You probably guessed right: taking care of your jeans mostly means investing in some time to learn about how to launder them correctly. If you really wanted to keep them exactly like the day you bought them, you could choose to never wear them, but that's not practical and it's not what we are here to recommend. Instead, here are the five best tips for caring for your jeans:
1. Wash them less often
Before getting into our first tip, let's take a quick detour into a lesson on the history of blue jeans. Denim trousers were used in the 1800's as work pants because of their durability and toughness. In 1873, the "modern day" blue jean was born when two business partners received approval from the USPTO for their patent to use rivets (those little metal studs) as a way to reinforce the areas of the jeans that experienced the most stress. People also liked the appearance of the thick indigo twill weave because it masked stains well and required less washing. Essentially, jeans were invented as pants that could withstand harsh work conditions without falling apart or needing much maintenance or cleaning.
Fast forward ~150 years and we get to our first tip: honor the original tradition of denim by washing them less often (i.e., only washing them every 5-10 wears). Each time you throw your jeans into the wash, the water and tumbling of the machine causes the fiber structure and color to degrade ever so slightly. If you think that your jeans might be developing a funky smell, feel free to hang them in a well ventilated area and spray them down with a natural deodorizer such as a DIY essential oil mixture.
2. Wash them delicately
When you do get around to washing your jeans, make sure to follow the three steps for a gentle wash: use mild detergents, in cold water, and chose the cycle for delicates. We wish we had a cool acronym to help you remember this (does mild tasting cold deli meat work?), but following this tip will ensure you get the longest lifespan out of your denim.
3. Hang them to dry
You've probably picked up on the theme of being gentle with your jeans to maximize their durability. Tip #3 is no different! Rather than drying your jeans in the drying machine where the high heat and sheer force can damage them over time, choose to hang dry them the good-ole way. Any rack or rail in your home will do the job. Just be mindful of not leaving them in a humid room (like the bathroom after a warm shower) as it will be more difficult for them to dry.
1. How about sticking your jeans in the freezer? Unfortunately, it's been proven that the freezer isn't cold enough to kill the odor causing bacteria, instead it only puts them in a dormant state. As soon as you take them out and warm them up, the bacteria will wake up and declare their presence.
2. What if I rely on each wash to tighten them up so they fit again? You're not alone! A lot of people struggle with jeans bagging out over time and wash / dry them as a way to temporarily shrink them back to their original shape. The best thing to do is to buy jeans that are a bit snug at first so that when they stretch out, they fit you perfectly instead of bagging out. Custom-made LASSO jeans are crafted with this in mind so you can be confident in the perfect fit over time, not just in the first wear.