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How to Wash Blue Jeans- Chances are you're doing it wrong.

Updated: Dec 30, 2022

Blue Jeans, can you think of something more American, maybe apple pie? Jeans seem to be the only piece of apparel we still wear from the 1800's and why not? Jeans look great with a t-shirt and a blazer.

If you are like me you pay about $100 for a pair that fits and feels great and you try not to wash them much. In the fall, winter and spring, cowboy boots and jeans are pretty much my uniform that I dress up or down to garden or go to a business meeting.

My wife and boys seems to live in them too until the South turns into a place hotter than the devil's but-crack when you basically want to be naked all the time. Yes, that is "naked" not "necked" which means you don't have any clothes on and are up to something for you non-Southern folk. (I'm also concerned I used the "b" word in my blog. What would my Southern momma say?)

The beauty of denim is its ability to become softer and more patinaed with each wash but at the same time the fabric often fades too much or starts to shrink. The shrinkage is my story I tell myself after too much dessert. Also, denim does not readily show dirt which is why Levi Strauss chose to use the French fabric from Nimes (hince, de Nime) all those years ago for pants sold to miners in the California Gold Rush.

So what is a frustrated, unlikely house-husband to do? Here is the secret when you are concerned about color fastness or shrinkage. Use only cold water on the gentle cycle and use a gentle detergent like Woolite. Further, I never dry any expensive or important garments in the dryer. The biggest tip is to turn the pants wrong-side out to wash. Below find my step-by-step instructions to wash your favorite jeans and keep them dress worthy for years to come.


1- Treat any bad stains with Clorox 2 or Stain Treating Spray

(Don't let this sit on the clothing longer than about 5 minutes as it can stain the garment.)

2- Turn the Jeans Wrong-Side Out

3- Start to Fill the Washer with COLD Water

4- Set to the Gentle Cycle

5- Add Woolite to the Water

*You can also add Clorox 2 at this stage if you want a sterilization agent. Most of the bacteria on our clothes is killed in the dryer.

6- Once the Cycle is Complete Hang the Jeans Out to Dry

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