Denim Care Guide

We make premium denim for people busy by design. How you wear and care for your denim will vary from person to person, but following a few simple guidelines will help extend the life of your garment—which is better for the environment (and your wallet). Here’s everything you need to know about taking the best possible care of your well-loved blues.

When to Wash

How often you launder your jeans has a direct effect on how they look and evolve over time. To preserve the integrity of the fabric, wash the garment less. Our denim pros weigh in on their level of care.


“I like my jeans to fade a little, so washing them on a delicate cycle on cold or warm does the trick. Leaving them out in the sun to dry helps that fading process too.” – Catherine, fabric guru


“I wear them for a few weeks before washing. When I finally do, it’s on cold and hanging them out to dry. Whenever they start to feel a little dirty, I wash them.” – Nate, men’s denim designer


“I turn mine inside out, then I spray them with something that kills bacteria (Febreeze, Lysol, etc.) and let them breathe for a couple of days. Do that, and you’re good to go!” – Nino, denim alchemist at our innovation lab

How to Wash

  • Step 1: Turn your jeans inside out.
  • Step 2: Run some cold water in your bathtub or sink. Use as little water as possible—you only need enough to get the jeans completely wet.
  • Step 3: Mix in a tiny bit of gentle detergent. (Baby detergent works well!)
  • Step 4: Dip your jeans in the tub. The water will change colors—this is perfectly normal.
  • Step 5: Ring ’em out to strain the excess water from the fabric.
  • Step 6: Hang ’em out to dry inside-out (unless you want a natural fade).

How to Preserve

Denim gets better with age and wear. Before you throw them out, follow these tips to keep your denim living long—or learn how to give them a new life.

Keep them in rotation. Jeans aren’t indestructible. Rotate three to five pairs regularly to help prevent the fibers from prematurely breaking down.

Let it rip. If you’ve got a tear where you don’t want one, hand-stitch or iron on a patch. This will give your jeans a vintage vibe—and give you a chance to show some personality.

Befriend your local dry cleaner. For simple repairs, ask your neighborhood spot if they offer tailoring and repair services—they usually cost a fraction of what a specialized tailor charges.

Cut them off. If your jeans have been through the wringer, turn them into shorts—and keep the extra cut-off fabric for future repairs.

How to Recycle

If your jeans are a little too loved to keep wearing, donate them to a program like Blue Jeans Go Green™, a nonprofit that turns denim into housing insulation. Blue Jeans Go Green™ has tons of recycling points and a mailing option to make it easy for you.

Looking for your next new pair? Check out our men’s and women’s denim. Then show us how you’re wearing them: Tag @bananarepublic and #ItsBanana (for the guys, #BRMens) on Instagram.