Blue and black
jeans tend to fade in the washing machine. The water and soap erodes the
dye and discolors them. Jeans will fade regardless, but washing them
regularly speeds up the process. Use these steps to prevent your jeans
Choose when to wash your
- Wash your dark jeans
every 4 or 5 times you wear them. Reducing the frequency of your jean
washing will keep the color looking dark instead of dull. Try not to
wear your dark jeans if you are doing physical labor or any activity
that could potentially soil the jeans. Freezing jeans without washing
also prolongs the life of the fibers but can be messy thawing out.
- Jeans do not need to be
washed after every wear because the material is thick and sweating
occurs mostly on your upper body.
Fill a large washtub with 1
gallon (3.79 L) of cold water and 2 tablespoons (23.95 g) of salt.
Soak the jeans in the salt
mixture for approximately 1 hour.
- The salt mixture
preserves the dye prior to washing, which prevents fading.
Turn the jeans inside out.
- Move the dark dye from
the outside to the inside of the jeans to reduce the amount of direct
water and soap contact.
Place other jeans or dark
clothing items into the wash along with the dark jeans.
- You can wash dark jeans
alone, but washing jeans with other jeans allows dyes to mix and might
help keep them dark.
Use a detergent made
specifically for washing jeans or a color-protection detergent.
Use vinegar the same way
you would a detergent but wash with just the vinegar instead.
After hanging to dry the vinegar smell is not pungent.
- Specialty detergents
might be more expensive, but their chemical makeup is less abrasive
than traditional detergents.
Add fabric softener into
- Fabric softener might
not necessary keep the jeans from fading, but it can prolong the life
of your jeans by keeping them soft rather than brittle.
Select the coldest, most
gentle cycle for the wash.
- Cold water is less
abrasive than warm or hot water on the indigo dye of jeans. Cold water
is less effective for cleaning, but warm or hot water is certain to
fade your jeans even if they are turned inside out.
Run the wash on the
delicate cycle for a couple minutes if swirling around with hands seems to
take its toll and spin to wring out excessive water.
Find a shaded outdoor
location and set up a clothesline.
- Direct sunlight will
fade the jeans just as badly, if not worse, than customary washing
Hang the jeans to dry.
- If it is particularly
warm outside, do not leave the jeans hanging for long. Allow them to
hang and drip dry for 1 to 2 hours during a cooler time of day, and
then bring them indoors to finish drying.
- Soaking your jeans in
vinegar instead of the salt and water mixture can help prevent fading.
The smell, however, tends to prevent this method from being used
- Hand-washing jeans in
the bathtub is an effective way of preventing denim fading, but it is
time consuming. Fill a bathtub halfway with cold water, then pour a
few tablespoons of detergent in, and then let the jeans soak for about
a half hour. Do not scrub the jeans; just move them around inside the
cold water. Rinse them, wring them, and then hang them to air dry.
- You can choose to never
wash your jeans, but this might create a noticeable odor after 3 to 4
months, depending on your use. If you decide not to wash your jeans to
prevent fading, let them air dry regularly.
- Do not have your dark
jeans dry-cleaned. The dry-cleaning process includes the use of
extremely harsh chemicals that can fade your jeans as well as weaken