Can jeans last forever? Let's find out!

Posted on August 19 2019

Can jeans last forever?  Let's find out!

Congratulations on your purchase of top quality denim.  You have shopped our amazing collection of NYDJ and Liverpool denim, right?  Jeans like this cost more than your average mall jeans, but you will see the difference.  Not only are they more flattering, but they will last a lot longer.  It’s smarter to buy one pair of high quality jeans that will last 10 years and look great, than buy 5 pairs of cheap jeans that look so-so and wear out after one season.

The question is, how to make them last 10 (or 20, or 30) years?  Some guidelines below:

Step away from your washer

It’s easy to forget to protect clothes from stains and rips, especially if you’re a mom, or travel a lot, or build things, or garden, etc. etc.  But preventing your jeans from needing to be laundered is pretty important.  Some tools:

      • Spot cleaning is your friend, just don’t use a bleach pen on your jeans
      • When you must launder your whole jeans, fill a tub with cold water mixed with 1/2 teaspoon of laundry detergent.  Turn your jeans inside out, drop them in the soapy water, and walk away for an hour.  Do not agitate or otherwise offend your jeans.  Just let them sit, then rinse them out.
      • Use denim refresher like Three Wrens proprietary alcohol-free Denim Refresher spray, Citrus or Lavender.  With tea tree and lemon or lavender oils, your spray will kill bacteria and nix odors.  The oil should not damage the clothes, but be sure to shake well before using and do a spot test in a hard-to-see spot to be safe.

Step far far away from your dryer

Drip dry.  Every time.  No exceptions.

Use iron-on patches to prevent inner thigh wear

Three Wrens also recommends iron-on patches to prevent inner-thigh wear.  Don’t worry, these patches go on the *inside* of your jeans, where no one will ever see them.  Inner thigh wear isn’t just about friction on the outsides of your jeans, it’s also about pulling and stress throughout the fabric.  The patches will reinforce the denim so it doesn’t pull, extending the life of your jeans.

Special advice for indigo (very dark blue) jeans

Indigo dye is a tricky because it transfers onto lighter clothing or upholstery and bleeds into wash water.  If your jeans are very dark and you are concerned about dye transfer, follow the laundering advice above (inside-out in a tub of cold water) to launder them before wearing. 

In addition, consider a dye fixer such as Raycafix or Dharma Dye Fixative.  These products are quite inexpensive, but work much better than Rit or Retayne dye fixatives.

Dry cleaning and irons aren’t helpful

The chemicals used in dry cleaning will degrade the fabric of your jeans.  For a quick refresh, you can use a steamer on the garment, but you should avoid ironing them directly.

Beware old wives’ tales

  • Do not put your clothes in the freezer in an attempt to kill the bacteria.  Bacteria have survived for millennia frozen in ice; they will certainly survive your freezer. 
  • Do not add vinegar or salt to your washer in an attempt to “set” the color.  A vinegar rinse might help remove excess detergent from your jeans, but since we are rarely washing our jeans, and doing so only with a very small amount of detergent, that might not be necessary.
  • We can’t give you experienced-based advice about putting your jeans in the oven, but we seriously recommend against it.  It’s the oven.  Use your own judgment on that.

Here at Three Wrens, we hope you never need to buy this exact color and style of jeans again, not even from us.  But if you want another color or style, we’re more than happy to sell you those!

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