How Often Should You Really Be Washing Your Jeans?

Have you ever washed a pair of jeans and ended up with a different or faded color than it originally was? It might be because you're overwashing your jeans. Washing your jeans can seem like a simple and clear process to follow. However, there's a lot more to consider before throwing your jeans in the wash. The number of times you should wash your jeans may vary, though, and ultimately extend the life of your jeans.

According to a study conducted by Mashable, around 27% of those surveyed revealed that they only wash their jeans after around three uses. Another 21% admitted to washing them after five or more uses. Everyone has their theory on how many washes is ideal when it comes to their jeans, but not everyone can be correct in this case. Although washing your jeans naturally depends on factors such as spills and stains, there is a sweet spot to consider.

When to wash your jeans

According to Levi's, washing jeans depends on multiple factors, including the type of denim out of which they're made, if they have any stains or odors, and how much they've stretched. However, you should usually strive for at least 10 wears before washing your jeans. This prevents ruining the color, stretch, and quality of the fabric. Overwashing and drying your jeans is usually what leads to your jeans losing their shape and shrinking in the dryer. It's also recommended that if you can go beyond 10 washes, do so as this will help preserve your jeans and make them look newer for longer. If you do decide to wash your jeans, make sure to wash them on a gentle cycle with cold water to prevent the wash from causing too much damage. 

Although waiting to wash your jeans may seem gross or unsanitary, it's completely safe to hold off doing so. According to microbiologists from the University of Alberta, jeans that went without washing for 15 months still had a very low count of bacteria. As long as you properly take care of your jeans between washes, you can hold off on washing them for quite a while (via Real Simple).

How to care for your jeans between washes

If you decide to hold off on washing your jeans, there are steps you can take to make sure they still look clean and fresh. According to the head of denim design at Madewell, Mary Pierson, any small stain or spot on your jeans can be treated by simple spot cleaning. By taking a small towel and water, you can get rid of smaller stains without the need to take them for a wash (via USA Today).

At the same time, odors can be solved in one easy step. If you are worried about odors becoming trapped, be sure to hang dry your jeans to let them air out. If you do this, you won't have to worry about washing them. You can also opt for hanging your jeans in the closet instead of folding them in a drawer. Hanging your jeans lets them keep their shape while still letting them air out and remain fresh between washes. If you want a solution a bit strenuous, you can also steam them to quickly freshen them up without the need of a washing machine (via Shop Duer).