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How To Wash Denim - Washing Your unspun Jeans

Unsure of how to wash your jeans? Unspun is here to help. Keep reading for our simple and effective method for washing your denim.

Washing your clothes has a lot of rules; delicates need this, darks need that. It’s easy to make a mistake, but when it comes to denim it could cause fading or shrinking. Unspun is here to make things simple so that you can keep your perfect fit the perfect shape. 

How Often Should You Wash Your Jeans?

We recommend washing your jeans every 5 to 10 wears, or whenever they start to look dirty. If they start developing an odor, throw them into the freezer, it will kill unwanted bacteria. You can also hang them in a window, or near a fan. If you move around a lot in your jeans, you’ll likely have to wash them more frequently. If you’re sitting for most of the day, you can go longer between washes. If you have a stain, we recommend spot cleaning it. You can do so by using a tiny amount of mild detergent on a toothbrush, and massaging the stain until it fades. Rinse the area with cold water until all of the soap is gone. 

Cold, Warm, or Hot Water?

Denim may seem like a tough fabric, but that doesn’t mean that it’s indestructible. You’re going to want to wash your denim in the coldest water setting that your washing machine has. Another approach is to hand wash your denim. If you’re taking the washing machine approach, make sure that you opt for a delicate or gentle cycle. This will help avoid shrinking or fading. Another important tip is to use a mild detergent, and ideally one made specifically for dark clothes, if your jeans are blue or black. Avoid bleach, which will permanently damage the dye, and skip fabric softener, which can build up in denim. If you want to be extra safe, you can use half a cup of distilled white vinegar instead of detergent. Not only does vinegar neutralize odors, but it also sets the color. This is a great option for black jeans or jeans getting washed for the first time. 

If you want to take the hand-washing method, there are a few tips to follow. Turn your denim inside out, and fill your sink, tub, or bucket with cold or lukewarm water. As a bonus step, add half a cup of distilled white vinegar. If you see any stain, use a toothbrush to gently massage it out. You’ll then want to let the jeans soak for 30 to 60 minutes. Drain the water and rinse the denim thoroughly. Put the jeans in the washing machine and run a spin-only cycle. You can also skip this and go straight to turning them right-side out and line drying or flat drying your jeans. 

Color: Washing Light, Blue, and Black Jeans

Most denim is dyed in a way that the pigment doesn’t reach the core of the yarn. When our jeans are worn, the dye gradually rubs off and the white core of the yarn becomes visible. 

In order to minimize the likelihood of fading, turn your denim inside-out and zip them up. Doing so will minimize contact with the indigo dye. Be sure to also wash your denim with like colors. If they’re white or ecru, wash them with other light or neutral shades. If you’re washing dark wash denim or black, combine them with like colors such as black, gray or dark blue. Since denim is a heavy fabric and holds water, avoid washing more than two pairs of jeans together. 

How To Prevent Your Jeans From Shrinking in the Wash

The main reason for denim shrinking is heat. The heat from the washing machine is one part, but also the drying machine. In order to prevent shrinkage it’s best to air-dry your jeans. This will also make sure that your jeans preserve their shape. The best way to air dry your jeans is to unzip any zippers and unbutton any buttons. Then you’ll want to line-dry them, lay them flat, or hang them on a hanger in a well ventilated area. If for any reason you need to use the dryer, make sure to use the setting with the lowest heat.

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Unsure of how to wash your jeans? Unspun is here to help. Keep reading for our simple and effective method for washing your denim.

September 1, 2022
Melissa Castillo
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