How to Wash Jeans: 6 Easy Steps!

Learn how to properly easy jeans with our easy to follow step-by-step guide.

How to Wash Jeans

Denim Pants

Jeans can be cleaned in the washing machine by using cold water and the delicate wash cycle. Using hot water will shrink your jeans and should be avoided.  It is preferable to hang or flat dry your jeans after you have washed them, in order to maintain the quality and color of the denim for longer. You may also use the dryer on tumble dry low to dry your jeans.

This is How to Wash Jeans: 6 Easy Steps!

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.

We want to be sure you properly care for all of your clothing garments, that’s why we have created these guides to wash your clothes properly.

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 jeans, washing them is a great way to break in your jeans.

Follow our step-by-step guide to ensure that you are caring for your jeans properly

How to Wash Jeans

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. How to Machine Wash Jeans

Follow the 6 steps listed below in order to properly machine wash your denim jeans

  1. Turn your jeans inside out.
  2. Place the jeans in the washing machine and wash together with other garments that are similar in fabric, weight, and color. 
  3. Add laundry detergent. Do not use bleach or any detergents with bleach in it.
  4. Adjust the settings to delicate and use cold water. 
  5. Run the wash cycle (how long does a washer take).
  6. Remove your jeans, turn them back inside out, and dry properly. 

2. How to Hand Wash Jeans

To hand wash your denim jeans, please follow the steps listed below:

  1. Fill a sink, bucket, or basin with cool to lukewarm water. 
  2. Add bleach free liquid laundry detergent to the water.
  3. Place your jeans in the water. 
  4. Use your hands to agitate and wash your jeans in the water for 3 to 5 minutes.
  5. Let your jeans soak in the water for 15 to 45 minutes. 
  6. Remove your jeans and rinse in clean water until the water runs clear and all the soap/detergent has been removed. 
  7. Optional: Place into the washing machine and wash on the delicate setting with cold water to further remove any dirt and stains. 
  8. Once finished, dry your jeans appropriately. 

How to Dry Jeans

The best drying method if you want to maintain and prolong the wear of your jeans, is to dry flat or hang to dry (line dry.) This will help you to avoid damaging the fibers or shrinking your jeans. Let our guide on how to dry clothes without a dryer help you.

You can also use the dryer to dry your jeans, just be sure to adjust the settings to air dry or tumble dry low first. You should also remove your jeans from the dryer while they are still slightly damp to avoid overheating and shrinking your denim.

Learn how long does a dryer take & how hot does a dryer get.

If you see creases on your jeans after the drying them, you can iron your jeans and then hang or fold your jeans and put them away. Just be sure to have the iron on a low setting, being careful not to shrink them.

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 to Shrink Jeans

The secret key to shrinking your jeans is: use heat.

To shrink your jeans, first place them into the washing machine and run the cycle on the highest water heat setting possible. After the wash cycle has finished, proceed to place your jeans into the dryer and adjust the settings to tumble dry high. These two processes combined will help to effectively shrink your jeans.

You can also boil your jeans in order to shrink them. Hot water does shrink clothes, this is the truth!

Fill a pot with water and bring it to a boil. Carefully place your jeans into the boiling water and let them sit for 5 to 15 minutes depending on the degree of shrinkage you wish to achieve. Once finished, carefully remove the jeans from the pot and wring out the excess water before you hang or lay flat to dry. If you require further shrinkage, place the jeans into the dryer and use the tumble dry high setting. 

Be careful not to over shrink, in which case you may have to reverse the process and stretch your jeans.

How to Shrink Clothes

Not all clothing is made from the same fabrics which will alter the steps and temperatures needed to shrink them. Because of this, DO NOT shrink other pieces of clothing the same way as this jeans guide. Instead follow our other guides below.

How to Wash Jeans Without Shrinking

To wash jeans without shrinking you must simply avoid using heat to wash or dry your denim. Use the washing machine on the cold water setting and avoid using the dryer with tumble dry to dry your jeans in order to wash them without shrinking. 

Save yourself some anxiety and understand fully how to wash jeans without shrinking. If our article doesn’t give you the confidence you need then instead, take your dirty laundry to your local dry cleaners. You can see how long dry cleaners take and how much dry cleaners cost.

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.

How to Wash Jeans FAQ

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. 

Written and reviewed by:
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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