Preserve Your Favorite Denim: How to Wash and Dry Jeans Properly

wash and dry jeans properly

Cooler weather means it’s jean season! (Let’s be honest, every season is jeans season). A great pair of jeans can be an investment piece that lasts you years. But they won’t last that long if you don’t care for them properly. In this article, we’ll go through the best practices to keep your jeans looking new, including how to wash and dry jeans properly. 

Read the Label

As with all laundry, you should always check the care instructions before you do anything. This will give you important information about if they’re machine washable, what temperature you should wash and dry them at, and more. 

Only Wash as Needed

Jeans aren’t like your underwear; you don’t need to wash them every time you wear them. In fact, you should wash them as little as possible. You should be able to go at least 3-5 wears between washes. Really, unless they’re dirty or smell, you don’t need to wash them. 

Wash Inside Out

You should always wash your jeans inside out. This will preserve the beautiful color of the dye and prevent fading. It also helps protect the fibers of the denim, so it stays looking great. 

Wash New Jeans Alone

The first time you wash a new pair of jeans, you should always wash them once on their own. The dye used to color denim can bleed onto other clothes and ruin them. 

Machine Washing

If you can machine wash your jeans, always wash them on cold. You should also use a gentle detergent with no harsh chemicals. Set your machine on a gentle or delicate cycle to protect your denim even more. This will help keep your jeans from shrinking or bleeding dye onto other clothing. 

Hand Washing

Some people swear by handwashing their jeans. Especially if they were expensive or you really love them, this will keep them looking brand new for a lot longer! However, this isn’t exactly feasible for most people. Not only does it take a significant amount of time, but it’s also difficult. Adding water to jeans makes them super heavy, so they can be difficult to hand wash. If you want to hand wash your jeans, use cold water and a gentle detergent. 


Most experts agree that you should never, ever put your jeans in the dryer. Air drying your jeans will keep them fresh and new-looking. The dryer can be hard on your clothes and ruin the fibers in denim. If your jeans feel stiff or crunchy after air drying, you can throw them in the dryer for 10 minutes on a low heat setting with a couple of dryer balls. This will also help if you need to shrink your jeans back to their original shape. If you do decide to dry your jeans in the dryer, you should take them out while they’re still damp and let them hang dry the rest of the way. 

Taking a little extra time to wash and dry your jeans properly will keep them looking good as new for years to come. Realistically, this doesn’t have to take too much extra effort. Just a couple of small changes to your routine can make a big difference for your jeans. Wash them inside out on cold with the rest of your clothes, and let them air dry. Following these simple tips will keep your denim looking great. It’s well worth the effort!

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