How To Prevent Jeans From Bleeding

Indigo dye is used to achieve that beautiful dark blue denim color. Unfortunately sometimes it can bleed when they're brand new.  Although indigo dye can usually be washed off, the bleeding can be a nuisance. Luckily, there are a few ways you can help prevent your jeans from losing their dye. Try out the below methods to help keep your jeans from bleeding.

1. The first thing you will want to do when you bring your new pair of dark denim jeans home from the store is to wash them. Do not wear them or hang them in your closet; you'll want to start the treating process right away. You'll notice that many jeans will even have a disclaimer tag on them that indicate that the indigo dye process used to manufacture the jeans will bleed. This tag will also advise you to wash them immediately.

2. Wash your dark denim jeans inside out using cold water. Do not use hot water as this can make your jeans shrink; cold water is also much more gentle on dyes. Make sure to wash the jeans by themselves, without any other clothes with them. This will ensure any dye released in the wash cycle won't stain your other clothing.

3. Add a cup of white vinegar to your cold water rinse. The vinegar will help seal the dye within the fabric so that they won’t continue to bleed. At the very minimum, the added vinegar should at least lesson the amount in which the indigo dye bleeds and stains other fabrics. You can also try soaking your jeans in a mix of cold water and vinegar if you are hand washing your jeans. Hand washing is highly advisable if you are concerned about your jeans retaining their shape.

4. You may want to put your jeans through several cold wash cycles before you wear them for the first time. Remember to turn your jeans inside out each time and to wash them alone so that the dye does not transfer to your other clothing. To help retain the shape of your denim, do not put them in the dryer. Instead, hang your jeans out to air dry.

5. If your jeans are still bleeding a lot after trying these steps, you can try soaking your jeans in cold water and vinegar overnight. Fill up your bathtub with some cold water and add a cup of household white vinegar. In the morning, you can run your jeans through a plain cold water wash. When finished, hang to dry.

If you follow the above steps, you should be able to stop your dark denim jeans from bleeding, or at least lessen the amount of dye that spreads when you wear the jeans.

Tips: 

  • Remember to only use white, household vinegar.
  • Do not put your jeans in the dryer. Always let jeans air dry so that they can retain their size and shape.
  • Always wash your jeans inside out in cold water.
  • Wear dark-colored clothing with your dark denim jeans that bleed to prevent dye transfer onto your light-colored clothing.
  • Wash your dark denim jeans alone so that they don't stain or bleed on other clothing.

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