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Most people ignore the care tags of their clothes, regardless of material. It’s understandable why they—and you—would do away with the tedious reading of small fonts and toss everything in the washer at once. For some people, this is fine. They only care if their laundry is clean. The closest they might get to following care instructions is separating their loads into whites, colors, and delicates, and sending their dry-clean only clothes to residential laundry service providers.

However, when it comes to expensive denim pieces, it’s in your best interest to wash them properly. This keeps their fabric strong and healthy with strong colors.

Use gentle cycles with cold water

Denim can be damaged with high-spin cycles that cause abrasion. If your laundry machine is top-loading, the denim can take a beating from the center spoke. And if your machine is front-loading, it can get damaged from the multiple barrel spokes that keep clothes from sticking to the barrel. You can’t prevent all abrasive damage, but you can reduce it by using a low-spin cycle and washing your denim only when necessary (every 2-3 wears). You can also use the wash & dry service at your local laundry service provider.

Though denim feels like a strong material, it should be washed with cold water to prevent shrinkage and colors from bleeding out. Use detergent that is formulated for dark clothes to further reduce color loss, or use a mild detergent. If you have time, you can hand wash your denim by soaking it in cold water saturated with detergent for 15-30 minutes, then giving it a few cold rinses.

Turn clothes inside out and zip them up

Before turning on the washer, zip up or button up your denim clothes and turn them inside out. This exposes the dirtiest side of the clothes, the interior, to the washer while shielding the exterior from direct abrasion. Having all openings fastened with zippers, buttons, and other attachments will prevent the mistake of clothes snagging on each other.

Hang them to dry instead of using a dryer

Heat will shrink your denim and fade or yellow its colors. It can also damage your denim if it has spandex, Lycra, or other stretching properties. For old denim that you don’t mind having a faded, worn out look, toss them in the dryer on a low heat setting. Remove them when they’re slightly damp, stretch the seams, then hang them to dry. 

For denim you want to maintain dark colors and shape, opt for air drying straight out of the washer. Unzip or unbutton any fastenings and hang them on a line to dry, lay them flat, or hang them on a hanger. Wherever they air dry, make sure there’s good airflow to carry moisture away.

Laundry Care Express — Residential laundry services

Laundry Care Express offers laundry and dry cleaning pick up and delivery services to residents in the Santa Cruz and San Jose areas. Schedule a laundry pick up today for your next load and relax at home knowing that your denim is getting professional treatment.