Denim 101: How to Keep Black Jeans From Fading In the Wash

And why you should mist your jeans with ... vodka.



Sometimes, fading is good. Take old band tees, for instance. The more worn and faded they are, the better. But not all things look best with a lived-in look. Exhibit A: Your black jeans. These look best when they’re fresh off the hanger, inky black and just soft enough.

But wear and tear inevitably leads to the graying of even the most jet-black jeans. Lucky for you, the jean experts over at Madewell offered five easy tips for maintaining your dark denim. (And clean freaks, don’t worry. They didn’t recommend never washing them.)

1. Pre-soak them to set the dye color.
Turn your jeans inside-out and soak them in cold water with one cup white vinegar and one tablespoon salt.

2. Mist them with vodka and water.
Madewell’s experts recommend filling a spray bottle with half cold water and half vodka and spritzing your denim. Let ’em dry and put them in the freezer to kill smells and bacteria.

3. Use Pine-Sol to get rid of grease stains.
Yep, really. Go here for other household cleaners that double as denim-savers.

4. Wash on gentle cycle — and turn them inside-out!
Click here for their detergent suggestions.

5. Skip the dryer.
Let jeans air dry to preserve the fibers. Hang them to dry by a back belt loop to decrease wrinkles.

Read more over on the Madewell blog! Hey, the more you know.