Washing jeans safely and properly is easy if you follow the right guidelines. 

Properly caring for your jeans can help to maintain them for a longer period of time. Using the right methods to wash and dry your jeans will help them to retain their shape, size, color, and quality.

Your white jeans as well as your black jeans should be washed with other clothing of similar color. Wash your white jeans with other light clothing, wash your dark jeans with other dark clothing and wash your colored jeans with colored clothing.

Jeans are durable and do not need to be washed frequently if kept and maintained properly. However, if you just bought the tall men’s jeans, washing them is a great way to break in your jeans.

Follow our step-by-step guide to ensure learn how to wash your jeans.

Table of Contents

  • Fastest way to wash your jeans: Hand Wash
  • Best way to wash your jeans: Washing Machine
how to wash jeans

How To Wash Jeans

Total Time: 2 hrs 45 min

Cost: $0.53

  • Buy Tide Pods for $55

Before you attempt to wash your jeans you must first check the care label to see if there are any special care instructions. 

Some jeans will have different requirements for washing and drying so it is very important to first check the care label’s instructions

If your jeans are machine or hand washable, continue reading below to find our step by step instructions for how to wash jeans. 

1. Turn jeans inside out

Turn your jeans inside out before putting them into the washing machine. Turning them inside out will help keep the denim from looking too worn and save the fabric longterm.

this is a photo of jeans turned inside out so they can be washed

2. Place the jeans in washing machine

Place the jeans in the washing machine and wash together with other garments that are similar in fabric, weight, and color.

this is a photo of jeans placed in the washing machine to wash

3. Add laundry detergent to the jeans

Add laundry detergent. Do not use bleach or any detergents with bleach in it.

this is a photo of laundry detergent for washing jeans

4. Adjust the settings to delicate

Adjust the settings to delicate and use cold water.

this is a photo of the washing machine setting set to delicate to wash jeans

5. Run the wash cycle

Run the wash cycle (how long does a washer take).

this is a photo of tall paul pushing the start button on the washing machine to wash his jeans

6. Remove and dry the jeans

Remove your jeans, turn them back inside out, and dry properly. It is best to air dry them by putting them on a clothing line (or back of a chair.) Once dry fold your jeans or hang the jeans up to store.

this is a photo of washed jeans drying on a chair

How To Wash Jeans By Hand

Total Time: 2 hrs

Cost: $0.53

  • Buy Tide Pods for $55

1. Fill container with lukewarm water for jeans

Fill a container with lukewarm water. You can use a plastic tub, kitchen sink, bathtub or anything else that will hold enough water.

this is a photo of a sink being filled with lukewarm water for jeans to be hand washed

2. Add liquid detergent to the water before jeans

Add your liquid detergent to the lukewarm water. If you do not have a liquid detergent bottle, you can break open a tide pod instead. This is not the most effective use of a tide pod, because it was made for a full load of laundry, however its cheaper than buying a new liquid soap for one time use.

this is a photo of tall paul squeezing open a tide pod for liquid detergent to hand wash jeans

3. Submerge the jeans in the soapy water

Submerge the jeans in the soapy water, and let soak for 5 to 10 minutes.

this is a photo of tall paul submerging jeans into soapy water to hand wash

4. Agitate the jeans with your hands

Use your hands to agitate the jeans in the soapy water for 2-3 minutes. This will help loosen the dirt particles trapped in the fabric.

this is a photo of tall paul agitating jeans in soapy water to hand wash then

5. Let the jeans soak for 30 min

Let your jeans soak for another 30 minutes in the soapy water.

this is a photo of jeans soaking for 30 minutes in a sink full of soapy water

6. Rinse the jeans under cool tap water

Rinse the jeans under cool tap water until all the soap has been removed and the water runs clear once passing through the dress shirt.

this is a photo of tall paul rinsing jeans under cool tap water to rinse them

7. Let the hand washed jeans air dry

Air dry by hanging or laying flat on an indoor drying rack.  Even if you know how to use a dryer, I highly suggest you don’t. You will shrink the jeans and ruin the denim if you dry it in a drying machine.

this is a photo of hand washed jeans air drying

How to wash new black or white jeans

Use laundry detergent specially formulated for use with dark clothing when you are attempting to wash black jeans or dark denim. You should only place your black jeans into the washing machine together with other dark denim and clothing. Besides these two considerations, the process for washing black jeans is the same as washing any other type or color of jeans. 

In order to wash white jeans you should put them into the washing machine only together with other whites . Use a gentle wash cycle and cold water to wash your white jeans. You may wish to run the wash cycle twice since white is easily soiled and stained. You should actually avoid using bleach to wash your white denim, as bleach can sometimes leave a yellowish hue on the surface of your jeans. 

How often to wash jeans

Jeans do not need to be washed too frequently if they are kept clean and dry. If you are wearing your jeans during heavy duty work that attracts dust, dirt, and mud, then you will likely prefer to wash your jeans every other day at the least. You can also DIY starch your jeans at home.

If you get small stains on your jeans it is typically more convenient to simply spot treat the stain as opposed to placing the entire item into the washing machine. 

Air your jeans out between usage in order keep them fresh and dry so that you do not have to wash them after every time wearing them. Washing your jeans too often can lead to more wear and tear as well as fraying.


Turn your jeans inside out and place them into the washing machine. Adjust the settings on the washing machine to delicate and wash with cold water. Add suitable laundry detergent to the washer, close the hatch, and press start. 

Jeans should first be turned inside out and then washed in cold water while in the washing machine. Using hot water to wash your jeans will lead to shrinkage. 

Use cold water and the delicate setting while washing your jeans to maintain their color and quality.  Avoid using the dryer and instead choose to hang (line dry) or flat dry your jeans. Doing both of these things will help avoid the fading of color on your jeans. 

You should turn your jeans inside out when washing them to protect the outer surface of your jeans, while simultaneously exposing the dirtiest inner parts of your jeans to the liquid laundry detergent and water.

Yes, jeans do have the ability to shrink in the dryer. If you want to avoid shrinking your jeans then you should hang or lay your jeans flat to dry. If you prefer to use the dryer then make sure to adjust the settings to air dry or tumble dry low in order to avoid shrinking your jeans. Using the dryer on tumble dry high while your jeans are damp will lead to shrinkage.