The Closet

Who does the best job cleaning your jeans? A Dry Cleaner vs. the laundromat?

better cleaning dry cleaner laundromat

Maintaining your denim is entirely dependent on the skill of the person cleaning the garment.  With that in mind, here’s a breakdown of the benefits of bringing your jeans to a cleaner vs. caring for them yourself:

Professional cleaners:

The pros:

Professional cleaners have - as expected- a lot of experience cleaning jeans. They follow the individual garment care label instructions. The care labels usually have water temperature and drying heating settings, which pro cleaners should follow on an individual garment basis.

While you can follow the care label carefully yourself, the big difference is that a good cleaner is trained to recognize how to treat all types of stains.  Before washing your jeans, most dry cleaners will go through a step called “pre-spotting,” where they give attention and treatment to individual stains. For best results, it’s helpful to tell the cleaner what type of stain is on your jeans. The cleaners will use specific solvents and cleaning techniques to get rid of those stains,  which is a step that isn't done when you are relying on a washing machine to remove stains.

The cons:

The only downside of professional cleaning is the price, which is not to be overlooked since costs can accumulate if you're cleaning multiple pieces. 

Our recommendation is to bring your jeans to a professional cleaner when you have a stain that needs treatment. If your denim is stain free, it makes more sense to wash your denim yourself via the laundry and hang dry route.  


Hand washing:

The pros:

Using a bucket and some mild detergent is the most gentle way to care for your jeans. If you’re willing to go the extra mile, you can more closely control the outcome of each wash. Hand washing will also reduce the amount of friction applied to your jeans which will help them last longer.

The cons:

The downside to hand washing is that it takes a lot of time and generates mixed results. Typically hand washing is only as good as how much you are willing to scrub the garment. Each type of stain may require a different cleaning treatment and that makes it difficult to remove every type of stain by using soap and water alone. 

Washing machine:

The pros:

Using a residential washing machine is the easiest way to clean denim and washing machines do a thorough job so you can be confident that your clothes are clean

The cons:

Washing machines are also the option that is most likely to cause your jeans to deteriorate. The spinning mechanism in a washing machine tends to generate a high amount of friction during the cleaning process which causes both dye loss and fabric deterioration over time.

We suggest the following steps to preserve the life of your denim garments:

  1. Use the delicate setting, which is easier on the garment. Reducing the amount of friction the denim is exposed to will help preserve the life of your jeans.
  2. Turn your denim inside out.
  3. Hang to dry to avoid excess exposure to heat

All of these steps will help preserve the life of your clothes.       


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