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Don't Listen to the Internet - Don't Put Your Waxed Jeans in the Freezer

Don't Listen to the Internet - Don't Put Your Waxed Jeans in the Freezer
(Thinkstock, photo illustration) Don't put your jeans in the freezer

In this world—or, at least, in the fashion industry—editors seem to be divided into two denim camps: people who wash their jeans and people who don't wash their jeans. The latter group usually consists of mostly guys—some of whom are so obsessed with breaking in their fancy denim, they won't wash their pants for, like, six whole months. Seriously, six months.

Me, I like to wash everything I wear after I wear it once—maaaaaybe twice, if I'm having a particularly lazy laundry week. I try not to buy a ton of dry-clean-only stuff—and the dry-clean-only things I do have tend to be more outerwear or layering pieces, like sweaters and coats—and they abide by a whole different set of washing standards I won't go into here.

Anyway,  a few months ago, I got myself a pair of black coated jeanshow trendy, no? But two weeks in, I had a problem. How do you clean waxed or coated jeans when the washing instructions label says "Do Not Wash" and "Do Not Dry Clean"? Here's what I did: I Googled and I trusted the internet. Don't do that.

The internet told me that if you have a pair of coated or waxed jeans and you don't want to dry clean them or wash them in water because both of those options can wind up ruining the glossy finish, your best bet would be to stash them in the freezer for a few days to kill the bacteria.

So that's what I did. And that's how I ruined a $200 pair of jeans.

Here's a little history about my freezer: there's nothing in it, maybe just a relic half-bottle of Stoli from when I used to drink, but otherwise, there's no food stored in there. I live in New York, I mostly eat out, and once in a while I'll have a pint of Ben & Jerry's in the deep freeze, but it's been winter-cold outside, so it wasn't really the season.

But after living in my freezer for about a week, my jeans started to smell. And the only way I can describe this smell is: My jeans started to smell like freezer. Sort of like freezer combined with a weird chemical smell, which I'm guessing is the jeans' coating. I took them out to defrost this morning and the smell was so strong, I had to bag the jeans up and throw them away. It was gross.

So, there's my lesson learned. Dry clean only, kids, that's the way to go. That, or don't buy coated things you'll want to wash at any regular interval.

Has anyone out there had any success freezing their coated jeans? If there's a trick that I'm missing, please share in the comments section, below!
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