Here at ZipFit Denim, we take our jean cleaning very seriously. Proper care prolongs the life of our denim, which allows us to stock up on other styles rather than replacing the same pair over and over. Who doesn’t want that?
The first rule of denim laundering is that you should never, ever, ever put your jeans in the dryer. Francine Rabinovich, founder of Denim Therapy, told Yahoo! News that “the heat of the machine damages the cotton and weakens the fabric.” We agree. It also diminishes stretchiness, shrinks the denim, and jeopardizes the consistency of the dye used.
If you must use a washing machine, it’s essential to turn your jeans inside-out and wash them in cold water, preferably on the gentlest setting that bad boy has to offer. When the wash is over, either lay the denim flat or hang it up to dry. This reinforces the shape of the pants, preventing unwanted creasing or wrinkles. Dark wash jeans prone to dye transfer should be washed alone, and light wash jeans should only be washed with other light articles of clothing.
That said, our team’s favorite way to refresh stinky jeans is by sandwiching them right in between next week’s pork chops and the frozen berries you bought when you promised to finally start using the Magic Bullet Blender Mom and Dad bought for your birthday four years ago.
To properly freeze your jeans, we recommend the following steps, courtesy of Intermix.
- Spot clean your jeans and let dry completely (we recommend a sponge or toothbrush for spot cleaning!)
- Fold jeans lengthwise and smooth out wrinkles.
- Place jeans in a zip-lock bag and seal completely, without air.
- Place jeans in your freezer for at least 24 hours.
- Remove jeans from your freezer, shake out and enjoy!
Sound high-maintenance? It isn’t. We recommend freeze-drying your denim when it starts to smell, which for most of us happens after about 1-2 months of regular wear.
So why is your freezer the coolest spot to clean jeans? Aside from the obvious, there are benefits aplenty.
First and foremost, freezing your jeans extends their lifespan by sparing them the unthinkable abuse inflicted by your washer-dryer while neutralizing any unsavory aromas just as effectively.
There’s also an environmental benefit. According to The Soluna Collective, 71 percent of the energy consumed in the process of washing one load of laundry powers the dryer alone. 16 percent of the energy consumed heats the water required to wash a load of laundry on a setting other than “cold.” When you freeze your jeans, you not only avoid the monetary and environmental costs of running separate loads of laundry to preserve denim dye, you also save at least 14 gallons of water. What’s good for your jeans is great for the planet!
Lastly, with those hot summer months fast approaching, frozen jeans guarantee a subtle-yet-effective temporary solution to beat the heat on your morning commute. The chilly fabric will cool you down and help wake you up, and nobody on the Blue Line will know your secret. Sounds like a denim win-win! Alas, if you prefer room temperature legs, or it’s winter and this benefit simply does not apply, just pop your pants into the freezer first thing Sunday morning– we both know you’ll be in sweatpants all day.
We love freezing our jeans, and hopefully you feel the same way after you give it a try. It’d be a lot cooler if you did!