How Often Should You Wash Your Jeans? Here's How to Make Your Fave Skinnies Last Longer

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Your jeans are probably one of the most well-worn items in your closet, but are you taking care of them the right way? There’s a longstanding debate over how often you should actually wash your denim, from once a week to monthly to almost never. So what’s the real answer? Read on to find out!

As previously stated, there are conflicting options among experts over how frequently your favorite pair of skinnies should be washed. A report from Tech Insider suggests washing your jeans as often as every four to six days. Conversely, Levi's CEO Chip Bergh once famously stated that jeans should never be put in a washing machine, as it consumes a lot of water and won’t help them last longer. Instead, he suggests spot cleaning them with a toothbrush or — if necessary — hand washing them and then hanging to dry.

Business Insider has another barometer for which to gauge how often you should wash your jeans: smell. That’s right. According to the publication, the majority of the microbes that jeans gather through wear (including skin cells, natural oils, and some forms of bacteria) are relatively harmless, so not cleaning them won’t be hazardous to your health. However, they may eventually start to develop an odor, which they suggest is your signal to throw them in the wash. Depending on how much you sweat and how often you wear them, that could be once every two to six months.

So which opinion should you follow? In the end, it’s really up to each individual to judge the best way to to care for their own jeans. The majority agrees that jeans ideally shouldn’t be cleaned after just a single wear. But, that doesn’t mean that you have to go six weeks without washing your jeggings, if you’re not comfortable doing so. You can lean towards a happy medium, like after every three to four washes.  

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Whatever you decide, there is another aspect of jean-cleaning that many seem to agree on: air-drying. The consensus among experts seems to be that it’s better to hang your jeans to dry, as opposed to throwing them in a dryer. They may feel stiff initially, but that will go away and the practice will go a long way towards making your perfect pair of jeans last longer.

So there you have it! There is no specific right or wrong answer for how to care of your denim — which means you should feel fully free to do whatever you gotta do to make those super flattering mid-rises last as long as possible.