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  1. #1
    Common Lackey

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    Default Are you washing your jeans too often?

    I was rather shocked by this article in 'Wirecutter' that recomends you only wash your jeans about one time for every 30 wearings -- and in the case of raw denim, only half that often. It seems pretty well researched, and contains the voices of knowledgeable people in the industry, but still...

    I don't think I could go from my current 1-in-5 ratio to 1-in-30 without feeling pretty grubby. But I will be taking their advice about turning your jeans inside-out when you wash them, and skipping the dryer.

    Could you wear your jeans 30 times without a wash?

    https://www.nytimes.com/wirecutter/g...it_nn_20210708
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  2. #2
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    Default Re: Are you washing your jeans too often?

    Quote Originally Posted by Cook.bot View Post
    Could you wear your jeans 30 times without a wash?
    Never
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    Mean spirited, nasty, snide, sarcastic, hateful, and rude individuals on Basenotes don't warrant or deserve my or other Basenoters' acknowledgement or respect.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Are you washing your jeans too often?

    I rotate through different pants daily, but I would guess that I wash my jeans after 3 - 5 wears on average. There is no need to wash them every day when I'm sitting at the desk all day. That said, I'm not overly concerned about washing jeans too much as they are easily replaceable.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Are you washing your jeans too often?

    Easily. I change underwear and shirts daily but jeans just don't get dirty that quickly unless you actually stain them of course.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Are you washing your jeans too often?

    I don't wash mine 1-30, but I wash them between 1-5 to 1-20 depending on the weather. If you are sweating into your jeans heavily it provides a food source to bacteria, and bacterial buildup will make the fabric degrade faster if you don't wash them. If things start to smell throw it in the wash. Raw denim is pretty resistant to getting smelly though so this can take a while.

  6. #6
    Common Lackey

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    Default Re: Are you washing your jeans too often?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rinx7 View Post
    Raw denim is pretty resistant to getting smelly though so this can take a while.
    Do you only wear raw denim, Rinx? I don't think I've had a pair of 100% cotton jeans for more than ten years. All mine seem to be around 98% cotton now with 2% elastane or lycra or some such. (I avoid any percentage of polyester as that seems to make them wear horribly.)
    Let everything happen to you: beauty and terror.
    Just keep going. No feeling is final.

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  7. #7
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    Default Re: Are you washing your jeans too often?

    Quote Originally Posted by Cook.bot View Post
    Do you only wear raw denim, Rinx? I don't think I've had a pair of 100% cotton jeans for more than ten years. All mine seem to be around 98% cotton now with 2% elastane or lycra or some such. (I avoid any percentage of polyester as that seems to make them wear horribly.)
    I've moved away from denim to technical fabrics recently (mostly nylon weaves), but I have 2 pairs of raw denim that are both 100% cotton. I used to have a pair of raw denim jeans with some elastane added to the fabric from Naked and Famous that behaved pretty similarly to the 100% cotton stuff with respect to washing.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Are you washing your jeans too often?

    The Japanese selvedge denim is a very different fabric compared to any other denim I have seen due to their unique weave patterns and the feel of the denim. Both sanforized and raw types breathe really well. Also, their sheen and color gets heavily impacted by regular washing. It’s like washing a nice pair of suede shoes, it can be done but the shoes won’t look and feel the same after the wash.

    Air drying in sunlight is one option that many people use.
    Currently wearing: Jasmine by Floris

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Are you washing your jeans too often?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tradition View Post
    The Japanese selvedge denim is a very different fabric compared to any other denim I have seen due to their unique weave patterns and the feel of the denim. Both sanforized and raw types breathe really well. Also, their sheen and color gets heavily impacted by regular washing. It’s like washing a nice pair of suede shoes, it can be done but the shoes won’t look and feel the same after the wash.

    Air drying in sunlight is one option that many people use.
    Does sunlight have any impact on color fading?

  10. #10

    Default Re: Are you washing your jeans too often?

    Quote Originally Posted by PrinceRF View Post
    Does sunlight have any impact on color fading?
    I haven’t noticed any significant color damage due to the sun on my Elephant 6 that were bought in 2019 and have been worn 50+ times. If I remember, it is a heavier 22oz denim and would take longer to fade properly but that also means it will last longer after fading. It is a slow and engaging process to see the denim transform over the years.

    Here is a link I found online: https://smoothlypolished.blogspot.co...m-sun.html?m=1
    Currently wearing: Jasmine by Floris

  11. #11

    Default Re: Are you washing your jeans too often?

    I do too much outdoorsy stuff for my jeans to last that long without a wash.

    If I owned more expensive denim pants, I might consider not running them through the dryer, but I really love the feeling of "breaking in" a pair that's just been run through the dryer and is crisp and tight.

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Are you washing your jeans too often?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tradition View Post
    The Japanese selvedge denim is a very different fabric compared to any other denim I have seen due to their unique weave patterns and the feel of the denim. Both sanforized and raw types breathe really well. Also, their sheen and color gets heavily impacted by regular washing. It’s like washing a nice pair of suede shoes, it can be done but the shoes won’t look and feel the same after the wash.

    Air drying in sunlight is one option that many people use.
    Good post, my two pairs of denim are sanforized Cone Mills Japanese selvedge, the good stuff. I did the air dry + sunlight thing until they were thoroughly broken in then I went to a more frequent washing cycle. Good medium weight or heavy weight selvedge lasts forever if properly cared for and is quite repairable too if you use a darning machine to do reweaving. Great for sustainability. My two pairs of jeans have lasted hundreds of wears over nearly 5 years now and had one major repair + some touch ups a couple years ago.

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Are you washing your jeans too often?

    I don't wear my jeans that often, but I didn't wash my raw, selvedge denim jeans for years. Easily more than 30 wears.
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  14. #14
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    Default Re: Are you washing your jeans too often?

    A lot of my jeans are a skinny fit, so I find I need to wash them often as they’ll get stretched out after a few wears. Washing and drying them makes them fit nice and tight again.

    For a looser fit, say a boyfriend fit, I could easily wash less often, though 30 wears would be pushing it.

  15. #15

    Default Re: Are you washing your jeans too often?

    I own some 30-40 pairs of jeans, and I wash them as seldom as possible. I typically purchase raw selvedge jeans, and I enjoy developing fade patters that are specific to my body. Additionally, I never throw my jeans in the dryer. I only hang them to dry.

    Similarly, I own some 25-30 suits, which I dry clean as seldom as possible.

  16. #16
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    Default Re: Are you washing your jeans too often?

    Quote Originally Posted by Marty McFly View Post
    I own some 30-40 pairs of jeans
    Whoa! I own 2...

  17. #17
    Common Lackey

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    Default Re: Are you washing your jeans too often?

    Quote Originally Posted by Darjeeling View Post
    I don't wear my jeans that often, but I didn't wash my raw, selvedge denim jeans for years. Easily more than 30 wears.
    Wow.

    Quote Originally Posted by Marty McFly View Post
    I own some 30-40 pairs of jeans, and I wash them as seldom as possible.
    Wow again.
    Let everything happen to you: beauty and terror.
    Just keep going. No feeling is final.

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  18. #18
    Basenotes Institution freewheelingvagabond's Avatar
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    Default Re: Are you washing your jeans too often?

    I have a pair of raw denim bought in 2018 from Gap, worn at least 50 times but more likely 75. Never washed. Only once soaked in bathtub. I have another pair of raw denim from Naked & Famous, worn probably 15 times - never washed or soaked. The other pairs I have typically go for 15-20 wears before a wash if not more.
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  19. #19

    Default Re: Are you washing your jeans too often?

    Quote Originally Posted by freewheelingvagabond View Post
    I have a pair of raw denim bought in 2018 from Gap, worn at least 50 times but more likely 75. Never washed. Only once soaked in bathtub. I have another pair of raw denim from Naked & Famous, worn probably 15 times - never washed or soaked. The other pairs I have typically go for 15-20 wears before a wash if not more.
    My very first pair of raw selvedge jeans were the first edition of 1969 jeans that Gap ran back around 2000. They were designed for Gap by Adriano Goldschmeid. I didn’t know any better and I washed them frequently after only a few wears each time, and they never developed any real fading and grew soft and lighter in color, losing much of the indigo over time. A few years after that I think it was either Nudies or RRL that was my next pair of raw Japanese selvedge, having read about it online, and that’s when I fell down the rabbit hole.

    Naked & Famous actually have some pretty cool demin fabric varieties. They also own a brand they call “Unbranded” which they sell for less than their main offerings. I picked up a pair of Unbrandeds a few years ago, and I have to say the denim is quite good for the price and they very quickly developed some excellent fading.

  20. #20

    Default Re: Are you washing your jeans too often?

    I know it is better not to wash jeans often. When I garden in old jeans, they inevitably get dirty. You have to wash. True, I have small children and I do not want to wash the dirt in the same washing machine in which I wash their clothes, so for such purposes I have a Giantex portable washing machine. Here is its description, if suddenly someone needs such a device.

  21. #21
    Wearing Perfume Right Now
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    Default Re: Are you washing your jeans too often?

    I'd like denim that doesn't stretch so much when I wear it, but it does, so I have to wash them pretty much every time.

    I like the weathered look from washing them.

    I'm fine having no jeans more than about three years old.




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