In our hyper-clean country, the idea of forgoing laundry makes many of us shiver. But it looks like skipping the washing machine every once in a while is not only good for the environment, but good for our clothes.
If anyone knows jeans, it’s bound to be the director of brand concepts and special projects for Levi Strauss & Company. During a conversation with The Wall Street Journal, he shares his own personal strategies for keeping his jeans looking great for years. We’ve excerpted his wisdom here for your viewing ease:
Keep Jeans Out of the Washer and Dryer
Shrunken pants aren’t only in your head—washing and drying makes the cotton fibers swell and actually causes the pants to tighten and shorten.
Spot Clean as Needed
Instead of putting the whole garment through the wash every time you drip Diet Coke on the legs, address the spots with a damp sponge and whatever non-bleaching cleaning agent you have available—he uses Windex or 409.
Soak Clean and Drip Dry
To keep the pants from losing their color or shape, the jeans expert soaks his pants in a bathtub full of tepid water and two tablespoons of mild soap. For dark jeans, he adds 1/8 cup of vinegar to help them keep their color. He lets them sit for 20 minutes, then hangs them by a belt loop to dry. Sound like a pain? He only does it about once every six months.
If reducing our loads of laundry means that we’ll be wringing every dollar out of our jeans and looking great in the meantime, we’re willing to make the sacrifice.
Tell us in the comments: How far do you go to keep your clothes looking fab?