How Often Should You Wash Jeans? (What do Experts say)

Jeans are popular and they are known for their durability.

But getting them cleaned safely can be a challenge at times, especially due to so much confusing and contradicting information around washing.

With so much information overload, it’s difficult to know the ideal frequency to wash jeans and the right method to wash them safely.

In this post, you will learn how to wash your jeans the right way along with the ideal frequency to wash them.

Here is the list of sub-topics covered in this article.

Are You Supposed to Wash Your Jeans in the first place?

There is a lot of conflicting and confusing information around this.

Some say you should never wash your jeans, while others say you should clean them every few months.

So, what is the correct answer?

The truth is, it depends on how often you wear your jeans.

If you are wearing them every day, then you will need to wash them more often than if you only wear them once in a while.

However, even if you only wear them once in a while, you should still wash them every few months to keep them clean and fresh.

Jeans are pretty sturdy therefore you can either wash them in the washing machine or hand wash them with a mild detergent followed by hanging them to air dry.

How Often Should You Wash Jeans?

You don’t need to wash your jeans as often as you might think.

Washing them too often can damage the denim.

If you’re wearing raw denim (denim that hasn’t been pre-washed), you shouldn’t wash it for the first six months to a year to allow the dye to set.

After that, you can wash your jeans as needed, cleaning them once a month OR every couple of months would be ideal.

If you do need to wash your jeans, be sure to use a gentle cycle and cold water, and air dry them if possible.

And if the jeans are stained, spot clean them rather than washing the entire garment.

Most laundry experts say that you should wash your jeans when they start to smell or look dirty, so overdoing the washing activity does not make sense.

Should Denim’s Be Hand-Washed or Machine-Washed?

There is no definitive answer to this question, as it depends on the type of denim and the desired results.

If you want to preserve the color of your denim, hand-washing in cold water is the best option.

However, if you still want to wash them in the washing machine, you can set the washer to cold water settings.

Jeans are strong enough to be machine-washed so there should not be any issue unless the care label suggests other methods.

Ultimately, it is up to you to decide whether you want to hand wash OR machine wash your jeans.

What Temperature to Wash Jeans?

The Ideal temperature for Washing Jeans is anywhere between 40 and 90 degrees Fahrenheit.

40 degrees Fahrenheit is considered to be a cold water wash whereas 90 degrees Fahrenheit is considered to be warm.

It’s recommended to stick to cold water wash to limit the wear and tear on the fabric.

With that said, there is no hard and fast rule on washing jeans at 40 degrees Fahrenheit.

As long as you are washing your jeans below 80 degrees Fahrenheit, it is considered a cold water wash.

You can still go through with hot water wash though, but it’s not recommended.

Occasional Hot water wash should not do any harm.

How Much Will Jeans Shrink in Hot Water?

You can generally expect the jeans to shrink up to 10% and beyond after the first wash. However, 4% to 5% is what it usually shrinks to.

However, old denim that has gone through the washing process should not shrink much.

The amount that jeans will shrink in hot water varies depending on the type of denim, how old it is, and the wash type selected by you.

This is why it’s recommended to wash them in cold water, as it will minimize the amount of shrinkage.

If you do need to wash them in hot water, it’s always good to go through the care label once.

Ideal Washing Machine Settings to Wash Jeans

It’s always recommended to wash your jeans in a delicate/gentle wash cycle by using mild detergent.

Here are the ideal washing machine settings that your should select to get the best results.

  • Wash Type: Delicate
  • Soil Level: Normal (Increase it if the jeans are heavily soiled).
  • Water Temperature: Cold
  • Detergent Type: Mild
  • Pre-Wash: Not Required (Instead pre-treat the stains)
  • Tumble Dry: Avoid using this option
  • Spin Dry: Yes (To get rid of excess water)

The above settings will ensure that your jeans are treated with care.

If you don’t have a delicates option and if you can control the spin speed in your washer, select the spin speed as low.

Note: If the care label on your jeans suggests other methods, follow those instructions to get the best results.

How to Spot Clean Jeans?

Spot cleaning your jeans is fairly easy.

You simply need a soft cloth, mild detergent, and a bowl of water.

Once you have the above ingredients ready, follow the easy instructions below.

  • Start by mixing mild detergent in a bowl of water to make the cleaning solution.
  • Next, pour the cleaning solution into the strained areas of the jeans and start scrubbing gently using a soft cloth.
  • Continue scrubbing until the stains are completely removed (You may use a soft toothbrush if the stains are adamant).
  • Once the stains are removed, take a dry soft cloth and blot the area to remove any excess water.

Note: You can even use a gentle and suitable stain remover if the stains are stubborn.

How to Wash Jeans Without Fading?

To wash your jeans without fading them, you should wash them in cold water and hang them to dry.

As a best practice, you should wash your denim on a delicate cycle and then hang them to dry. The other way is to hand wash the jeans.

So, there are 2 ways to wash your jeans safely and effectively.

Let’s take an in-depth look at both processes.

How to Machine Wash Jeans? (Step-by-Step)

Machine washing your jeans saves a lot if time.

And it is easy as well.

In order to machine wash your jean you will need:

  • Mild Detergent
  • Cold Water
  • Washing Machine
  • Jeans

So, to wash jeans you don’t need any special ingredients or preparations.

Jeans are sturdy, therefore they are able to handle machine wash.

Let’s look into the process of machine-wash jeans.

Instructions to Wash Jeans using Washing Machine.

Step 1: Read the Care Label

In order to wash your jeans or any fabric for that matter, it’s important to read the care label first.

A Care Label will have essential information required to maintain your jeans.

So, first, read the care label to see if your jeans qualify for machine wash or not.

Once you have a green signal from the care label proceed to step 2.

Step 2: Pre-treat the stains

The next step is to pre-treat the stains before you put your jeans into the washer.

If they are not pre-treated before washing, jeans with stubborn or large stains may not come out clean.

Step 3: Put your jeans in the washer

Now put the jeans in the washer.

If there are multiple jeans, make sure to spread them evenly in the washer to balance the load as jeans are heavy and become heavier post getting wet.

Step 4: Add Mild Suitable Detergent

Next, add mild suitable detergent to the washer’s detergent compartment.

And be sure not to over-pour the detergent.

Mild detergent should be used in sufficient quantity OR as prescribed in the detergent label.

Step 5: Set the washer

Once you are done with the above steps, it’s time to select the right settings in your washer.

It’s recommended to select the wash type as delicate along with cold water settings.

Refer to the Ideal Washing machine settings here.

Step 6: Let the Wash Cycle Complete

Hit the start wash button and wait for the wash cycle to be completed.

Step 7: Dry your Jeans

Once the wash cycle is complete, take the jeans out of the washer and hang them for air-drying.

How to Hand-Wash Jeans?

If machine washing is convenient and saves time, hand washing gives you more control over the washing process.

It allows you to be either gentle or rough depending on how heavily the clothes are soiled.

Hand-Wash is considered to be a safer option and limits the wear and tear that the jeans go through during the washing process.

Let’s look into the process of handwashing the jeans.

Instructions to Hand-Wash Jeans.

Step 1: Pour water into a sink OR a tub.

Step 2: Add mild detergent and mix well.

Step 3: Soak the Jeans and leave it for a few minutes.

Step 4: Hand wash the jeans and scrub the stains using a toothbrush or a soft brush.

Step 5: Rinse the jeans in clean water

Step 6: Make sure the detergent residues are washed out before drying.

Step 7: Hang the jeans on a clothesline to air dry them naturally.

Also Read: How to Wash and Dry a Weighted Blanket Safely?

How to Wash Jeans With Vinegar?

Washing jeans with vinegar is similar to washing with a liquid detergent.

It makes a lot of sense to wash your jeans with vinegar if your jeans need disinfection and if it’s smelling bad.

Vinegar is a natural disinfectant and kills bad odor without damaging the fabric.

In order to use Vinegar to wash your jeans follow the below instructions.

Step 1: Pre-treat the jeans by spot cleaning stains.

Step 2: Put your jeans in the washer.

Step 3: Add diluted vinegar (½ Cup vinegar mixed with half cup water) to the fabric softener compartment

Step 4: Add mild detergent to the detergent dispenser tray.

Step 5: Set the wash cycle to delicate and cold water wash (Click here for Ideal washing machine settings).

Step 6: Hit the start button and let the wash cycle complete.

Step 7: The vinegar solution will be automatically used by your washer during the rinse cycle.

Step 8: Air-dry your jeans naturally.


  1. If you don’t want to use any detergent, simply pour the vinegar solution into the detergent compartment instead of pouring it into the fabric softener tray.
  2. You can even pre-soak your jeans in the vinegar solution before putting them for the main wash.

Should You Dry Your Jeans?

Drying your jeans in a dryer may not be a good idea.

Air drying is always the best option for preserving your jeans, but if you still want to dry them in a dryer, be sure to use a gentle tumble along with low heat OR even better No Heat settings.

The heat from the dryer can cause shrinkage and damage the fabric.

If you are looking to keep your jeans looking their best, air drying is always the best option.

How to Dry Jeans?

Drying your jeans is super easy, follow the below steps to dry them safely.

Step 1: Run a dry spin cycle before taking your jeans out of the washer.

Step 2: Take the Jeans out of the washer and do not wring or twist them it can damage the fabric.

Step 3: Shake off the excess water from your jeans.

Step 4: Find a well-ventilated area and hang your jeans by the waistband OR by using a clothes hanger.

Note: While drying your jeans, it’s recommended to avoid direct sunlight and avoid using dryers.

Also Read: How to wash Ruggable Rugs? (Comprehensive Guide)

How To Take Care of Jeans?

You don’t have to wash your jeans after every wear washing them too often can break down the fabric and cause them to fade.

Instead of washing your jeans, you can kill bacteria and freshen them up by putting them in the freezer for a few hours.

The cold temperature is enough to kill bacteria, but won’t damage the fabric.

You can also steam your jeans to remove any wrinkles or odors.

If you do need to wash your jeans, be sure to use cold water and hang them to dry. This will help lock in the dye and prevent fading.

Let’s take a quick look at tips to take care of Jeans.

Also Read: How to Wash a Down Jacket?

11 hacks for taking care of Jeans

Even though jeans are very tough and can withstand rough use you can prolong their lifespan by following some simple best practices.

Here are some quick hacks to take care of your jeans and prolong their lifespan.

Always use cold water when washing your jeans

When you wash your jeans, always use cold water. Cold water will help to preserve the color and shape of your jeans. Using hot water can cause your jeans to shrink and the color to fade.

Use the Right detergent

If you want your clothes to come out of the wash looking their best, be sure to use the right detergent. Different fabrics require different types of detergent to clean them properly and prevent damage. Using the wrong detergent can cause your clothes to fade, shrink, or otherwise become damaged. Be sure to read the labels on your clothes and the detergent before washing to ensure that you are using the best possible product for the job.

Choose the correct cycle

Make sure that you choose the right cycle and the right settings if you want to machine wash your jeans.

The best way to wash jeans in the washing machine is to use the delicate cycle with cold water.

This will help protect the fabric and keep the jeans looking new for longer.

Avoid dryer

Don’t put your jeans in the dryer.

Wash your jeans in the washing machine and then put them on a clothesline or hanger to dry.

If you put your jeans in the dryer, they will shrink.

Use Liquid Detergent

If you have the choice, always use liquid detergent over powder.

The powder can be more abrasive on clothing and is more likely to cause fading.

Liquid detergent is gentler on clothing and will help to preserve the color of your clothes.

Turn your Jeans Inside Out

When washing your jeans, turn them inside out before putting them in the machine. This will preserve the color and prevent fading.

Wash your Jeans Separately

Wash your denim separately from your white shirts and other light-colored clothing.

This helps to prevent any bleeding or transfer of color from the jeans to other clothing items.

Wash Less Frequently

It’s not necessary to wash your jeans every time you wear them.

Washing them too often can cause the color to fade and the fabric to break down.

If you can, only wash your jeans when they are visibly soiled or smelly.

Hang your Jeans to dry

After washing your jeans, hang them up to dry instead of putting them in the dryer.

The heat from the dryer can cause the jeans to shrink and damage the fabric.

Hang your jeans in a cool, dark place to dry.

Use vinegar

If you notice that your jeans are starting to fade, you can use vinegar to help preserve the color.

Add a cup of vinegar to the rinse cycle when washing your jeans.

The vinegar will help to set the color and prevent fading.

Spot clean stains

If your jeans get stained, spot clean the stains as soon as possible.

It becomes tougher to remove a stain if the sits on the fabric for a long time.

Final Thoughts

The ideal frequency to wash jeans depends on factors such as:

  • How frequently do you wear it?
  • The type of fabric
  • How heavily soiled they are?
  • The Odor

With that said, as a general rule of thumb, it’s safe to keep the washing frequency to once every 10 times you wear the jeans.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some common questions related to washing jeans that are frequently asked.

How many times should you wash jeans before hemming?

You should wash your jeans at least once before hemming them.

This will help to remove any shrinkage that may occur during Wash and helps to preshrink the fabric.

Hemming your jeans after washing them will help to prevent the fabric from stretching out and becoming damaged.

Also Read: How to Pre-Wash Without Fraying?

Are there any health risks if jeans are not washed?

In most cases, there shouldn’t be any health risks if you don’t Wash your jeans.

However, if you are someone who sweats a lot or has skin sensitivities, it is important to Wash your jeans if they start to smell or become soiled.

This will help to prevent any bacteria from building up and causing irritation in form of itching or rashes. Not washing stinking jeans can promote fungal infection.

So, when to wash jeans is entirely a judgemental call depending on how heavily soiled the jeans are.

How long does an average pair of jeans last?

The average pair of jeans should last about 5 years. However, if you Wash them too often, they will start to break down sooner. If you take good care of them and Wash them less often, they will last longer. To extend the life of your jeans, hang them to dry instead of putting them in the dryer.

Hemant Sarkar is a seasoned techie with a diploma in computer science and an impressive track record of over 15 years in dealing with speakers, kitchen appliances, and various home appliance-related issues. He is widely recognized for his exceptional expertise in repairing dryers and washing machines from all major brands. In addition to his appliance repair prowess, Hemant maintains engaging blogs on topics related to music and speakers. For any inquiries or assistance regarding appliances or tech-related matters, you can reach out to him at: hemant (at)