A denim jacket is a versatile form of outerwear that you can wear year-round. Whether it’s spring, summer, fall or winter, you can’t go wrong with this classic choice. Characterized by a denim construction — the same fabric used to make jeans — denim jackets are both durable and comfortable. But like most garments, they require regular cleaning and maintenance. Neglecting to properly care for your denim jacket will leave it susceptible to damage and degradation. To make your denim jacket last, consider the following tips to clean and maintain it.
Spot Clean When Dirty
The safest way to clean is a denim jacket is to spot clean it. The term “spot cleaning” simply refers to hand-cleaning specific areas of a garment. Some people believe that using a washing machine is the best way to clean denim jackets. While often effective, though, it can shorten the lifespan of your jacket by exposing it to stress and heat. A safer solution is to spot clean your jacket using warm water, laundry detergent and a washcloth. For superficial dirt and stains that haven’t set, spot cleaning should suffice.
Store on a Clothes Hanger
When you aren’t wearing your denim jacket, store it on a clothes hanger. We’ve all been guilty of tossing our coat or jacket on the couch at some point or another. When you come home after a long day at work, you may toss your denim jacket on your living room furniture. This may not cause any immediate harm to your jacket, but you shouldn’t get into the habit of doing it. Over time, it may cause your leather jacket to lose its original shape. But you can prevent this from happening by storing it on a clothes hanger. Rather than tossing your denim jacket on a piece of furniture, the floor, kitchen table or elsewhere, take a minute to place it on a clothes hanger. The clothes hanger will help preserve your jacket’s original shape, allowing you to get more use out of it.
Remove Lint With a Lint Roller
Is your denim jacket covered in lint? Try using a lint roller to remove it. Available for as little as $1 to $2 a piece, a lint roller is a handheld tool used to remove lint from clothes and furniture. It essentially features a roll of tape that catches and removed lint when applied to fabric. Just roll it across the surface of your denim jacket, at which point it will remove any lint stuck to the surface. Of course, you can use a lint roller on any garment, only of which is a denim jacket. If you constantly battle lint on your denim jacket, though, you should keep a lint roller nearby to handle this otherwise common problem.
Follow Manufacturer’s Instructions
Dozens of companies manufacture and sell denim jackets. As a result, not all denim jackets are made using the same materials or techniques. Most denim jackets, for example are made of 100% denim, though some contain added fabrics like polyester. When additional fabrics are used, it changes the jacket’s characteristics, resulting in different cleaning and maintenance requirements. Therefore, it’s a good idea to follow the manufacturer’s instructions. Your denim jacket should have a care label — typically located inside the collar — that details the manufacturer’s recommendations for cleaning and maintaining it.
Set Washing Machine to Cold Water
Spot cleaning is only effective at removing superficial dirt and stains. If a stain has set, you may struggle to remove it by hand. You can clean stubborn stains, however, by placing your denim jacket in the washing machine. But if you’re going to clean it in the washing machine, it’s important that you use cold water. Because it’s an organic, natural fabric, denim may shrink when exposed to hot water. It may not happen after washing your denim jacket just once in hot water. If you continue to do it, though, you can expect your denim jacket to fit tighter. And if it’s too tight, you may not even be able to wear it. To avoid this headache, always set your washing machine to cold water when cleaning your denim jacket.
Use Color-Safe Laundry Detergent
In addition to setting your washing machine to cold water, use a color-safe laundry detergent when cleaning your denim jacket. As the name suggests, color-safe laundry detergent is designed specifically to preserve the original color of garments. It contains various chemicals and compounds that will protect your denim jacket from fading. Normally, cleaning clothes in a washing machine causes them to slowly fade. With its unique blend of chemicals and compounds, however, color-safe detergent prevents this from happening. You can use it to safely clean your denim jacket without fear of it fading.
Use Low Heat When Ironing
You can smooth out wrinkles and creases on your denim jacket using a steam iron. A steam iron uses heat and moisture to de-wrinkle garments. Because it’s derived from cotton, though, denim is susceptible to heat-related damage. When exposed to enough heat, it will shrink or even singe. Therefore, you should use the low heat setting when ironing your denim jacket. Even at low heat, a steam iron should effectively remove most wrinkles on your denim jacket.
Don’t forget to inspect your denim jacket for signs of wear and damage on a regular basis. Assuming your jacket has buttons on the front, check each of these buttons to ensure they are intact. If you a loose button, either sew it back into place or take to a local tailor. Turning a blind eye to a loose button will likely result in it falling off. Other things you should check when inspecting your denim jacket include the seams, stitching, pockets and sleeves. If you see signs of damage, get your jacket fixed before it turns it bigger, more costly damage. Inspecting your denim jacket on a regular basis will allow you to keep this classic garment in tiptop shape.