How to Clean Raw Denim Jeans


So you’ve finally bought a pair of raw denim jeans and you’re not sure about how to wash them. Or maybe you’ve been wearing your favorite raw denim jeans for the past few months and you think it’s finally time to give them a wash.

If you can relate to either one of these scenarios this post is for you because here is everything you need to know about how to clean raw denim jeans!

Freezing Your Jeans?


First of all, let me start by dispelling one of the most common misconceptions about raw denim jeans. There has been a lot of talk about putting your jeans in the freezer and leaving them overnight to kill the bacteria and get rid of any foul smells.

Well let me be the first to say that this is ridiculous and borderline disgusting!

If you’re into the sciences, you know that freezing things can indeed kill bacteria. However, in this case it definitely won’t kill them all because the standard home refrigerator just isn’t cold enough. Also since bacteria is so resilient the remaining bacteria will definitely repopulate almost immediately.

Lastly, I think putting dirty jeans in the same place that you put your chicken and ice cream is just crazy and unsanitary!

How It’s Really Done?


Here is the best way to wash your raw denim jeans:

1. Turn your jeans inside out and wash them in cold water. The cold water wash can either be done by hand or in the washing machine on the lightest cycle (gentle or delicate cycle). Turning them inside-out protects any natural fades that you’ve already created and the cold water well help prevent the dye from bleeding too much.

Major Key: “Woolite Dark’s” helps prevent too much fading on dark clothes.

2. Don’t let your jeans go through the complete spin cycle. Once the spin cycle starts let them go for a couple minutes then pull them out so they won’t get knocked around too much. If you let them go through the whole spin cycle they will get an uneven color fade and even some shrink.

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3. Avoid using a dryer at all costs and just hang them up to dry instead. Air drying helps the jeans retain the custom fit that you’ve created after months of wear. In fact, I suggest only washing your jeans after the first 4-6 months of wear and then every couple of months thereafter. Depending on how often you wear them.

4. Lastly, don’t wait for them to dry completely. Put them on when they’re about 90 percent dry because that will allow them to stretch and conform back to your body. Raw denim usually shrinks after you wash them so this step is crucial.

As always, thanks for reading and feel free to share some of your denim cleaning tips in the comments below.

Yours truly,

Akil McLeod
The Dapper Advisor

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