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Great (laundry) debate: When should you wash your jeans?

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There are many suggestions out there for how often you should clean your blue jeans. But who is right? (KTRK)

It's the great debate of the laundry room.

If you ask people how often they should wash their jeans, you'll get a variety of answers and interesting suggestions.

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A fashion expert says price doesn't matter as long as you know how to pick the right pair and take care of them.



While we won't try to sway you, experts say there is a right and wrong way to clean those jeans and make them last longer.

Answers vary, depending on who you ask
Like fingerprints, it seems everyone has a different response when asked about washing jeans.

Jeans are on display at a department store.


"If I wear them a couple times, I was them in cold water then hang them on a line to dry," viewer Ashley Tate told Eyewitness News.

Others said three of four times was the rule of thumb.

Still, others said you should only wash jeans when you spill something on them.

In this Feb. 4, 2011 photo, salesman Jesus Ibarra straightens out Levis jeans on display at a store in Hayward, Calif.


"I spot clean where needed, but to be honest with you, I was them as little as possible," viewer Joey Rodriguez said. "Especially the dark ones, or really expensive ones."

So who is right?

Wash those jeans less often
People balked in 2014 when Levi's CEO Chip Bergh said you could go as much as year or longer without washing your jeans.

SEE ALSO: How Levi Strauss jeans were born
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The first denim "waist overalls," which were marketed to laborers, were an instant success in the U.S.


While many viewers we spoke to agreed with Bergh, refusing to wash their jeans aside from spot cleaning, fashion stylist Wendy Patterson disagrees.

She tells Eyewitness News you should aim to wash jeans every four or five wears, sometimes less if the denim has a dirty wash or special coloring.

Some viewers said they will only wash to help tighten up jeans that have become too lose.

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Don't let your laundry take you to the cleaners!


Patterson said buying the right pair of jeans matters, and recommended finding a pair with one or two percent elastin, lycra or spandex to help maintain their shape.

Keep smelly jeans at bay
Finally, you can wash your jeans less and bust odors by following these tips from Patterson and our viewers:

  • Use a steamer to keep your jeans from getting smelly
  • Hang jeans in the bathroom as you shower to re-freshen the fabric
  • Spray water or a mix of water and essential oils on your jeans to treat odors, and throw them in the dryer on low for a few minutes
  • Viewer Darren Perlmutter said, "Throw 'em in the freezer in a Ziplock bag" to help keep your jeans smelling clean
Related Topics:
fashionlaundromatclothing stainsclothinghome tipbuzzworthy
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