How Often Should I Wash My Jeans to Avoid Smelling Up the Room?


Body stank of all kinds is due to the presence of bacteria and hormonal factors, often teaming up to offend your nose—or the nose of someone you love. Diet and health issues can exacerbate these conditions, which is why an untreated diabetic after a night at the Stinking Rose (A Garlic Restaurant) would definitely not smell as sweet as a pre-pubescent parsley addict.

Given these facts, it’s no wonder that the climate created by your butt in those jeans produces a stank that not even your mother could love. It’s swampy, hairy, fetid and marshy in there—like Florida, but without the alligators. Your jeans will eventually pick up this odor, but you can slow down the process by wearing clean cotton underwear (friendlier to the region’s ecosystem than synthetic fabrics) and keeping your butt clean.

Designer jeans in particular fit better when they skip shower duty because frequent use creates permanent creases that allow the denim to conform to the body’s shape. Laundering disrupts this process, re-stiffening the denim. “If you have to wash your jeans, do it as infrequently as possible and hand wash them inside-out with nonabrasive soap in cold water and hang to dry,” says Peter Koral, the co-founder of premium denim brands Koral and 7 For All Mankind. He adds that industry best practices suggest never washing your jeans, especially during the first year of wear.

Another alternative to the spin cycle is jumping into the ocean—fully clothed. “Get in the water, rub some sand on your jeans and then rinse the sand out,” Koral recommends. “If possible, continue to wear the jeans as they dry out so they form to your body.”

But how exactly will you know when it’s time to take those dungarees out for a handwashing or a dip in the Pacific? Or better put, how will you recognize when the aforementioned stank has become overpowering? When you get to the point that Homeless Joe gives you the side eye and scoots over after you sit next to him on the subway.

There’s no such thing as a stupid question—especially when it comes to your body, your health or your hygiene. Send us the things that you’ve always wondered about to