In an effort to prolong the life of my favorite pair of dark-wash J Brand skinnies, I had to start thinking outside the box – or, in this case, the washing machine.

Cue freeze cleaning. When I first heard about the freeze-cleaning method, I’ll admit it took a while for me to warm up to the idea. But I’ll try anything to avoid doing my laundry (conventionally), and the benefits are completely worth it. The process helps protect dark washes by avoiding the wear and tear a normal spin cycle has on the fabric. By skipping the washer, you will also inadvertently conserve water (and save on the bill that comes with it).

But how exactly does it work? The frosty temp inside the icebox kills any bacteria living in your denim. This process won’t rid the jeans of cosmetic stains, but spot treating prior to freezing should do the trick.

Freeze Clean Denim

Try it for yourself:

1. Fold your jeans twice lengthwise and smooth out any wrinkles in the fabric.

2. Slip the folded denim into a ziplock freezer bag and press out any excess air prior to sealing. I suggest using a bag with a one-gallon capacity or larger.

3. Place the bag in the freezer. For best results, freeze for a minimum of 24 hours.

By Jillian Hudon, Staff Writer 

Have you tried freeze cleaning before? Tell us how it went in the comments below, or tweet us at @ruelala.

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January 18, 2013