How to Soften Jeans: 9 Proven Options

Learn to soften your new denim jeans

How to Soften Jeans

New Jeans

To soften your new jeans denim you will want to make a solution of water and one of these products: vinegar, shampoo, salt or fabric softener. Mixing lukewarm water and any of these products in a large soup pot or basin will give you ample room to submerge your jeans. Let the jeans soak between 20-60 minutes depending on the product used.

This is  How to Soften Jeans: 9 Proven Options.

Welcome to our article focused on helping you soften your newly bought jeans. 

Buying high-quality denim jeans is an investment in your fashion and duration of clothing. You might have noticed the cost of your jeans was higher than jeans that mix elastic and other fabrics into their making. 

Where the cost will set you back more, the life you will get out of them will make up for it. 

But now that you have your jeans, it’s pretty noticeable how stiff they are, so let me help you fix that problem. 

How to Soften Jeans

We have put together to top 8 methods to help you pick one that appeals to your most. Softening your jeans should be your first step whenever distressing, fraying and ripping your jeans.

Once you have softened them don’t chuck them in the corner of your room. Hang your jeans up or fold your jeans and put them away properly.

1. Wear them often

The best thing you can do to soften your jeans is to wear them as much as possible right away. By wearing them to ‘break them in,’ the jeans will soften, mould and fold in the exact areas your body wants them to. By letting your muscles, bones and joints wear down the jean denim, you will not put any unwanted wear on the fabric from outside factors.

2. Use the Washing Machine

Put your jeans in the washing machine to soften them. Using the washing machine is an easy way to address this issue. Do not use hot water. Instead, for the first wash, use cold water. Using cold water will make sure you do not alter to shrink the denim. Once the jeans are dry, try them on to see if they have softened enough. If not, repeat the process, but use warm water this time. 

Follow our step-by-step guide on how to wash your jeans properly.

3. Use the Washer & Dryer

Put your jeans in the washer and dryer to soften your jeans. I would not suggest doing this method if the jeans you bought fit you perfectly. By putting the denim through the dryer’s tumble dry settings, you will give it a chance to shrink and change the complete feel of your jeans. However, if the jeans are a little big or baggy, this is a perfect method.

Your jeans will shrink in the dryer so I suggest you read this guide to not let your jeans shrink in the dryer.

4. Use Vinegar

Put your jeans in a vinegar solution to soften them. Follow these steps to create the vinegar/water solution properly and soften your jeans.

  1. Get an 8-12 quart stock pot or large tupperware container and fill the basin with 3/4 full warm water.
  2. Add 1 cup of white vinegar.
  3. Submerge the jeans into the solution.
  4. Place a soup can onto the jeans to keep them submerged.
  5. Let them soak for 20 minutes.
  6. Remove the jeans from the basin and rinse them in cold water until the smell of vinegar is gone.
  7. Let them air dry.

5. Use Warm Water and Shampoo

Put your jeans into a shampoo and warm water solution to soften them. This process of softening your jeans is similar to the softening with vinegar. Follow the steps below to soften your jeans with shampoo.

  1. Get an 8-12 quart stock pot or large tupperware container and fill the basin with 3/4 full warm water.
  2. Put in 2 short squirts of shampoo (It’s better to have more than less.)
  3. Submerge the jeans into the soapy water.
  4. Place a soup can on top of the jeans to keep them submerged.
  5. Let them soak for 30 minutes.
  6. Take them out and rinse off with cold water,
  7. Let them air dry (dry flat or line dry.)

6. Use Fabric Softener

Use fabric softener to soften your jeans. Soaking your jeans in fabric softener will help break down the rigidness of your denim. Follow these steps to soften your jeans with fabric softener.

  1. Get an 8-12 quart stock pot or large tupperware container and fill the basin with 3/4 full warm water.
  2. Add one capful of fabric softener.
  3. Submerge your jeans.
  4. Place a soup can on top of the jeans to keep them submerged.
  5. Let them soak for 10 minutes.
  6. Remove the jeans and rinse thoroughly under cold water.
  7. Let them air dry.

7. Use Salt

Use salt to soften your jeans. Similar to the other methods, letting your jeans soak in salt will help soften them. Just be sure you rinse them thoroughly as the salt could harm the denim if allowed to set in over time. Follow these steps to use salt to soften your jeans. 

  1. Turn your jeans inside out and sprinkle heavy-handed salt over them.
  2. Get an 8-12 quart stock pot or large tupperware container and fill the basin with 3/4 full warm water.
  3. Add two heaping spoonfuls of soap to the basin.
  4. Submerge your jeans in the basin.
  5. Place a soup can on top of the jeans to keep them submerged.
  6. Let them soak for 60 minutes.
  7. Take out the jeans and rinse thoroughly with cold water.
  8. Let air dry.

8. Roll your Jeans

You can roll your jeans while they are warm to soften them. If you are not worried about shrinking your jeans, this method will be helpful for you. Be sure to have a belt or string/rope handy. Follow the steps below to roll your jeans once warm to soften them.

  1. Throw your jeans into the dryer on a medium setting.
  2. Take the jeans out after 15 minutes or fully warm and loose.
  3. Starting at the hem of your pant leg, roll up tightly.
  4. Mimic rolling up a sleeping bag.
  5. Once your jeans are fully rolled up, take the belt and wrap it around the center.
  6. Tighten the belt or string as tight as possible.
  7. Let your jeans cool like that for 60 minutes.
  8. Unroll and try on your jeans.

How to Soften Jeans FAQ

To soften hard denim jeans, the quickest, most effective way is to soak your jeans in vinegar, shampoo or fabric softener. Be sure to rinse thoroughly with cold water once done and let air dry.

The fastest way to break jeans in is to wear them all day long for a whole week. This will not only break your jeans in but also soften them in the exact areas your body needs for the denim to mould.

To soften jeans with salt, you need to submerge the teams in warm water with two heaping spoonfuls of salt. Let the jeans sit in the water for one hour, then take them out and rinse them thoroughly with cold water. Let them hang to air dry.

Tall Paul
Tall Paul
I am 6'7 (203cm) / 235lb (106 kg) model and ex-athlete. Since I was a teen I had trouble finding clothes. I was too tall for off the rack and was too lean for Big & Tall.

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