Denim heads take pride in their unconventional ways of cleaning jeans, but what many agree on is that, whether for aesthetic reasons or environmental, jeans don’t require regular washing
Consumer care is the second most water-consuming stage of a pair of jeans’ life, after fiber production, according to Levi’s lifecycle assessment. By wearing jeans 10 times before washing, Levi’s said U.S. consumers could reduce their water and climate change impact by 77 percent, U.K. and French consumers by 75 percent and Chinese consumers by 61 percent.
And while some denim wearers have taken that information to heart and don’t wash their jeans at all, like Levi’s CEO Chip Bergh, others prefer unconventional methods like freezing their jeans or soaking jeans in vinegar.
Moisture-wicking and odor control performance fabrics are lessening the need to freshen up jeans, but for traditionalists who still favor a wash on the cold cycle, here are four sustainable denim laundry products denim heads swear by.
Samurai Jeans Thunder Laundry Detergent
Samurai Jeans Thunder Laundry Detergent offers an eco-friendly laundering solution for dirty denim. Water, bean oil derived from brewed soy sauce and caustic soda, come together in the development of this detergent. By using natural ingredients instead of chemical additives, the detergent helps prevent jean fibers from breaking down in the washing process.
For the best results, the product recommends washing jeans by hand or laundering them on the gentlest cycle.
Studio D’Artisan 7386 Jeans Laundry Detergent
Japanese denim label Studio D’Artisan offers a detergent that will keep your denim looking sharp. The Studio D’Artisan 7386 jeans laundry detergent preserves color while eliminating dirt and odor. For a bonus, the detergent works well on other cotton-based garments.
L:A Bruket No. 96
Bio-based ingredients power L:A Bruket’s No. 96, a laundry detergent for cotton and denim. Notes of lavender, a light patchouli scent and cottonseed oil come together to provide denim or cotton-made garments with a gentle wash. The detergent protects fibers, preserves colors and reduces wear, so consumers can enjoy their favorite denim staples for extended use.
The Laundress Denim Wash
When a pair of jeans needs some TLC, The Laundress’ Denim Wash cleanses without a negative carbon footprint. Eco-friendly ingredients, including a canola-based softener, essential oils and a classic clean fragrance leaves denim items fresh and soft without doing damage to the fabric.
The “Made in USA” brand also sells handy travel packets for denim on the go.