There are a lot of misconceptions about how to wash denim, the biggest probably being that there is a “right” way to do it. Our friends over at Dutil Denim provided some insight into the process of washing your denim at home and the most important takeaway was that there are a plethora of options and only a few major no-nos.

The first myth Dutil’s Madison Bentley dispelled was that machine washing your denim is bad. Bentley says the only thing you really shouldn’t do is put your denim in the dryer. Instead, you should always air dry it. Overall, figuring out how best to wash your denim is easier than you think, with the most important thing being your choice of detergent.

Our studio doesn’t have a washing machine, and with using one being much less aesthetically pleasing, we’ve put together a short guide on how to handwash your denim at home, with two slightly different techniques to consider.

What you need to handwash your denim:

A tub or container
Water
Detergent or soap
White vinegar
Dirty denim

Method 1: Detergent

Step 1

Fill a large tub with cold water.

Step 2

Add the detergent or soap.

Step 3

Submerge your jeans and allow them to soak for 15 to 30 minutes.

Step 4

Rinse the jeans well, preferably under a tap, until you are sure the detergent has been washed out.

Step 5

Once the jeans are rinsed, roll them with a towel and press firmly to release water. It’s important that you don’t wring the jeans, as that will twist and break the denim fibers, leading to less structured denim that will more easily rip or tear.

Step 6

Lay your jeans flat to dry.

Method 2: White Vinegar & Detergent

Step 1

Fill a large tub with cold water.

Step 2

Add white vinegar. White vinegar sets the dye and prevents fading, but it doesn’t clean as well as commercial detergents, which is why this is best for the first clean only.

Step 3

Submerge your jeans and allow them to soak for 15 to 30 minutes.

Step 4

Rinse the jeans well, preferably under a tap, to get out the vinegar. This might take a while but it’s necessary to stop your jeans smelling like vinegar while you wear them.

Step 5

This is optional, but you can also rinse gently with detergent to help remove the vinegar scent.

Step 6

Roll your jeans in a towel to get excess water out.

Step 7

Lay your jeans flat to dry.

_

For an in-depth guide, watch the full video below:

Bean-eating content machine!

What To Read Next