How to Wash a Denim Jacket Properly

A good denim jacket is a must have for every fashion forward individual. Unlike other materials, denim stands the test of time when cared for properly and is multifunctional.

Denim jackets can be dressed down for a casual day on the town or they can be dressed up for a fun night out. Regardless of how you wear your denim, once you get home, you’ll be faced with the question of how to effectively clean it. 

If that’s the question that brought you here, then you’re in the right place. We have all the tips and tricks that you’ll need to know before washing your denim jacket. Check them out below. 

The Best Way to Wash a Denim Jacket

You spent a lot of money on your denim jacket, so it would make sense to care for it properly so that it lasts a long time.

There are a couple of ways to properly wash denim jackets and we will take a more detailed look at how it should be washed below.

What Soap To Use?

While it might feel tougher than other materials, denim is surprisingly fragile. Harsh detergents or chemicals will destroy the fibers and leave the material looking worn or faded.

Always try to use mild or natural detergent that will protect the fibers within your denim jacket. As a rule of thumb, avoid detergents or soaps that have too many ingredients or too many unfamiliar ingredients.

Hand washing 

Before proceeding to washing, consider spot cleaning for small stains and spots. Simply wet the dirty spot, add a bit of detergent and rub gently with a wash cloth or rag. If the stain is a bit stubborn, try using a toothbrush instead. Wipe clean with a wet cloth and you’re good as new. 

If the stains are stubborn or your denim jacket is indeed dirty, then hand washing is your next option. Prior to washing by hand, it’s always good to soak with cold water and detergent for at least an hour. Gently rub the dirty portions of the jacket with your palms until the jacket appears clean. Rinse thoroughly with clean water before attempting to dry. 

How to Wash a Denim Jacket in the Washing Machine

Machine Wash Tips

Cold Water Only: If hand washing is not an option for you, then you can wash your denim jacket in a washer with some strict guidelines, the first of which is cold water only. Cold water will prevent the dye in the denim from leaching into the water. 

Denim Only: To preserve the fabric, it’s best to wash your denim jacket alone. If this is not an option, then try to wash it with other similar colors of similar denim fabric. Avoid overloading the machine as proper circulation is necessary for your jacket to be thoroughly cleaned.

Inside Out: Another great tip from the experts is to flip your denim jacket inside out prior to placing it in the washer. This is to prevent the outside from fading too much due to exposure to detergent. This will also expose areas such as the armpits that otherwise would not be exposed as much. For added reinforcement, you can try buttoning the jacket inside out.

Machine Wash Setting: All machine settings are not created equal and choosing the correct setting is an important part of washing. For denim, shorter is definitely better. A long cycle will have your jacket looking beat up and not aesthetically pleasing. 

Drying Denim

When it comes to drying, denim has its own rules. While air drying on a line is good for lots of fabric, this isn’t the case for denim. Pins or hangers will leave indentations in your jacket that you don’t want. 

The dryer is also a no go for denim jackets, as they will constrict the denim and damage the natural shape. 

Lay your jacket flat on a towel and allow it to air dry in a shaded area. If your jacket dries too stiff then a 5 minute tumble on low heat should soften it up.

Bonus Tip: Denim jackets can lose their natural shapes after being washed. To fix this issue, a quick iron is all you need. Always iron inside out as the heat from the iron can also cause fading of the fabric.

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