Wednesday, October 13, 2010

To Wash or Not to Wash, Your Jeans

Posted on 6:13 PM by Gina Colonette


Raw denim also known as dry denim, is causing people all over the world to wear their jeans without ever washing them. You can call it a laundry phobia, but there is much more to it than that. It’s a movement.


Raw denim is a part of a “do it yourself” culture. Raw denim is denim in it’s purest form, unwashed and untreated. You can create the look you want for your jeans by simply wearing them, without washing them. It’s not a simple task, Eric Goldstein, founder of Jean Shop, tells AOL news. It could take years to break your jeans in. 


There are many bloggers writing about how to care for your raw denim. For example, Darryl Necker, blogger on Dr. Denim Jeans Makers, has been taking his readers through the process of wearing and barely washing his raw denim jeans. 


Jing Liu, lead designer for JUZD street wear, created a YouTube video displaying the first time he washed his jeans in 18 months.


A newcomer to the raw denim lifestyle is Mark Brewer, a 20-year-old student. He’s been wearing his newest jeans, Samuri 710’s, for a little over four weeks without washing. When he finally decides to put his raw denim in the wash he has a special process. “I do a short cold cycle with very little detergent, and hang dry or I'll rinse them in my bath tub and always have them inside out,“ Brewer says. “Otherwise you can hang them out in the sun to get rid of the smell.”



Here’s the process:
  • Fill the bathtub with enough lukewarm water to cover your jeans.
  •  Use Woolite Zero (or Woolite Dark Colors) to wash your jeans, it is gentle and reduces indigo loss. Fill the cap up to the first line for one pair of jeans. You may use more if you are washing multiple pairs.
  •   Pour the Woolite into the bathtub and allow it to bubble before putting the jeans in.
  • Put your jeans in the water and move them around with your hands to work some of the dirt and grime off.
  •  Let your jeans soak for about 45 minutes.
  • After soaking take your jeans out. If the water is brown, then your jeans were DIRTY. Congrats, you have successfully washed your jeans for the first time!
  •  Empty the tub and refill it to get the soap off of the jeans.
  • Lastly hang those bad boys to dry in the shower. It will probably take a day before they are completely dry and stiff. 
Now that wasn’t so hard, was it? I know this may be a difficult task for raw denim lovers, but you may have to wash your jeans at some point. If you aren’t ready to take that big step, there is an alternative. What you will need is a plastic freezer bag and a freezer with room to spare. Take your dirty jeans and fold them up into the bag. Put them into the freezer for about a week. This will kill bacteria, bacteria that can cause your jeans to smell. It’s nothing like actually washing your jeans, but it would be a courtesy for you to not be stinky at work. Thanks in advance.



This is a lifestyle. More power to you because you are saving money on laundry, and clothes for that matter. To join or not to join the movement, that is the question, and you have the answer. 


(Picture via Andrew Ng Flickr)

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