To save your jeans from the stress of a machine wash, try to spot clean stains. The less your jeans go through the machine, the longer they'll stay in the best condition.
Do NOT freeze
It has been said that you only need to spot clean your jeans and then freeze them. However, freezing does not actually kill any of the bacteria that could be on the jeans. In fact, many bacteria are able to hibernate when temperatures drop extremely low, so when your jeans thaw, so do the bacteria.