3 care strategies for your premium denim.

In a society increasingly concerned about cleanliness (anti-bacterial wipes, anyone), Levi Stauss & Co. CEO Chip Bergh has most of us saying “whaaa???” when he suggested at the May 2014 Fortune Brainstorm Green conference to stop washing our jeans… for good.

The reason was two-fold:  to preserve water and to prevent premature wear and fade. While these are certainly valid motivators, the idea of less than fresh jeans didn’t sit well with us. Apparently though, there are plenty of cleaning alternatives beyond a spin in the washing machine. We looked at some of the unconventional picks:


What to do:  Move over ice cream! True “denim heads” claim that freezing your jeans kills bacteria and restores a fresh, albeit chilly, scent. Simply place pants in a zip lock bag and store in the ice box for at least five to six hours. Interesting enough; however, in an analysis by Business Insider, scientists say that freezing doesn’t in fact kill most bacteria, but merely puts them in a dormant state, only to awaken once thawed out. Furthermore, the type of bacteria jeans acquire is in question. Unless one if working in extremely dirty or hazardous conditions, jeans mainly harbor skin microorganisms from our own bodies, which are generally not harmful.

Harmful or not, the idea of something other than us living in our jeans and odors isn’t exactly appealing. Scientists suggest that airing these garments outside in sunlight is a more effective cleaning/deodorizing approach.


What to do:  Some denim aficionados avoid cleaning their jeans for up to 12 months in effort to preserve the softness, color, and fit accumulated over time. When they are finally ready for a refresher, many resort to good old hand washing. Men style site IAmAlphM.com recommends the following:

  • Fill a bathtub with 3-4 inches of cool to lukewarm water.
  • Add a small amount, about 1/2 of the manufacturer’s recommended dosage, of gentle, non-bleach, dark-color-saving laundry detergent (such as Woolite Extra Dark Care) to water.
  • Turn the jeans inside out and lay them flat in the tub. Use something weighted to keep them submersed.
  • Let them soak for 45 minutes.
  • Empty the soapy water and rinse the jeans in cool water to remove the detergent.
  • Remove the jeans and hang upside down to dry.

Screw It!

What to do:  For those of you who do not mind a little fade or re-breaking in now and then in favor of feeling fresh, there are a couple of options that still address the water waste issue. Sudsies offers dry cleaning and laundering services, both of which incorporate low-energy, low-water usage machinery and environmentally-friendly cleaning solvents. Sudsies also provides hand-cleaning techniques, which can help preserve the original state of the denim. Added bonus: now you can restock your freezer with those favorite Haagen-Dazs flavors.

For more information about Sudsies cleaning habits, please visit us www.sudsies.com.