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How to keep jeans smell-free without washing them

Even if you always follow laundry symbols on the tags of your clothes, machine washing will change their shape and fade their colors over time. Whether you spent $20 or $200 on them, there’s nothing worse than having your favorite pair of jeans ruined.

While you’ll probably have to wash a pair of muddy jeans, if they’ve just gone through normal everyday use and aren’t stained, there’s a very simple way to kill odors and bacteria on them without washing them.

Put Them in the Freezer

The reason jeans start smelling after being worn for a while is because bacteria transfer from the skin to the material. The majority of these bacteria can be killed by the low temperature in your freezer, getting rid of the odors they cause as well. All you have to do is put your jeans in the freezer before you go to bed.

Freezing them overnight is long enough to kill the bacteria. If you want to put them in a bag, it’s best to use cloth or canvas as opposed to plastic, so the denim can breathe. But you can also skip the bag altogether and just throw your jeans in on their own.

Denim stretches out from being worn over time, but if you want to give your jeans their shape back, just turn them inside out and pop them in the dryer for about 20 minutes. If you get a stain, the occasional wash won’t do much damage, so don’t hesitate to do so if they really need it.