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How To Wash Jeans - 2 Easy Ways To Try At Home

How to wash jeans in the right way
How to wash jeans in the right way

Table of Contents

Jeans are one of those amazing clothing pieces that are meant to last you a very long time. They are versatile and comfortable, hence, worn by a lot of us. But do we give them the right care they need? Some people think of it as a rough and coarse garment, hence, they don’t need any special attention. That’s not right. 

Jeans are generally made of cotton, they will remain in a good state only with proper care. So, if you want your jeans to stay new forever, then you should know when and how to wash jeans properly. This is exactly what we have covered in this article.
Keep reading to take good care of your jeans.

We will see:

  • When you should wash jeans
  • How to machine wash jeans
  • How to hand wash jeans

When You Should Wash Jeans

Jeans generally have a thick fabric and they are not supposed to be washed as frequently as light-weighted clothing like cotton shirts, kurtas, etc. If you don’t live in an extremely hot and humid climate or you don’t sweat heavily, you don’t have to wash jeans after wearing them once. Washing them too often can fade the colour of your jeans.

Here’s what you should consider washing jeans:

  • You can wear a pair of jeans at least 4-5 times before washing it.
  • Tough stains which don’t go by spot cleaning are a sign to wash jeans.
  • If the fabric is creased behind the knees or the knees are stretched, you should wash jeans.
  • In case you stay outdoors in hot or humid weather then you might need to wash jeans after every wear.


The best way to prolong a wash cycle is to get rid of sweat smell in jeans.

Get clean & wrinkle-free clothes in 48 hours!

Let’s see how to remove odour without washing:

How to remove sweat smell from jeans

How to remove sweat smell from jeans
How to remove sweat smell from jeans

If you are just bothered about the smell, and your jeans aren’t really dirty, you can air dry the jeans.

It is great if you can hang your jeans under the sun. Because sun rays act as a natural deodorizer. It will eliminate the slight foul smell for you within 4-5 hours. In case it is not a sunny day, you can hang the jeans using a hanger under your fan, in front of an air cooler or air conditioner as well for at least 24 hours.


Jeans start to smell because of bacteria that are transferred from our bodies to the fabric during wear. These bacteria cause odour. If your freezer has ample space, you can put your jeans in the freezer as it will kill the bacteria and reduce odours. 

Even though this isn’t a very hygienic laundry hack, you can still use it if you want to. You can put the jeans in a clean clothing bag and then put it in the freezer. Leave it for 1-2 hours. Take it out and hang it using a hanger. Let the jeans get dried up before you wear them.

Now, let’s quickly move to know how to wash jeans at home properly.

How To Wash Jeans - Machine Wash & Hand Wash

There are two ways to wash jeans:

  • Hand Wash
  • Machine Wash

There are two things that you must do before you wash jeans in either ways:

Read the garment care label

No matter which of these you choose, always start by reading the garment care label. Some jeans may lose dye in the first few wash cycles, hence manufacturers often mention washing them alone for the first time.


Always wash your new pair of jeans separately. Because some jeans may bleed dye during the first few washes. Hence, washing new jeans separately will save your other clothes from getting colour-bleeding stains.

Pre-treat the stains

If there are minor stains you can use a commercial stain remover like Vanish as follows:

  • Dampen the stained area.
  • Place a towel underneath the stained part to prevent the stain from spreading onto clean areas.
  • Now pour 1-2 drops of the stain remover directly on the stain.
  • Rub with slight pressure using your fingers or an old toothbrush or another brush.
  • Repeat the process from step 3 if the stain still persists.
  • Rinse the stained area in clean water.

In case the stain still persists or you want to try some homemade products on the stain, refer to our another article – A Quick Guide To Stain Removers. Here, you will find some tried and tested homemade stain removers that are best suited for various stubborn stains like ink, blood, turmeric, etc. You can pick a stain remover depending on the stain and have easy stain removal at home.

What if we say you can get rid of the toughest stains from clothes instantly? 

Steps To Wash Jeans In A Washing Machine

How to wash jeans in a machine
How to wash jeans in a machine
  • Step 1: Fill the washing machine with cold water

    Fill your machine with cold water. If there is heavy dirt on the jeans, you can use lukewarm water. Never use hot water as it can fade the colour and shrink the fabric.

  • Step 2: Put detergent in the dispenser

    Put your regular laundry detergent such as Surf excel, Ariel, etc. to wash jeans. Never use bleach or use detergents with bleach. You can also add a mild fabric softener if you want your jeans a bit softer in a different dispenser or you can add it directly to the washer tub during the last rinse.

  • Step 3: Put the jeans in washer drum

    Turn your jeans inside out. Washing jeans can be abrasive to fabrics. Not only do clothes rub against one another, but the detergent, along with zippers, buttons, and snaps, can be damaging to the colour and fabric.

    Put your jeans in the washing machine with only other jeans or clothing of similar colours. One of the major factors to consider while washing jeans is the bleeding of colour.

    If you wash your jeans with other, lighter coloured jeans or clothing, you could dye everything in your wash. To be on the safe side, wash all your jeans separately.

    Pro-tip: If you are washing only jeans and no other clothes, don’t put more than 5 pair of jeans at a time in the washer. Because jeans are heavy in weight. If you will wash too many jeans in a single go then it may cause the machine to run slower.

  • Step 4: Run the machine on ideal cycles

    Jeans are heavy clothing, but this doesn’t mean they need excessive agitation to get cleaned. Always set your washing machine to “gentle” cycle. Lesser agitation will keep your jeans in a good condition forever. This will also reduce wear and tear.

  • Step 5: Air dry your jeans

    As explained above, it is not ideal to assert agitation on jeans. Hence, you should avoid using clothes dryer machine. It may cause shrinkage or fade out the colour of jeans. Hence, you should air-dry the jeans. 

    Pro-tip: Fold your jeans once at the knee level and hang them on a clothes hanger or rack to dry. Over-folding while the jeans are drying can cause wrinkles and creases.

    If you want your jeans to dry faster, you can tumble it in the dryer machine with “low” heat setting for 5 minutes. They will still be damp. Now, when you will air-dry the jeans, it will get dried out faster.

    Before you hang jeans, stretch the seams to avoid shrinkage.

Check out 4 common line drying problems and how to avoid them to ensure your jeans stays in a good state. 

Steps To Hand Wash Jeans

How to handwash jeans properly
How to handwash jeans properly
Washing jeans by hand can preserve the garment from agitation of washing machine and prevent the wear tear caused due to abrasive action of machine washing.
  • Step 1: Fill a bucket half with cold or lukewarm water.

  • Step 2: Mix 2-3 drops of a mild, non-bleaching liquid detergent/ 1 teaspoon of powdered detergent.

  • Step 3: Turn the jeans inside out.

  • Step 4: Soak it in the bucket. Don't bunch or wrinkle the jeans harshly.

  • Step 5: Leave it as it is for 30-45 minutes.

  • Step 6: You can gently rub the entire jeans with your hands for 4-5 minutes.

  • Step 7: If there is excessive visible dirt, run a scrubbing brush over the jeans in to-and-fro motion for 2-3 minutes.

  • Step 8: Now, rinse the jeans in cool water until there is no soapy residue left in the garment.

  • Step 9: At last, hang the jeans using a hanger or on a clothesline.

  • Step 10: Leave it to air-dry.

This was all about how to wash jeans at home. You can try both hand wash and machine wash as explained above. 

In case your jeans is too old or expensive (and you don’t want to risk it washing at home), you can get laundry service. Professionals ensure the best suitable treatment to clothes and the increase their lifespan.  

Can’t get wrinkles out of your jeans easily? We can do it for you.

Frequently asked questions on washing jeans

Mix 1 teaspoon of any fabric softener in a bucket half full of water (approximately 5 litres of water). Mix the softener in water with your hands. Soak the jeans overnight in this water to avoid your jeans getting stiff after drying. Rinse your jeans the next day.

Yes, you can wash jeans in a washing machine. However, you should prefer hand washing in the long run as it asserts less agitation on the fabric and makes it last longer.

If you don’t know about agitation, click here: How does washing machine with agitation works.

It is not mandatory to turn jeans inside out. However, it is a precautionary move to prevent damage. If you will turn the jeans inside out then fasteners snagging on other clothing pieces in the jeans themselves will not be able to cause damage to the fabric of the jeans.

The most suitable way is to hand-wash jeans. In case you can’t do so, use your washing machine but on a gentle cycle. Some jeans may bleed colour during the first few washes. Hence, wash a new pair of jeans separately.

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author. They do not necessarily purport to reflect the values or views of Tumbledry.

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