This may seem like an odd question…
I know that most of you cowboys will probably say several times a week, if not everyday. This does make sense, especially if you are coming in from a smelly cattle pen or have been laying sod all day. But, what about your good jeans. The jeans you really care about, how often do you wash those?
In a recent article where the CEO of Levi, Chip Bergh, was interviewed, he told us to NEVER wash our jeans!
I know most of you are staring at your computer screen right now, jaws dropped, but I have to tell you, myself and Mr. Kimes agree, don’t wash your jeans if you can do without.
Now, don’t get me wrong, the way we treat our jeans will depend on the type of “life” the jean has. Working all day in your jeans on the ranch definitely allows for a good washing. But, the jeans you keep in your closet for a night out, or wear on Sunday, these jeans can be treated with more care.
Some tips from Kimes Ranch on how to keep your jeans fresh, without washing them:
1) Spray them with Febreeze, or another item claiming to kill odor. We use a lot of Febreeze around here. Spray the jean liberally, especially in the areas that are most stretched, the back of the knee, under the pocket on top of the bum, the middle of the thigh, and toss in the medium heat dryer for a few minutes. This will “re shrink” the jeans to original size, and they will come out smelling great.
2) Freeze them. What!!! Yes, putting jeans in the freezer is a trick of the trade. The freezer, overnight, will kill bacteria that cause odor. Pull them out, hang them in the sun to warm up, and presto, fresh jeans!
3) For “dirty” jeans, you can spot wash them. Use a toothbrush, an old one, and a bit of detergent. Scrub on the spot in question, then air dry.
What is the benefit to not washing your jeans? Well, there are several things to keep in mind.
Less washing does mean longer lasting. Does this mean that washing my jeans will make them fall apart immediately? Of course not. But, washing jeans 5-7 times a week will break down the integrity of ANY cotton denim we wear. And yes, all jeans are made of some sort of cotton or cotton blend denim.
“If you treat them right, (jeans), they’ll last a long, long time- probably longer than most people’s waistline,” Levi CEO tells us.
Another interesting thing: When you don’t wash your jeans, especially if they are dark like Kimes Ranch Jeans, they begin to develop their own unique character. They will create wear marks on the back of the knee, whiskers will appear at the top of the thigh, they do begin to create this look all on their own that is truly beautiful.
I know I sound like a big denim nerd who maybe loves jeans too much, but, I do find special qualities in each and every pair of my jeans.
So go on, don’t wash your jeans!