Tuesday, May 27, 2014

How to Clean White Jeans

Boy do I need this! I I usually get about three wears out of a pair before they start looking drab.

Kate Middleton

For some people, Memorial Day weekend marks the beginning of white jeans season. But for us at ELLE.com, it's been white jeans time all year round. Personally, I've become quite the expert at keeping white denim white—less because I'm a neat freak, more because I got tired of re-buying my favorite pairs because they were yellowing, stained, or both. Here are the tricks I've picked up to keeping your white denim crisp and fresh, so you can look just as put together as the Duchess.

Step 1, Before You Wear Them: Use Scotchgard to coat your jeans and protect them from future stains (Scotchgard, $5.33, at Walmart). It'll be the difference between that drop of olive oil wiping off your pants easily and it really setting in there, like it normally does.

Step 2, When You Wash Them: You'll actually want to avoid using chlorine bleach in the wash cycle, unless the jeans are 100% cotton (lots aren't!) because that can cause yellowing of non-cotton fabrics. Instead, add White Brite (or a cup of distilled white vinegar, if natural products are more your thing) to the wash (White Brite, $27.68, at Walmart). Then, if you have time, give them a second rinse to get all the detergent out before you dry them, because the alkaline in detergent can also cause yellowing.

Step 3, When You Dry Them: In my mind, this is the most important step: Dry white jeans on low heat. Or air dry them! But do not just toss them in the warm dryer cycle because, like, they're jeans and they're sturdy, right? Higher heat causes the yellowing effect of the alkaline in detergent to set in more, and since I started drying mine on low heat, I've noticed such a difference in how easy it is to keep my white jeans white. Hopefully, with this trick and the other ones added to your arsenal, you will too.


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