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Hand-Wash and Machine Wash: Essential Washing Guidance for Better Jeans

Wash your jeans! Don't you dare wash them! No no, just freeze them! Forget freezing them, just light them on fire and that’s it! There are so many conflicting advices out there about the perfect way to care for your jeans. From baking them in an oven (as in, for food!) to never washing them at all, denim care practices are ferociously tested to find the best strategy for jeans maintenance that works the best.

The never-wash people claim that laundering will fasten the fading process and break down the denim. They are then insist on wearing jeans which has been built up with dirt, skin, their natural body oils, odor and environmental grime which actually cause the material to break down. In fact, usual wearing will also cause the dye to fade.

Since they're your jeans, it’s all come back to your decision to decide if you want to wash your jeans. So go ahead and wash your jeans if you prefer wearing clean pants. To ensure that you're not doing major damage to them, make sure that you are secure in the knowledge to make them last longer.

Hand-Wash Method
If you’re concern about consigning your raw denim or selvedge jeans to the mercy of the washing machine, hand soaking is a wise option for the initial cleansing voyage. It gives you more control on the intensity and temperature of the wash. In fact, if you’ve got unsanforized denim, hand-washing will minimize shrinking and spare your jeans an aggressive spin cycle. Even if you’ve got sanforized denim, hand washing is still the solid option to keep the denim dark and ‘raw’ as it usually doesn’t remove a lot of indigo from the denim.

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For hand-washing, you will need to turn your jeans inside out to help preserving your jeans color and minimise the risk of colour bleeding. This step allows the inside-dirtiest part of the jeans, to make sure the jeans are completely submerged in lukewarm water and detergent.

Some denim enthusiasts suggest to add some vinegar and salt in addition to denim-friendly detergent. This method will help the indigo dye stay in the fabric and don’t worry when the water may go a bit purple. Vinegar absorbs and neutralises the mineral compounds that released from the indigo dye and kills bacteria. You can also find solace in the non-bio detergent denim wash to gently clean your denim if you are worry to use vinegar in denim-washing.

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Wash the jeans for a few minutes and gently remove any spots without excessive rubbing. The next step is to let them soak for 30-60 minutes. You can also swirl the water and dunk your jeans in and out a few times. After the time has elapsed, you can pull your jeans out, turn the jeans right-side out and hang them to drip dry.

Machine-Wash Method
As it requires less effort than hand-washing, some of denimheads might prefer washing machine. Indeed, it’s a little tougher on the denim, so be aware that machine-washing generally increase fading and shrinking intensity compared to hand-washing. The good news is some good washing machine with delicate cycle will work almost like hand-washing.

Similar to hand-wash method, you will need to turn jeans inside out before chucking to washing machine to prevent metallic buttons hitting the sides of the washing drum. This method can also reduce the likelihood of colours fading. Use gentle non-bio denim-specific detergent to preserve colours, fades and the quality of your jeans.

To replicate the gentlest aspects of  human hand washing, you will need to put the washing machine on the slowest spin cycle and lowest temperature (no higher than 30 degrees Celsius). One thing to be noted is to wash the jeans on their own. This will minimize the risk of dye staining your entire wardrobe. It also means there’ll be less rough-and-tumble between your precious denim and the zippers, buttons and fabrics of other clothes. Finally, let your jeans drip dry with minimal interference. away from direct sunlight which could cause fading.

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