I’m more conservative than the wash care labels in jeans suggest, because I’m convinced that caring for my jeans keeps them looking better for longer. At premium denim prices you want those jeans to last forever, so it’s worth the extra bit of effort.

So I am absolutely religious about how I care for our jeans! I turn them inside out and wash them in cold water with mild detergent. I take them out of the washing machine and turn them back out. While damp, I clip the waistbands onto clip hangers and hang them in an empty wardrobe in the guest room to air dry. (We live in a small house that doesn’t have a laundry room, which is why our laundry ends up drying on hangers in the guest room cupboard).

I NEVER put wet or damp jeans in the tumble drier, even though washing instructions insist that you can tumble dry them on low heat for any length of time. Even with as little as 1% stretch, tumble dryers have unfavourable effects on denim. The heat first causes the lycra to contract (which is why our jeans feel tight after we’ve tumble dried them), and then subsequently to lose its elasticity completely (causing our jeans to “grow”). In my experience, if you tumble-dry your jeans, their fit will never be the same again.

It takes a day or two for jeans to air dry, leaving them crunchy, hard and wrinkled. The ideal solution is to iron them back to their original soft and smooth state. But like most people, I loathe ironing and avoid it all costs. I’ve found that if I put clean, air-dried jeans into the dryer on low heat for two minutes, they come out soft, wrinkle free and don’t bag out when we wear them. I shake them out, fold them neatly onto a hanger and put them back into our wardrobe. No ironing and no harmful tumble drying effects.

I’ve been caring for jeans in this way for years and years and am very satisfied with how our old jeans (6 years plus) have weathered the effects of this laundry process. How do you care for your jeans ?