Stretch jeans have become a popular alternative to traditional jeans. All jeans are made of denim. Stretch jeans, however, are made of a special type of denim consisting of cotton and an elastic fabric. Known as stretch denim, it increases their elasticity. You can bend and pull a pair of stretch jeans without breaking them. To make your stretch jeans last, however, you’ll need to care for them.
Wash Less Frequently
Contrary to popular belief, you don’t need to wash your stretch jeans each time you wear them. Like traditional jeans, you can typically wear them multiple times before washing them. Washing your stretch jeans less frequently, in fact, will make them last longer. They’ll be exposed to less heat and stress, so they won’t succumb to the hands of time. If you want to get the most value and use out of your stretch jeans, consider washing them only when they are visibly dirty.
Use Cold Water
When you do wash your stretch jeans, use cold water. Most washing machines allow you to control the temperature of the water. You can typically choose from cold, warm or hot water. While warm and hot water is more effective at removing stains, it can wear down your stretch jeans. Exposure to heat will cause the elastic fabric within your stretch jeans to contract — and it may not return to its original size and shape.
You can make your stretch jeans last longer by washing them in cold water. Cold water doesn’t have the same shrinking effects on elastic fabric as warm or hot water. It offers a safe and effective way to clean your stretch jeans.
Skip the Bleach
Avoid using bleach when washing your stretch jeans. While commonly used to “brighten” garments, bleach poses several problems. First, it can permanently stain your stretch jeans. Bleach will neutralize the dye within your stretch jeans while creating areas of permanent discoloration. When this occurs, you’ll have to either replace your stretch jeans or try to redye them.
Another reason to skip the bleach when washing your stretch jeans is because it can weaken the stretch denim from which your jeans are made. Bleach doesn’t just cause permanent discoloration; it physically degrades fabrics. It will weaken the stretch denim while making your stretch jeans more susceptible to damage.
Of course, there are other ways to brighten your stretch jeans without bleaching them. Washing them with vinegar, for instance, can have a positive impact on their color. Vinegar won’t stain your stretch jeans. Nonetheless, it will lock in the color of your stretch jeans while helping to remove dirt and debris.
Choose Pre-Washed Stretch Jeans
Stretch jeans are available in two primary types: pre-washed and raw. Pre-washed stretch jeans are those that have been washed during production, whereas raw stretch jeans are those that haven’t been washed during production. When shopping for a new pair of stretch jeans, you should consider choosing the former type.
Pre-washed stretch jeans often last longer than their raw counterparts. Manufacturers wash them during production, which helps to shrink and loosen the fabric. When compared to raw stretch jeans, pre-washed stretch jeans are less likely to fade, and they are less likely to shrink. These properties can extend their lifetime so that you can get more value and use out of them.
Keep Them Off the Ground
You should try to keep your stretch jeans off the ground when wearing them. What does this mean exactly? If your stretch jeans are too long, they may drag on the ground. Even if they are just 1 inch too long, the bottom of the pant legs will drag on the ground. Over time, this dragging on the ground will degrade your stretch jeans.
To keep your stretch jeans off the ground, you should choose the right size. Make sure that are the same length as your legs. You can also prevent your stretch jeans from dragging on the ground by cuffing them. Cuffing is a folding process. You can cuff your stretch jeans by folding the bottom up the bottom of the pant legs two or three times. Once cuffed, they’ll essentially sit higher up your legs (typically around your ankles), in which case they shouldn’t drag on the ground.
Wash With Similar Colors
Another tip to make your stretch jeans last a lifetime is to wash them with similar colors. All garments can bleed their colors. When a garment bleeds its colors, it will release some of its dye. This dye may then work its way onto other garments.
You can protect your stretch jeans from this phenomenon by washing them with similar colors. If your stretch jeans are indigo-colored, wash them with other indigo-colored garments. If they are light blue-colored, wash them with other light blue-colored garments.
Avoid Heavily Distressed Stretch Jeans
Stretch jeans are available in distressed styles. Distressed styles are those that contain signs of visible — as well as intentional — wearing. Most distressed jeans have worn knee areas in which the fabric has been degraded.
While there’s nothing wrong with choosing a distressed style, you should avoid choosing a heavily distressed style. Stretch jeans in a heavily distressed style are more vulnerable to damage than those in a lightly or moderately distressed style.
Dry Quickly After Washing
Don’t wait to dry your stretch jeans after washing them. Allowing them to sit in the washing machine after being washed isn’t a good idea. Your stretch jeans will still be wet. And if you don’t dry them promptly, they may develop mildew.
To protect your stretch jeans from mildew, you should dry them quickly after washing them. You can still use a tumble dryer to dry them. Just turn the tumble dryer to the low or no-heat setting. In as little as 20 minutes, your stretch jeans should be dry. Following these tips will help to make your stretch jeans last a lifetime.