How to Freeze Your Jeans & “Clean” Them

published Sep 16, 2011
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(Image credit: Maxwell Ryan)

I recently bought my first pair of “serious” jeans. The reason I know this is because as I was standing at the register about to pay A LOT of money for them, a cool dude who was standing next to me at the register said, “Oh, you’re going to like those.” “Do you have a pair?” I asked him. “Nope,” he said, “But you’re going to like those.” I felt like a first time drug or Ferrari buyer, not a shopper for a new pair of pants. And then he said, “Don’t wash them.”

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Step 4: Insert in freezer (Image credit: Maxwell Ryan)

“Don’t wash them?” I asked, thinking he was joking.
“Nope.” he said.
“Oh, you mean I should only dry clean them?” I tried again.
“Nope.” he repeated. “Never wash them. You’ll ruin them.”

It was at that moment that the woman behind the register piped up and explained that they only “get really good” when they’re not washed. In a pinch, she said, you can wash them in cold water inside out.

And then she said, “But I freeze mine when they start to feel dirty.”

Now I felt as if I were really entering a new land. Washing is not something I’d ever considered optional with clothing, particularly something as prone to dirt as jeans. And while I could quickly grasp that it was coolest to do nothing, I was fascinated by the notion that freezing a piece of clothing might somehow “clean” it, or at least simulate the cleaning process.

Apparently, although I’m new to this, washing jeans is really verboten and freezing has popped up as one alternative. While it doesn’t make for lots of instructions in a How To, I thought I had to get this down in our archive. This is what the woman at G-Star Raw told me she did at home.

What do you do?

What You Need


  • A pair of dirty (feeling) jeans
  • A large Zip-Lock Bag


  • A Freezer with Some Room

Have you tried the freezer method? Please let us know in the comments below.

Related Jeans-Freezing Links

(Originally published 4.4.11 – JL)