8 Ways You Never Knew You Are Ruining Your Jeans

I love wearing denim almost as much as I love wearing sweatpants. If I could get away with wearing them every single day, I probably would. But it wasn’t until I started this post that I realized I’ve been doing almost everything the wrong way when it comes to my jeans. I’ve made pretty much every single mistake that’s listed here in this post, so I’m actually surprised that most of them are still in one piece.


If you’re anything like me, you probably don’t put much time or thought into the way that you care for your jeans. Throwing them into the washer every three to four weeks and cleaning them with detergent always seems like the legit plan. However, that just means that you’re destroying your denim without even knowing it. Check out these eight ways you never knew you are actually ruining your jeans.

You Never Check The Label To See How Your Jeans Should Be Washed

I’ve lost count of how many times I ended up with ruined whites, faded jeans and shrunken tops. But regardless of all that, I still don’t bother to check the labels before I throw my clothes into the washer. Isn't that crazy? But anyway, simply taking a few seconds to read those labels could save the denim fabric from going through extra wear and tear.

Image source: iStock

You Wash Them Too Often

No, you’re actually not supposed to wash your jeans after every single wear. According to the CEO of Levi , the less you wash your jeans the better. In fact, it turns out that jeans don’t even need to be washed. I know it sounds pretty gross, but with fewer washes your jeans can actually last much longer. To prevent the bacteria from building up, you can kill them off by sticking them in them in your freezer.

Image source: iStock

You Machine Wash Your Jeans

I wasn’t aware of this mistake until I began to work on this post. I’ve been machine-washing all of my jeans for years. However, this would explain why quite a few of them got worn out and faded pretty fast. It turns out that all the rough spinning and tumbling from washing machines can take a huge toll on the fabric, so instead of doing a machine wash, you’re supposed to hand-wash them. If you want to stick with the washing machine, however, you can always put the setting to “delicate.”

Image source: iStock

You Don't Turn Your Jeans Inside Out Before You Wash Them

In short, turning your jeans inside out can prevent the dye from leaching out. So if you’re planning to wash your jeans in a washing machine, do NOT skip this step! That could lead to discoloration and fading.

Image source: iStock

You Put Them In The Dryer

Heat and denim just don’t go together. If you put your jeans to dry in high heat they’ll actually shrink, and that poses a problem because you would have to stretch them out all over again. To avoid this, you can just air-dry them outdoors or right at home. It does take a while, but trust me when I say that it’s worth it!

Image source: iStock

You Keep Things In The Pockets All The Time

Whether it’s your buss pass, your cell phone, a pen, or a pack of gum, keeping things in your jeans pocket could alter the shape of that area on your jeans. The material could stretch and even tear if you keep things in the pockets of jeans that are really tight.

Image source: iStock

You Store Your Jeans The Wrong Way

As of now, I have a bunch of jeans that are scrunched up in a huge bin at home, and whenever I want to wear one of them, I usually have to break out the iron to straighten out those creases (you’d think that I learned my lesson by now, but of course, I’ve kept it this way for years). It turns out that when you store your jeans, you’re actually supposed to keep them loosely folded to prevent wrinkles.

Image source: iStock

You Use Detergent To Clean Them

Instead of using detergent, you should actually soak your denim in cold water and distilled white vinegar to preserve the color and kill off the bacteria. Using soap will only lead to more fading and cause your jeans to look washed out.

Image source: iStock

Which of these surprised you the most? Have you been ruining your jeans without knowing it? Tell us in the comments below!

You can follow the author, Nakeisha Campbell, on Twitter and Instagram.

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