You love your jeans so much that you wear them all the time. All that wearing, however, causes them to wear out, and now you’re worried you’ve got to say goodbye. The good news is that the right denim hacks will keep you wearing those jeans for much longer. Whether you need to shrink, stretch, or repair, you can save those jeans! You two will be the perfect pair for a long time to come.
Wash Them Less Frequently
It may sound strange, but denim does not need to be washed as frequently as your other clothes. You can wash your jeans as little as twice a year. Leaving more time between washings will preserve the shape and integrity of the fabric. Some people like to put their jeans in the freezer overnight to kill bacteria and odors. Others like to spray them with fabric fresheners. Choose your favorite way to freshen up your jeans between washes.
Use the Right Washing Technique
You’ll have to decide how often to wash your jeans; sometimes they may need it more frequently, after all. When you wash them, use the right technique. Turn them inside out to keep the dye from fading, and wash them on the cold cycle. You can buy special detergent for cold washes. Once they’re clean, hang them to dry. The dryer can be rough on clothes and wear them out faster.
Because you don’t want to wash your jeans as often, you might need other ways to remove stains. That’s where stain stick comes in. Stain pens can take care of small issues without requiring a wash. If the stain is stubborn, try using a stain gel with a brush before washing the jeans on cold. Get the stain out the first time so you don’t have to repeat the wash cycle more than necessary.
Well-loved jeans tend to get holes because we wear them so often. Unless you’re going for that destroyed denim look, you should repair damage as soon as it happens to keep it from spreading. Even damage to awkward areas, like the waistband or the seat, is repairable.
For a small, new rip, you might be able to sew the fabric back together. A simple over-under motion will create a seam where the rip has occurred. You can also reinforce the rip on the inside of the jeans with an additional piece of fabric so it doesn’t tear through your stitches. If the edges of the rip don’t meet, you’ll definitely need to use a patch.
You don’t need a machine or any particular talent to sew a patch into your jeans. You just need a needle, some strong thread, and a fabric patch. Sew the fabric in an over-under motion, making your stitches as tight as possible. Leave some space between the edge of the rip and your line of stitches so they don’t pull through the loose threads. You may need to practice a little, but you’ll get the hang of this technique pretty quickly.
Play with your patches by choosing fun fabrics. Own the fact that you’ve worn and loved these jeans for years by using bright colors for your patches, or you can hide the damage with blue patches that blend in with your denim. Just be sure to sew patches and not use glue or iron-on ones. Fabric glue and iron-on patches create stiff spots in your jeans that can irritate your skin when you wear them. Sewing patches is the only way to keep the jeans soft.
Change Their Shape
As you own denim, it tends to change shape. Your body might change, or the jeans might start to stretch in strange ways. Whether you’d like them to be bigger or smaller, you have a few options for altering how your jeans fit.
Though you’re not usually supposed to wash and dry your jeans with heat, that rule has one exception: for shrinking them. Washing your jeans in hot water then drying them on at least medium heat is how to shrink jeans. This works best on jeans that are made mostly of cotton; elastic materials encourage them to stretch out again. Expect your jeans to have a very snug fit once you pull them out of the dryer.
For jeans that have shrunk, you have stretching options, too. Heat is your friend, again, but in a different way. One option is to hang them to dry and pull out your hair dryer. Put the hair dryer on low, and tug at the jeans in the spots where you want them to stretch. Doing this while they dry will help the denim keep its shape. You can also hop in a warm bath while wearing the jeans to give them a good stretch. Peel them off while wet, then let them air dry.
If you treat your jeans right even when they’re new, then use a few of these denim hacks as they wear, you can keep wearing them for many years to come.