Fashion Trends

An important denim debate: Is chucking your jeans in the freezer really the best way to wash them?

Time to settle this once and for all.

By Jess Pullar
It's a tale as old as time: Guy or girl buys new jeans. Said jeans fit perfectly. But said jeans are expensive.
Thus, the nerve-wracking struggle begins - keeping them perfectly fitted forevermore, but being too scared to wash them in case they, like, melt or something...
Of course, trusty shop keepers, your pal's wise older sister and even Aunt Karen have all insisted that you don't actually need to wash them at all.
"Just throw them in the freezer", you hear them say.
Sounds easy enough - but is this really the trick to keeping your jeans clean?
Good jeans are hard to come by, so longevity is paramount. (Getty)
Well, not exactly, as it turns out.
The theory is straight forward enough - the idea is that the freezing temperature will kill off any bacteria on the denim, as well as quelling odours.
But according to studies (and yes, this topic has been important enough to spark actual studies around it), that's not necessarily the case.
University of Delaware expert on frozen microbes, Stephen Craig Cary gave his reasoning to Smithsonian Magazine: "One might think that if the temperature drops well below the human body temperature [the bacteria] will not survive, but actually many will," he confirmed.
He explained that many forms of bacteria are actually capable of surviving low temperatures - so the freezer hack isn't necessarily going to make a huge difference.
Meghan Markle thrashes her tried and trusty Outland Denim jeans. (Getty)
But that doesn't mean you should just give in and throw them in the nearest washer. Quite the opposite in fact.
Simple airing out your denims on a clothing line between proper washes also helps, and as for the actual frequency as to how often your jeans need a wash?
Well, you might be surprised.
Loving denim is easy, but washing it is hard... (Getty)
Denim expert and founder of sustainable brand, Outland Denim, Erica Bartle explains to Now To Love that jeans themselves age better the less they're washed - and it really doesn't have to be that often.
"Washing with cold water once every 10 wears will help to preserve the integrity of your jean and its colour, as well as save water and energy," she explains.
So how does one go about this?
"When you do need to wash your jeans, we recommend hand washing or using a delicate cycle to reduce the quantity of microfibers released through washing."
Not only will this help your denims age with grace, it'll also decrease its environmental footprint.
"What many people are learning now is that as we wash our clothes small plastic microfibers are released from our clothes and end up in our waterways... It is a huge issue that the whole fashion industry needs to work together to resolve by finding natural alternatives to synthetic fibres," she said.
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So with this in mind, perhaps the next time we're investing in a good pair of denims we won't even need to start the whole freezer chat.
After all, they do say a trusty pair of denims is the key to happiness... and by they, we mean ourselves.
We'll leave the freezer for our other happiness hack - ice cream, and lots of it.