Taking Care of Denim

Table Stakes

There are many answers to “how often should I wash my jeans?” Honestly, there’s a lot of information, and somehow, even more opinions. I’m by no means an expert so I will be threading my thoughts and notes here as I read.

How often should I wash my jeans?

As much as you want to be honest. When you feel they are too dirty, and a spot clean doesn’t work, just toss them in the wash. They can handle it. If you really want to go with a number, I think a wash after 9 to 10 wears is reasonable. You’ll likely modulate this up and down based on how banged up that denim gets.

Some people even say “Never wash your jeans!” I’m not built like that, so I don’t prescribe to it. To be completely fair though, “never washers” are most likely referring to pure denim jeans. If you’re wondering if you have a pair of these, trust me, you’d know if you did. Those kinds of jeans will age spectacularly, and only need to be spot cleaned if needed. Fewer washes also extends the lifespan of the garment because there is less wear and tear on the denim fibers.

How should I wash my jeans?

Wash your jeans

  • Inside out
  • Cold water
  • Spin cycle off

Drying - There are a couple of options here.

  • Tumble dry low
  • Hang dry
    • Pro tip: use a dehumidifier to help speed along the drying process.

Alternate B-side

You may also choose to wash your jeans the old fashioned way (by hand). I didn’t mention it first because the process is a little more involved than just tossing your pairs into a machine. If you do choose to wash by hand, this is a solid guide I came across. It even includes video!

Low conviction score statement: BTW, freezing your jeans does not kill the bacteria. It’s still there, but frozen lol


If you have any suggestions, please @ me on Twitter/X (@eashankotha).