Your guide to keeping white jeans spotless all summer long

WHite jeans are arguably the chicest part of any casual summer look. During a time of year when khakis are rampant and flip flops are finally seeing the light of day, they’re one of the few warm-weather items that really elevate your style. But as much as I love them, I find it so strange that the only time of year we’re allowed to wear white jeans is also the time of year we sweat the most and come into contact with the most dirt. How the hell are you supposed to keep white jeans a bright white when you’re not? Really Are you even supposed to wash your jeans?

To get the job done right, we’ll have to turn to the holy trinity of clothes: distilled water, vinegar, and baking soda.

“White and baking vinegar are natural cleaners and distilled water is very important as, unlike tap water, it has no minerals and leaves no mineral residue when it dries,” says Maeve Richmond, founder of organization company of the Maeve’s Method home. “Baking soda and white vinegar work together to create a powerful natural stain removal solution.”

For spot cleaning, fill a spray bottle with a cup of distilled water, a half cup of white vinegar, and a tablespoon of baking soda. Then spray the stain until wet and let it sit for up to 15 minutes. Blot with a clean dry cloth and the stains should lift.

Once they get too gross for spot cleaning, you’ll need to toss them in the washing machine. “There’s no rule about how many uses you should use before machine washing,” says Richmond. “Some experts say never machine wash jeans, as it breaks down the fibers. I’d say if your white jeans get dirty enough to never be worn again, then it’s time to wash them.”

Richmond suggests washing white jeans with a mixture of one cup of distilled water, one cup of white vinegar, and two tablespoons of baking soda.

If you have a very stubborn stain, Richmond recommends using a natural bleach. Combine a cup of distilled water with a tablespoon of lemon juice in a spray bottle. Spray the stain, then leave the jeans on a window sill or outside in direct sunlight for up to two hours. The sun and lemon will naturally discolor jeans back to white, she says. And unlike real bleach, Richmond says this mix won’t cause yellowing.

This clever trick will help you get your white sneakers back to their brightest white. And here’s how to remove makeup stains from white t-shirts.

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