How to Wash a Denim Jacket: What to Do About Tough Stains
You might think that your denim jacket can take a beating, but it’s time to reconsider that idea. The thing is, if you love your jacket the way it is, you need to preserve it. Learning how to wash a denim jacket the right way is going to be one of the best ways to maintain the look you love.
The rugged look is a favorite when it comes to denim, but there's a fine line. So you can make a fashionably distressed jacket look ragged in no time at all. All you have to do is overwash it, use the wrong detergent, or throw it in the dryer.
The good news is that if you learn how to wash a denim jacket the right way, it’s going to look great for years to come.
Why You Shouldn't Wash Your Jacket All the Time
When you think of blue jean jackets, you probably think of various washes of denim. Some people want their denim to look faded, worn around the edges, and might even purposefully create that look themselves.
However, there are a lot of denim jacket styles that people enjoy because they look perfect and brand new. Not only that, but there are trucker jackets, Carhartt jackets, or denim jackets in various colors. In those cases, you want to preserve the color and avoid wrinkles or creases.
That’s why you shouldn’t wash your denim jacket all the time, and you should be careful when you have to clean it. Proper care involves using color-preserving detergent, spot cleaning, and drying it the right way.
Now is the time to stop throwing your jacket in with the rest of your laundry. Never fear, we’re here to let you know how to wash a denim jacket and keep that look that you love so much.
How to wash a denim jacket by hand
Start by asking if you really need to wash it this time around. Then remember that washing your denim jacket by hand is the best method of all. However, you should still avoid doing it too often.
But handwashing is a great way to clean your jacket and freshen up the smell.
I don’t know about you, but I love wearing jean jackets for bonfires. They’re the perfect light layer to wear from spring through fall. The only downside is the fact that your jacket will reek with that bonfire smell.
Luckily, we have the perfect solution.
All you need to do is fill a container with lukewarm water and add a dollop of color-preserving laundry detergent. You could do this in your tub, sink, or even a bucket. Anything you have will work as long as you can fully submerge the coat.
Let it sit in the water for about 45 minutes and then take it out and thoroughly rinse it with lukewarm or cold water. Then, you can gently squeeze out the majority of the water and lay it flat to dry. Don't worry — We'll be going into more detail about the best ways to dry your jacket as well.
In the meantime, here's a how-to video by the Redcast Heritage Company that follows all the same steps for washing jeans. So keep in mind that you can use these methods for any denim garment.
How to wash a denim jacket in the washing machine
If you aren’t interested in hand washing your jean jacket, you can toss it in the washing machine. Still, there are a few rules you should follow.
For one thing, denim is pretty tough, and it'll be hard on your other clothes if you wash your jacket with the rest of your laundry. With that in mind, you should avoid washing it with delicate articles of clothing.
If you don’t like running a wash cycle for a single coat, consider gathering all your dirty jeans for a load. Use a small amount of color-preserving laundry detergent to prevent soapy buildup. Some people even mention using about half of the recommended amount for the size of the washload.
Set the cycle for a cold or a warm water wash and avoid using the hot water setting.
Drying Your Denim Jacket Properly
Learning how to wash a denim jacket the right way is only half the battle. Next, you need to learn how to dry it properly.
There are two options when it comes to drying to a denim jacket. You can lay it out to dry or use the dryer.
Here's the thing — When you’re using the dryer, you might be tempted to throw it in and crank up the heat. Well, that’s not the best plan. Instead, you should use a low-temperature setting.
That'll help you avoid shrinkage and faded colors, as well as general wear and tear. It will also help prevent stubborn wrinkles and creasing.
If you want to avoid using heat and don’t need to wear the jacket right away, consider hanging it up or laying it out. After you wash the jacket, lay it on a towel and roll it up like a tight burrito. Then squeeze as much water out as possible.
Also, you'll want to keep from wringing the jacket and stretching the fabric.
After you’ve removed as much water as possible by hand, you can lay it out on a hard, flat surface. Make sure to line up all the seams and flatten it out completely.
Spot Cleaning Your Denim Jacket
Last, but certainly not least, you can choose to spot clean your denim jacket. That’s a fantastic option to avoid throwing it in the washer for a small stain or dirty spot. Not only that, but this is a great way to clean dirty cuffs.
All you have to do is soak the affected area in undiluted white vinegar.
If there’s an oil stain, such as salad dressing, you can put baking soda on the spot and add a little vinegar. It'll bubble up and absorb the oil. And don’t worry about the vinegar smell, it'll disappear as soon as the spot is completely dry.
Keep Your Favorite Denim Jacket Beautiful
You can keep your denim jacket looking brand new for years to come. It’s only a matter of learning how to clean a denim jacket properly.
Most of your clothes need regular washing so they don’t smell. However, a denim jacket is a top layer. Typically people wash their denim jacket far more than they need to and don’t do it the right way.
In most cases, it isn’t going to make much contact with your skin. Close contact with your skin is what usually makes your clothes dirty in the first place. So if that’s not happening, you can go much longer than you think.
Do you have a great technique for washing a denim jacket? We'd love to hear your ideas in the comment section below.