Is it true that chilling jeans can freeze out bacteria?

 

That denim should never take a tumble in the drier? Or that skinny jeans thrive on a fabric softener diet?
Five urban denim myths, five answers. Our ARMEDANGELS denim care guide.

Denim nerds swear by the ‘no-wash policy.‘
According to them, you should never wash your jeans.

 

They are right! Raw denim is workwear and designed to keep its shape for a long time. If you just leave your jeans be they stay robust for longer. Meaning: hold off on washing them for a while. It’s better for the fabric – and the environment achieves their own personality and ‘fingerprint’ over time. After six months, the jeans get their first ceremonial wash to ‘break in the denim’, i. e. to perfect the fit through wearing it on your body. This helps to establish and highlight individual signs of wear like traces behind the knees – the so-called honeycomb – or the seating folds at the front known as whiskers.

The magic formula: first, wear your jeans for an extended period of time, then wash, continue to wear, and wash again.

 
Different people champion different laundry strategies: While some swear by hand washing with little detergent in cold or lukewarm water, others think washing machines are just fine. As a rule of thumb, the warmer the water, the more color will be lost and the more the fibers will shrink. Don’t go above 40 degrees C, especially when your (skinny) jeans contain elastane. These fibers could break and lose their resilience, wrecking that perfect fit. Bonus tip: Wash all denim inside out to clean the dirtiest part—near your skin—and to go gentle on the color. Let the denim air-dry.

To kill odors and bacteria, stick your denim in the freezer.

 

Time to grab a plastic bag! It’s true: denim keeps better when it’s super-chilled. Just make sure to wrap it up securely to avoid any rips caused by sticking to the ice – your jeans will still lose any smells or bacteria.

It’s all about cooling the jeans way down:
Icy cold breaks up odor molecules like cigarette smoke, BBQ smells, or sweat.

 
It also stops any skin flake bacteria responsible for that musty odor. Keep in the freezer for at least 1-2 days. If you’d like to try a different hack, try hanging the jeans in the bathroom while you take a shower. The water vapor will liberate odor molecules from the fabric but won’t stop bacteria. Other no-wash fans have thrown yet another suggestion into the mix: Chuck your jeans into the dryer with a scented dryer sheet and turn on the ‘airing’ setting. But please watch the temperature: If the dryer gets too hot, this can affect the fibers or cause marbling effects on darker denim styles. Even worse: It takes plenty of energy.
 

Ground rule for many:
Wash your jeans straight after purchase – to rinse out any toxic residue.

 

This depends on the denim. Some dark blue colorways – either unwashed or just a rinse wash – can stain even when you first try them in the changing room, leaving you with blue thighs or fingers. This doesn’t necessarily mean toxic, but just that the dye is still fresh on the surface. Feel free to wear and break in such denim unwashed, as long as it meets GOTS standards. Conventional denim from the Far East should be turned inside out and taken for a thorough spin and rinse in the washing machine (with detergent for colored textiles) before wearing, since its cotton, dyeing, and processing involves chemicals hazardous to our health. Most jeans are washed before shipping, but since water and time are precious, some discount producers cut corners. Yet you can’t wash away all hazards and harm. While chlorine used for treatments will wash out, heavy metals from the dyes don’t decompose and stay in the fabric. But: pre-washed jeans are less likely to rub off on your skin and health.

The fashion industry uses more than 4,000 different chemicals and most of these are not regulated.

 
The danger to us and nature is incalculable. Non-profits, doctors and environmental agencies regularly warn of health risks like allergies, infertility, or cancer. The sustainable GOTS (Global Organic Textile Standard) bans the use of critical substances. Its so-called positive list covers all chemicals that are considered save. Any ARMEDANGELS manufacturing partners are required to meet these standards. While many jeans brands only test the finished product for toxicity, we ensure that no toxic substances enter production in the first place. This rules out cross contamination from chemical reactions and ensures that no banned or harmful substances come into play. Long before the actual jeans take shape.
 

Fabric softener wears out skinny jeans.

 

True. Its active ingredients break down elastic fibers. Most fabric softeners contain cationic surfactants, i. e. detergents that carry a positive charge. This helps them attach to negatively charged fibers, loosening the fabric. The result: a less snug and skinny fit. Usually, it would take two weeks of wear to get the same effect when the fabric gets baggy at the thighs, rear and knees. So, the first rule of fashion remains: Make sure to wash stretchy jeans regularly to return them to their intended shape. No-wash only works for classic denim – stretchy (and white!) denim likes more frequent laundry.
 

Special blue jeans detergent keeps denim blue for longer.

 

A complete myth. According to tests, such specialist products are no better than a decent detergent for colored fabrics. All denim will lose some color in the washing machine and a simple detergent works just fine. Use it for any colored or black fabrics, including half-load easy-care cycles or items you wash by hand. As a rule of thumb, no denim will look brand new after washing. If you want that pristine, rich and dark look, you will need to reach for a dye. Make sure to check your denim’s composition, though: 100 % organic cotton will give you different results than an organic cotton and synthetic fiber (like elastane) blend. Since you will never quite get that original shade, make sure you are open for a new look.