Wash black jeans without fading

How To Wash Black Jeans The Right Way & Keep The Color From Fading

As an avid wearer of all black for every season, it’s a complete necessity to know how to wash black jeans. I mean I’m all for faded dark denim if it’s intentional, but let’s be real, no one likes buying a new pair of black jeans just to see that color fade away because of improper washing techniques. Yes, I take washing my black jeans seriously, and yes I may being a little over-the-top. But hey, it’s all for the love of fashion.

I probably go through about three high-waisted black jeans each season because well, I’m obsessed, and secondly black jeans just tend to fade eventually. Keeping that color locked in can be quite hard and sometimes it’s just easy to throw your black jeans in a laundry load of random colors. This is a big no-no. Believe me, I learned the hard way. I remember buying a pair of $200 black jeans just to watch the color wash away. It was definitely a lesson learned.

My point is, yes, making sure your black jeans don’t easily fade away can be accomplished with a few tips and tricks. So if you constantly wear black jeans but struggle with keeping the color locked in, don’t worry, keeping their wear life to a longer period of time is totally possible.

Here are some ways to keep your black jeans on point.

1. Wash In Cold Water

This is extremely important. Never put your black jeans, or any dark clothes for that matter, in a laundry load of hot or warm water. According to About.com, the color will only fade quicker if you let your jeans soak up the heat in high temperature.

2. Only Wash Your Jeans With Other Dark Colors

I know it takes longer to do your laundry when you have to sort them out by color, but it’s seriously worth it. When you mix your clothes together the colors fade each other out, according to Good Housekeeping, especially if you’re mixing light colors in there.

3. Wash Your Jeans Inside Out

You know that little tag on your jeans that say “wash inside out?” Well, you should definitely listen to it, and make sure to wash your jeans inside out, according to ELLE. This will help your jeans keep the color in and lessen the fabric to soap contact.

4. Wash In A Gentle Cycle Or Hand Wash

You want to be as gentle as you can with your black jeans. The more rough the cycle is, the more fade will happen when your jeans spin in the wash. Philly Mag highly recommends washing in the most gentle cycle. I tend to hand wash mine, and it definitely helps!

5. Use Detergent Specifically Made For Dark Colors

I also highly suggest buying a detergent specifically for your dark clothes. Since these formulas are specifically made to keep your clothes staying dark, it’s definitely worth a try. I mean, if you’re already separating your clothes, why not buy the detergent to match?

Woolite Darks High Efficiency Liquid Laundry Detergent, $11, Amazon

6. Try Washing With A Cup Of Vinegar

I know, sounds a bit weird, but many people have had a good experience washing their black jeans with vinegar. About.com explains, “The vinegar will help seal the dye within the fabric so that they won’t continue to bleed.” Make sure to definitely use cold water though if you do try to experiment with the kitchen staple.

Try: Distilled White Vinegar, $4, Amazon

7. Add A Teaspoon Of Salt

And if you’re really open to trying something new, try adding a teaspoon of salt to your black jeans load, per The Concourse’s suggestion. This can help set your dye in to prevent your jeans from bleeding too much. (Morton Iodized Salt, Kmart.com, $1)

Pretty simple, amiritie? And just in case you really don’t want to wash your jeans, I always find it easy to mist instead of wash. Or just minimize the amount of times you wear them. Easy, peasy!

Images: Courtesy of Brands; Courtesy of Author; Kaboompics, Suppenkasper/

Black jeans are deceptively tricky to wash and are a magnet for anything else in the washload that isn’t attached to the other garments! They often emerge from the washing machine with white specks, or have attracted a mass of fluff from your jumpers and sweatshirts, or they’re badly faded.

So, what’s the secret? What’s the best way to keep them in good condition? Here’s the GHI’s five-stop process for washing them correctly…

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Get them ready

Turn them inside out before washing, zip up and fasten buttons. Make sure to take out anything from the pockets, especially tissues, as you don’t want your black clothing covered in torn-up white tissue!

Prepare them for a colour wash

The GHI recommends using washing liquid or tabs that are specifically designed for coloured laundry.

Anything else will be full of optical brighteners, which are great for getting your whites white, but not such a good idea for your coloured items, unless you want them to fade!

Use the right detergent

Use liquid detergent. If your jeans come out of the wash with white marks, it’s possible that these are tiny bits of undissolved detergent.

Powders are more likely to leave a white residue than liquid detergents, especially if you’re running a cool wash, so just switching to liquid may solve the problem.

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Check your dosages

Make sure you’ve got the dosage of detergent right for the type of water in your area and the size of the load – adding a bit more detergent for luck can do more harm than good!

Check the dosage instructions on pack – it will recommend you use extra for hard water and larger loads but the amount itself varies between detergents.

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Dry them properly

If you’re line drying them, make sure the jeans stay inside out, so they’re less likely to fade in strong sunlight.

If you need to dry indoors, get a clothes airer – there’s plenty of choice, so find one to fit the space. Shake them out before they are bone dry, and fold – that way, you shouldn’t have to iron them.

Top rated clothes airers

John Lewis Indoor Folding Bathroom Clothes Airer John Lewis & Partners johnlewis.com £13.00 John Lewis 3-Tier Heated Indoor Clothes Airer John Lewis & Partners johnlewis.com £100.00 Minky Over Bath Indoor Airer with 9.5 m Drying Space, Metal Minky amazon.co.uk £17.00 Minky 3 Tier Plus Indoor Airer with 21 m Drying Space, Silver Minky amazon.co.uk £24.99

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How to Wash Denim Jeans: 3 Options

  • Freeze your jeans. This might sound crazy, but freezing your jeans is a great way to kill the bacteria that transfers from skin cells to the fibres of the denim. Simply turn your jeans inside out, pop them in your freezer, and leave overnight. In the morning, take out your jeans and put them in the dryer for the final 20 minutes of the cycle. This method might not bring your jeans back to their original shape, but it will keep them clean and stop them from stretching.
  • Turn your jeans inside out, and plunge into a sink of water with a capful of gentle cleaning detergent (like Persil small & mighty). Carefully sponge the material with your hands and – once the dirt has been removed – hang up to dry. Doing this will air them out and keep them fresh for longer.
  • Adjust your washing machine to the lowest setting, and turn your jeans inside out. The higher the temperature, the more colour will escape from the jeans. Wash in a small amount of gentle laundry detergent, being careful to follow the manufacturer’s instructions. Whilst the jeans are still damp, stretch the inseam to avoid excess shrinkage and hang to dry.

Have a look at this video to see how easy it is to wash jeans correctly.

Style Advice In Your Inbox

Keeping your black denim, rich and saturated in color can be difficult after a few washes. But there are a couple things to be mindful of that will help save your favorite black jeans from turning into your not-so-favorite grey jeans.

Here’s how to wash your black jeans to keep them from fading:

1. Presoak Your Jeans

When you first get your jeans, get proactive and seal the wash in before your first wear. Turn your jeans inside-out, then soak them in cold water with one cup of white vinegar and one tablespoon of salt. This tip works on your favorite colored denim too!

2. Mist Instead Of Wash

If you don’t absolutely have to wash your jeans, skip it! A handy bottle of wrinkle-release spray will do the trick. Or use a homemade spray with a 50/50 mix of water and vodka. Let that sit for a couple of hours before wearing them out!

3. Set It to Gentle

When washing (not only black but any denim), you want to turn them inside out and use your gentlest cycle on cold. Make sure not to overcrowd the washer—keep your load smaller to give all your clothes room to get washed thoroughly.

4. Air Dry Your Denim

Instead of tossing your black jeans into the dryer, let them hang dry instead. Grab a drying rack or a hanger and let your jeans dry in a well-ventilated room.

For more tips on keeping all of your clothes looking new check out our ultimate washing guide which makes laundry less of a chore!

Jeans occupy the top position in everyone’s clothing hierarchy.

The most versatile piece of clothing, they go with anything, from dressy to casual wear, and are perfect for those seeking comfort.

In fact, the right pair of jeans can flatter your figure in an effortless manner.

Dark jeans are usually the most sought after as these look the best on all body types.

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They can be pulled off beautifully as work pants, while also doubling up for party attire, allowing you to look elegant no matter what the situation. So while finding the right pair of these is extremely important, it’s just as crucial to preserve them properly. After all, jeans don’t come cheap, and repeated washes can cause them to fade out before their time.

So let’s be clear here, while many clothes can look better once faded, this doesn’t usually apply to dark jeans. As a result, almost everyone has suffered from the heartbreak of a ruined and bombed out pair at least once in their life.

Therefore, in order to save you the trouble of denim related mourning, we’ve compiled a list of some of the best tips and tricks to keep your beloved pair from retiring too early!

Tip #1: Reduce Washing Frequency

Since washing is what often fades your jeans out, this one is seems like an obvious suggestion, doesn’t it? But even so, you will be surprised as to how many people wash these after each wear. Instead, resort to washing the dark colored ones after every 4 to 5 wears – thereby making them last considerably longer. But if you think this is ‘icky’, let us put your mind at ease. The fabric used is considerably thicker and you don’t sweat quite as much on the lower body either. As a result, you don’t really need to wash the pair any more frequently. So unless you jumped into a pool with your jeans on (which isn’t advisable), or decided to perform the Ice Bucket Challenge in them, refrain from throwing them into the wash immediately afterwards.

Tip #2: It’s Time to Go Inside Out

When you do finally decide to wash them, turn these bad boys inside out to prevent direct contact of the dark dye with water and soap. The harsh chemicals in these as well as the vigorous actions of the washing machine frequently results in removing the dye, much like the removal of stains and other marks. By turning them inside out, you will reduce fading and will also get a thoroughly cleaned out pair of jeans in the bargain.

Tip #3: Jeans Love Company!

Now here is a little tidbit you didn’t know – washing dark jeans with other dark jeans and clothing items can keep them from fading! While many people end up washing their jeans individually, washing them in the company of other darker clothing can actually prove more beneficial. This is because the dark dyes in the washing machine swirl and mix around, and are mostly retained by the clothing present within. As a result, the jeans end up retaining their original shade instead of having it washed away. So when the time comes and you absolutely must wash your jeans, do so with all the other dark clothes as well. If these aren’t readily available, wait until they pile up – and then throw them all in together.

Tip #4: Preserve the Colour

Even if you’re already following all the possible hacks, just to be a little extra safe you can also use color-protection detergent. While everything is meant to keep your beloved pair from aging before its time, nothing can prevent the inevitable. But why not delay it as long as possible. Color-protection detergent is the anti-aging cream of the jeans world – so make good use of it.

via wikihow

Tip #5: Vinegar to the Rescue

Replace the detergent with Vinegar. This is another neat trick to preserve the freshness of your beloved pair and there is a simple reason behind it. Detergent is meant to fight spots, but it isn’t able to distinguish between stains and (as it so happens) jeans’ dyes. So throw a pair in with strong detergent, and you won’t be able to recognize what comes out of the wash. Vinegar is much less abrasive, and is therefore gentler on the clothes than traditional detergent. Moreover, it has many of the same effects – making this a great replacement. However, if you have a sensitive nose, this may not be the best idea.

Tip #6: Heat Kills

If you didn’t know this already, hot water is more abrasive than cold. So if you want to keep your favourite pair from fading out, remember to set the machine to the coldest temperature and mildest settings. The gentler the cycle, the better it is for this incredible pair of clothing. This applies even to jeans that have been turned inside out, so never throw caution to the wind when it comes to your favourites.

Tip #7: After Washing

While washing is frequently blamed for faded jeans, this isn’t all there is to it. In fact, your drying methods can contribute just as much to fading a pair as the harsh detergent. So if you’re using a dryer, be sure to put it on the mildest setting. Granted this won’t always give you the ideal result, but hey – a little patience can save your pair from becoming history. On the other hand, if you’re using a drying rack, place it in a cool, shaded corner somewhere instead of under direct sunlight. The heat can frequently fade jeans out just as badly.

via giphy

While there are many other neat tricks employed to keep jeans from fading, these are just some of the most popular ones.

Not all are equally effective, but that’s why they must be mixed and matched. Using multiple techniques in conjunction is a great way to prevent your pair from early fading.

The comfort and attractiveness of this piece of clothing has granted it a space within all our hearts.

So it is no wonder that we desperately want our favourite pairs to last the test of time. Now, with the help of these simple methods, you too can give your beautiful jeans the chance to cover your bum and stand the test of time!

How Do I Keep My Black Pants Black?

John Lawton

Q. I love the versatility of black plants, but mine fade too quickly. And please don’t say I need to take them to the dry cleaner. I just don’t have the time.
Mary Messinger
Albuquerque, New Mexico
A. Don’t wash them (as much). If you primarily wear your black pants indoors―in an office, for example―you can get away with wearing them four or five times between washings. A purse-size bottle of OxiClean Spray-A-Way Instant Stain Remover ($5 for two at drugstores) will help you spot-treat stains (blot; don’t rub) and avoid excessive washings. To eliminate chalky marks from makeup, deodorant, or powder, try a dry sponge like Miss Oops Rescue Sponge ($10, missoops.com).
When you are ready to do a load of laundry, turn the pants inside out to minimize color loss caused by the friction from rubbing against other clothes, then choose a short, delicate cycle. “The colder the temperature, the better, since warm water tends to break down fibers and fade clothes faster,” says Steve Boorstein, author of The Clothing Doctor’s 99 Secrets to Cleaning and Clothing Care ($5, amazon.com). A specialized detergent for cold-water loads, such as Tide Coldwater ($8 at drugstores), helps neutralize the color-sucking chlorine that can be found in tap water. Then hang or lay the pants flat to dry; don’t throw them in the dryer. And the next time you’re in the market for black trousers, look for a fabric that retains dark dyes, like a washable wool blend or nylon, as opposed to acetate or linen.
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Can you tell me how to wash black jeans without fading them? I just started a restaurant job where we have to wear black jeans but they get greasy and stained sometimes. I also don’t want to shrink them.

Marta Johnson, Fredericksburg

I’m glad you asked how to wash black jeans. Let’s go over easy tips that will help you keep your jeans looking new for as long as possible.

Before you start any black or dark clothes, make sure you are separating the laundry properly.

In the first place, it never hurts to consult the care label on your clothes. The manufacturer will tell you how high a temperature you can use. Moreover, the tag should say whether bleach, ironing, and machine drying are possible.

Now it’s time to get started. Begin by sorting your clothes so that you wash the black jeans with similar colors. Also, check them for stains before you turn them inside out. You’ll want to pre-treat the spots first. Follow the directions for the stain remover so that you don’t inadvertently fade the color by leaving it on for too long before washing.

Then, as I mentioned, turn those jeans inside out to protect them from signs of wear. And be sure to select cold or warm temperature water, never hot. Hot could shrink the fabric and set stains.

While cold is a better choice to avoid fading black jeans, some greasy spots might need a warmer setting. But if you pretreat with an effective spot cleaner, you’re likely to get good results from cold water anyway.

Also, you might have more success using liquid detergent instead of powdered. There are even special liquids that prevent fading and dye transfer. Furthermore, using a water softener can help the detergent work better.

Finally, line-dry those black jeans. Skip the dryer as it can fade the dye. But hang the jeans in the shade so that the sun doesn’t hurt them either.