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How to take care of jeans

Want to know how to wash jeans or how to stop black jeans from fading? Follow our guide to how to take care of denim.


By Cleanipedia Team

Key Steps

Check out the basics of how to take care of jeans:

  • If possible, spot clean rather than washing in full.

  • Machine wash inside out in cool water with like colours.

  • To hand wash, soak the jeans in a water-detergent mixture in 15 minutes, knead and rinse.

  • Air dry, rather than using a tumble dryer.

It’s always a horrible moment when you put on your favourite pair of jeans and your foot rips straight through the knee. Your jeans can last a lot longer if you know how to take care of denim. Here’s our guide to how to wash jeans and prevent fading.

Even if you know how to take care of denim, jeans don’t stay intact forever. When the denim rips, though, that doesn’t have to be the end of the story. You could always patch up your torn jeans, or wear them for messy tasks like painting.

Tips on how to take care of jeans

  1. Check if your item has special care requirements.

    As with any other item of clothing, take a look at the care label.

  2. Only wash your jeans when they need washing.

    If they smell bad or you’ve fallen full-length into mud, yes, it’s time for a wash. Don’t automatically put your jeans in the wash every week, though. Over washing your jeans will fade them evenly, so you’ll never get the distinctive personality of a pair of jeans: the unique pattern of dye that reflects the way you wear them. The denim will also last longer if it’s washed less.

  3. Of course, sometimes you’ll end up with a stain, even if your jeans otherwise look and smell fine.

    So, it’s useful to know how to clean jeans without washing. To spot clean your jeans, just wet a clean cloth, wring it out so it’s only damp, and then use it with a little soap to blot the stain away. Don’t rub too vigorously.

  4. If you’re here for how to wash ripped jeans without ripping them more, hand washing might be your best bet.

    See below for how to hand wash jeans. If you want to wash them in the machine, though, use a gentle cycle or put them in a mesh laundry bag.

  5. Need to know how to get stains out of white jeans after washing?

    White jeans may stain easily, but they also open up a lot of cleaning options, as you don’t have to worry about accidentally bleaching them. Try applying a paste of baking soda and water to the stain and leaving it a few hours, or squeezing lemon juice onto the stain and exposing it to sunlight for an hour. Afterwards, rinse out your remedy and launder the jeans again.

How to wash jeans in the machine

  1. Jeans can shed dye in the washing machine, especially on the first few washes.

    Wash them with similar-coloured clothing.

  2. Want to know how to stop black jeans from fading in the wash?

    Washing your jeans inside out will help to preserve the colour better.

  3. Don't forget to close the fly before washing.

    Do this after you've turned your jeans inside out.

  4. A cool wash – 30°C or below – will result in less fading.

    Keeping the temperature down is also a crucial step in how to wash jeans without shrinking.

  5. Pick a detergent designed to preserve colour.

    This will give you further fading protection.

  6. If your jeans are stiff, use a fabric conditioner.

  7. After washing your jeans, hang them up to dry.

    Tumble drying is bad for the longevity of your jeans.

How to hand wash jeans

  1. Fill a tub with warm water and add a small quantity of detergent.

    You’re just washing one item, rather than a full load, so you don’t need a full detergent dose.

  2. Submerge the jeans.

  3. Soak the jeans for 15 minutes.

  4. Gently rub the parts of your jeans that need particular attention with your hands.

  5. Rinse thoroughly with clean water.

    Then, gently press out the excess water against the side of the tub.

  6. Hang your jeans up to air dry.

How concerned are you about disinfecting while cleaning?

The process for how to clean jeans isn’t complicated, but it can make a big difference to how long they last. They’re practical, stylish, and worth looking after.

Read other articles from the Clothing Care category

How to get colour run out of clothes

What do the symbols on washing machines mean

How to remove static from clothes

How to stop clothes bobbling

How to make clothes smell good and stay fresh

Originally published