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Denim Care, Part 2

By Dr. Laundry June 30, 2014

Once I got over the “ick” factor of the suggestion that blue jeans can go a year without washing, I gave a little thought to the idea of what steps it would take to keep a dark item looking as close to new for as long as possible.  To be fair, why wouldn’t he want his jeans to look like new?  At the point of sale, a garment usually has a finish on it that helps it feel crisp and new, and this finish usually washes off, so I can see why someone would want to put off that first wash cycle as long as possible.  But clothing does get dirty, and you really do decrease your chances of getting something clean if you put off washing it.  So here are some suggestions:

1. Wash the item inside out.
2. Use a front loading washer—it has much more gentle agitation—or hand wash.
3. Use lukewarm water–since it is easier for a dark item to hide the fact that it’s not perfectly clean, it’s less critical to use hot water for the best cleaning at the expense of a dark color.
4. Use detergent and Clorox2® Stain Fighter and Color Booster—you really do want to get the item as clean as possible, don’t you?
5. Squeeze excess moisture out with a towel and hang the item to air dry—dryer heat can be very hard on colors, prematurely fading them, and air drying really does helps decrease fading.

These are great tips for preserving color.  I really like being able to wear my favorite dark items as often as I like and wherever I like, knowing that good laundry practices will keep them wearable longer!