Good Question: How Often Should We Wash Jeans?

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Every man, woman and child seems to have a favorite pair of blue jeans.

But how often you wash them, or “warsh” them like our grandmothers used to say, is up for debate.

Speaking at a conference this week, Levi’s CEO Chip Bergh told the crowd that he had never washed the jeans he was wearing.

He said it’s about conserving water, and washing too often breaks down denim.

Mall of America trend specialist Sara Rogers disagrees, even though she’s heard the argument before.

“Denim is the backbone of most great wardrobes,” Rogers said.

While Bergh recommends spot-cleaning your jeans with a tooth brush or sponge, Rogers says go ahead and throw them in the washer, but not too often.

“Every six months I think would be the most I would go, and for most people probably every two months is good,” she said.

And that depends on how dirty they get.

“I do know another tip though for washing your jeans, especially if they’re a darker blue, is to wash them inside out in vinegar,” she said.

Rogers recommends air-drying, too.

A 2011 study by the University of Alberta showed that bacteria levels were similar between a pair of jeans that were never washed and a pair washed every two weeks.

The study recommends washing your jeans only every once in a while.

More from John Lauritsen
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