How to Wash Jeans

Want to keep your favourite jeans in good condition? Find out how to wash them properly with this guide – it includes advice on preventing colour fade & more.

Top Tip

Once you’ve washed and dried your jeans, hang them on a coat hanger at knee level to keep them from going baggy and sagging behind the knee.

Denim may have been invented in the 1800’s, but that doesn’t mean we’re any better today at knowing how often to wash jeans made from this durable fabric – or even how to wash jeans at all. Fortunately, denim is one trend that’s never going out of fashion, so it’s never too late to find out. Washing jeans isn’t something we need to do often, but taking the time to treat them properly can help them keep their shape; so be sure to read the care label on your jeans for suggested washing guidelines. Read on to find out how to keep your pair looking good and feeling great.

How to Wash Jeans: 3 Options

  • Freeze your jeans. This might sound crazy, but freezing your jeans is a great way to kill the bacteria that transfers from skin cells to the fibres of the denim. Simply turn your jeans inside out, pop them in your freezer, and leave overnight. In the morning, take out your jeans and put them in the dryer for the final 20 minutes of the cycle. This method might not bring your jeans back to their original shape, but it will keep them clean and stop them from stretching.
  • Turn your jeans inside out, and plunge into a sink of water with a capful of liquid laundry detergent. Carefully sponge the material with your hands and – once the dirt has been removed – hang up to dry. Doing this will air them out and keep them fresh for longer.
  • Adjust your washing machine to the lowest setting, and turn your jeans inside out. The higher the temperature, the more colour will escape from the jeans. Wash in a small amount of gentle laundry detergent, being careful to follow the manufacturer’s instructions. Whilst the jeans are still damp, stretch the inseam to avoid excess shrinkage and hang to dry.

How to Wash Black Jeans

Many of us find washing jeans, especially black jeans, daunting: without proper care, the colour can quickly fade. You can mitigate this risk using the following method:

  1. Turn your jeans inside out and put them in a cold wash with a cup of white vinegar. The vinegar will set the black dye and prevent it from bleeding.
  2. After the initial cycle with vinegar has run, repeat the cold wash cycle – this time using a laundry detergent like Omo Liquid, which is specially designed to keep dark colours dark. (Simply follow the dosing instructions on the bottle).
  3. Hang your jeans to dry, as before.

Ideally, a new pair of jeans will be worn unwashed for at least six months to prevent the colour from running. If you have a lot of white furniture, however, it is best to set the dye as early as possible to avoid marking anything. Washing jeans will always cause them to shrink a little at first, so don’t panic if they’re a squeeze to pull on after a wash – they will return to their normal shape soon enough!

how to wash jeans