As anyone who’s anyone knows, jeans are at their best when washed very occasionally (in fact, Nudie recommend waiting 6 months before you wash their dry denim for the first time). It doesn’t take much to work out that whilst aesthetically and texturally ideal, this system can and will inevitably lead to some olfactory issues. Enter water-free cleaning options.
For some time now, my go-to solution has been The Laundress Fabric Fresh spray, which is fresh and pleasant and generally does the job quite well. Recently however, I was reminded of simple but curious home-made remedy – plonking your favourite pair in the freezer overnight. The premise is simple; the sub-zero temperature knocks off any odour-causing bacteria resulting in a chilled-but-clean pair of jeans (stains excluded).
So, I thought I’d give it a go. For obvious reasons, you need to seal your jeans in an airtight bag or container so that they don’t develop icicles or get wet. I used a Korjo large, snap sealed bag ($7.95 AUD / 5) bought from a luggage store. My experiment denim is a pair of Nudie ‘Tube Tom’ style jeans – 999.00 SEK. I’ve had them quite some time and worn them often, most recently to move house (translation: STINKY).
The ‘method’ here is alarmingly simple: fold them up, stick them in the bag, squash out the air and seal it up. Sling them in the freezer and wait 12 hours / overnight. I also tried waiting 48 hours to see if there was any difference in the result or feel of the fabric.
Sadly, basically nothing. They still smelt like they’d been worn to move house. The fabric perhaps felt a little softer, but on the whole no change. As indicated above, I tried both overnight and 2 day options to see if it were a matter of time, but no.
In summary… stick to fabric fresh sprays.