Your Denim, Your Laundry

HOW TO TAKE CARE OF DENIM

‘How do you wash denim’ is a common question a lot of denim heads get asked. And this is an important question when you are investing in a great pair of jeans or building a look around your denim pieces.

If you follow these instructions, your denim threads will last longer and do their bit for sustainable wearing.

Firstly, the best way to care for your denim is to wash it as little as possible. Whilst we encourage you to wear your marks and stains like a badge of honour if you want to keep them clean and pristine, it’s best you follow these simple guidelines:

The Bondi salt wash:

For the first wash regardless of which denim you have:

  • Add two spoons of salt into clean tap water (it helps set the dye) and follow whichever washing recipe you feel works best for you

So what is the Method of Denim Bondi wash? Basically, we sit the shallow surf with them on, usually on Bondi Beach, and then rinse with salt-free water and then roll in an old towel to avoid colour transfer issues and to remove excess water, then lay flat or drip dry out of direct sunlight….which we also have a lot of in Bondi. That’s why we live here. It’s awesome. But if you don’t live anywhere near a sun-drenched beach, just use tap water and an eggcup measure of kitchen salt with every hand wash and rinse accordingly. Never go swimming in your jeans. That would be so dumb.

Hand washing denim:

  • Turn your jeans inside out
  • Always wash in cold water (hand washing is best)
  • Use as little mild nature-friendly detergent as possible (1/2 a teaspoon is recommended).
Never use bleach as this will fade the denim and also destroy the weave, making the denim liable to splitting and tearing.
  • Lay flat and hand flatten out creases to dry
  • Do not tumble dry
  • Do not hot iron overprints. Cool iron on the inside of denim if absolutely necessary

Machine washing denim:

  • Turn your jeans inside out
  • Always wash in cold water setting on the shortest gentlest programme ( we always recommend hand washing for best maintenance).
  • Use as little mild nature-friendly detergent as possible (1/2 a teaspoon is recommended).

Never use bleach as this will fade the denim and also destroy the weave, making the denim liable to splitting and tearing.

  • Lay flat to dry and hand flatten out creases to dry
  • Do not tumble dry
  • Do not hot iron overprints. Cool iron on the inside of denim if absolutely necessary

Freeze cleaning denim:

  • Place jeans in a freezer bag and then place in the freezer overnight (sub-zero temperatures kill bacteria)
  • Remove from bag and allow them to return to room temperature before wear. 

Denim is a natural fibre so is prone to shedding. This means textile micro-filaments are entering the local water systems where you live and we believe that is something machine manufacturers need to address. However, in the short term, we recommend washing bags, such as Guppyfriend, folding your denim neatly in the bag to avoid washing tracks and drying them naturally as soon as the cold water cycle has finished.

Detergents:

Everyone will have their thoughts on this and there are plenty of approaches, from saltwater washing to dry freezing, to take care of your denim but what can one use when you just have to wash your denim. Here are a couple of accessible brands we recommend from around the world; The Laundress Denim Wash (USA), Woolite Hand Wash (UK), Radian Liquid Black Wash (Australia), Momotaro Jeans SZ-001 Denim (Japan) and for those who worship at the shrine of the raw gods, Heddels Denim Wash (USA) in a tiny pipette bottle that looks like neu-wave cologne. If you cannot find any of these products in your local supermarkets then a tiny amount of nature-friendly hand washing detergent will help with moving oil-based marks and freshening. Raw denim will be irrevocably changed through the use of detergents and washing practices but that is part of the charm of it aging gracefully.

White denim may require biological white enhancer washing liquid to keep it pure white and may be prone to picking up colour rub from other deep dye denim products. Biological liquids may not be environmentally safe, so use as spot treatments only. White denim can age to a cream hue over the years of wear, which is equally as cool.

Black denim requires cold hand washing to retain its unique appearance or a cold short cycle for machine washing with non-biological/colour care environmentally safe laundry liquid.

Raw denim will be irrevocably changed through the use of detergents and washing practices but that is part of the charm of the denim taking on your unique body shape patina.

Organic and non-organic cottons are prone to fade if over-washed at high temperature. We recommend always to wash at 30 degrees/cool settings on short programmes, unless heavily soiled, using an environmentally safe laundry washing liquid.