Tip: If you have a dark pair of jeans in your laundry pile, wash it in cold water and with other dark colors to prevent the denim from fading. If you want to learn how to remove stains from your denim most effectively, check out our comprehensive stain removal guide.
These days, a great pair of jeans is an investment and an absolute wardrobe essential. They might be the most comfortable clothes you own, they’re durable, and they go well with almost anything, but they also demand special care to endure. Therefore, knowing how to wash denim from the first day to help keep your pieces looking great is a laundry priority.
Learn the basics of washing jeans with Tide’s expert laundry tips.
How to Wash and Dry Jeans: A Step-by-Step Guide
Jeans require special attention, even after the first use. If you want to enjoy your denim favorites for years to come, then the key to long life is in the laundry. If you want to know how to wash jeans without fading, follow these steps and keep your jeans looking as good as new.
Read the fabric care label.
Make sure you check the fabric care label on your garment before washing and wash your jeans separately from other items if it’s the first few washes to avoid dye transfer.
Turn your jeans inside out
If your jeans are machine washable, turn them inside out before placing in the washing machine.
Use cold water and a laundry detergent for jeans
A detergent like Studio by Tide Darks & Colors helps improve the quality of your jeans by trimming down stray fibers, and protects them from discoloration, pilling, and fading. Make sure to only wash your jeans with other deep-colored clothing.
Dry your jeans
Follow the drying instructions on the fabric care label. In general, your jeans will last longer if you take them out of the dryer slightly damp. Smooth them into shape and let them dry on a flat surface or a hanger.
How to Wash Jeans Without a Machine: A Step-by-Step Guide
Sometimes you need to wash your jeans by hand. Perhaps prefer not to put them in the machine if they come with some delicate embroidered detail or beading or you’re worried about color transfer if they’re new. Find out more about how to wash your jeans without using a washing machine.
Fill a tub or sink with cool or warm water
Check the fabric care label first to find the optimum temperature and run enough water to submerge your jeans.
Add detergent to the water
Use a small amount of liquid detergent and mix well into the water.
Add your jeans
Swish the jeans around in the water, use your hands to move them around the water for 1-2 minutes.
Soak for 15-30 minutes
Leave your jeans submerged in the water to give them a good clean.
Drain dirty water and fill up again
Remove any dirty water and leave the jeans in clean water for another 5-10 minute soak. Use your hands to move them around to get rid of any excess dirt of detergent.
Remove excess water
Drain the water and roll or fold your jeans and squeeze any leftover water out, just don’t wring them.
Dry your jeans
Like with machine washed jeans, follow the instructions on the fabric care label.
How to Wash Jeans for the First Time
When you get a new pair of jeans, early loving care is important when it comes to long-lasting denim. The best way you can do this is to wash your jeans by hand and wash them alone. Turn them inside out, and either wash them in cold water in the sink or in the bathtub, where they can be placed down flat. After you’ve washed your jeans, make sure you rinse them thoroughly with cold water, so all the suds are washed out and the water runs clear, and then hang them up to dry.
Denim Tricks for Keeping Your Jeans in Top Shape
Hang your jeans. One secret to prolonging the wear of jeans between washings is to hang them when you are not wearing them. It will help the fibers recover from stress and stretch, especially in the knees and the seat.
Spot clean jeans with holes in them. It’s better to spot clean any dirty spots or if you have to wash ripped jeans wash by hand.
Only wash your jeans when necessary. The abrasive agitation from your washing machine can wear the fabric down over time and shorten the life of your denim. If you need eliminate odors and refresh your denim jeans between washes, use Tide’s Antibacterial Fabric Spray, a fast-acting solution that eliminates up to 99.9% of bacteria when used as directed.
True or False? 5 Denim Care Myths
Your jeans are a staple part of your wardrobe. They can be a go-to item for your daily life and you know you look good while wearing them, that’s why they’re worth investing in with a little extra care. Keep your jeans looking their best with a little help from Tide.
Freezing Removes Bacteria False. Although putting your jeans in the freezer does kill off some of the bacteria, in reality, most of the germs on your jeans come from you. Once your body temperature warms the fabric, the germs will come back just like before.
Wash Your Jeans Sparingly True. If you want to preserve the shape of your jeans, always wash them inside out, in cold water, with a specially formulated detergent like Studio by Tide Darks & Colors, and do so sparingly.
Never Put Your Jeans in the Dryer False. To help your stretched out jeans regain their shape, put them in the dryer for a quick tumble. Follow the instructions on the fabric care label and remove the jeans when they are slightly damp to prevent unwanted creasing.
Wearing Your Jeans in the Bathtub Ensures a Perfect Fits False. It’s a waste of time. However, there are jeans specifically designed to shrink to fit your body. Soak the jeans in the bathtub before putting them on when slightly damp so that they dry on your body and retain your shape.
The More Stretch, the Better Depends on your body type and how clingy you want your denim to be. Look for jeans with a low Spandex-to-cotton ratio (2% to 5% Spandex to 98% to 95% cotton), which will give you a look that hugs your shape without making you feel like a sausage.