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How to Wash Jeans

For decades, denim jeans have commonly been a go-to choice for everyday wear in many parts of the world. People love these versatile pants for their durable fabric.
Interested in maintaining your favourite pair of jeans? Let’s review the basics of how to wash jeans and what to do if they’re white, black, or brand new.

General Guidelines for Washing Denim Jeans

Proper care is the best way to avoid shrinkage and colour loss. Unless you have a pair that feels a touch too loose, or if you prefer a more faded look, the simple tips below can help you clean your jeans without affecting their fit or appearance.
  • The Gentler the Better

    • The best way to wash jeans is through a good old-fashioned handwash because it minimizes wear and tear and allows the colours and designs to stay intact. If you simply don’t have the time to wash your jeans by hand, the delicate or gentle cycle on your washing machine is the next best thing.
    • Heat can shrink, fade, or yellow the fabric, so only wash them with cold or warm water. We also recommend using a mild detergent because stronger chemicals might lighten the fabric’s colour.
  • Turn Your Jeans Inside Out

    • The inside portion of your jeans often requires the most cleaning because it accumulates sweat and oil. Consider turning your pants inside out to allow more exposure to water and detergent for effective cleaning. This simple step also protects the outside portion from friction and direct detergent exposure.
  • Avoid Overloading Your Washer

    • You might be tempted to stuff as much clothing in your washer as possible to get the laundry done faster, but this practice comes with a few drawbacks. Filling a washer to the brim creates excess friction between the fabrics because there’s no room to move freely. It can also cause zippers and rivets to snag or stitching to break.

  • Read the Manufacturer’s Instructions

    • Even though there are many common tips on how to wash denim, always read through the manufacturer’s care instructions before cleaning your pair. Jeans come in a variety of styles, dyes, and fabrics, so it’s only natural that they require different care.

  • Air Dry When You Can

    • Now that you have some basic knowledge on how to wash blue jeans, let’s move on to drying! Excess heat can be damaging to denim, so drying your jeans in a dryer might not be the best choice. The best way to prevent fading, shrinking, or yellowing is to air dry your jeans after smoothing and stretching them out.

    • What if you need to dry your favourite pair faster for a special occasion? You can tumble them on your dryer’s delicate cycle at low heat, then take them out while slightly damp and let them fully dry on a line or rack.

How Frequently Should You Wash Your Jeans?

Should you wash your jeans often? It all boils down to how quickly your jeans get dirty. If you wear your jeans in hot, humid environments or while undertaking physically demanding tasks, you might need to wash them more often. If you wear jeans for lounging at home or for office work, those jeans may require less frequent washings.

How to Care for Different Types of Jeans

Now that you know the basics, let’s move on to caring for specific varieties. Do you own some black or white denim? Maybe you recently bought a new pair? Here are a few ways you can maintain them.

Preventing Black Jeans from Fading

Black-dyed denim and other dark-coloured jeans benefit from cold, gentle washes to limit colour seepage. As you would your regular denim, you should turn your dark jeans inside out before cleaning them.

Keeping Your White Jeans Immaculate

White denim can be very stylish and versatile, but it’s also a magnet for stains, dirt, and discolouration. If you have an accidental spill onto your pair, spot treat it before it becomes permanent.
For general cleaning, use gentle cycles with extra rinsing to remove all the detergent. If you’re having trouble eliminating tougher grime, washing with warm water can help. Like other light garments, never put white jeans and coloured clothing in the same load to avoid staining.
One common misconception is that using bleach is great for white denim jeans – but it’s the opposite. Strong detergents damage the fabric and give it a yellowish hue. Heat can also have the same effect, so we recommend air drying to maintain that stark white colour.

Preventing Shrinking and Bleeding on New Jeans

New jeans, especially those made from “raw denim” – denim that’s unwashed and untreated – are prone to shrinking and bleeding. If you want to prevent these issues, you can hand wash your jeans in cold water. After giving them a good rinse, fold or roll them before squeezing out the excess water, then let them air dry.
Keep in mind that some types of jeans will be more prone to bleeding than others and may require separate washes to avoid staining your other garments. Always check out the manufacturer’s instructions to find the best way to wash your new pair of denim pants.
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