Not every pair of clothes can be washed together, but when it comes to jeans, the case truly isn’t clearly defined.
There are times when washing jeans with other clothes is okay, and there are times when pairing jeans with other clothes can be dreadful.
In the rest of the article, we’ll cover everything you need to know about washing jeans with other clothes so you learn when to do so and when to avoid making the mistake!
Here’s when washing jeans with other clothes is a problem
It’s not advised to wash jeans with other clothes for two reasons. The first is bleeding and the second one is snagging.
Let’s take them one after the other.
Jeans are normally prone to bleeding due to how their fibers are impregnated with rich dyes, especially new jeans. Whenever you’re dealing with jeans that bleed colors, make sure to avoid washing them with other clothes especially whites and lights.
One thing about pairing jeans with other clothes in the washer is that they can snag the fibers of the other clothes. Many jeans have buttons dedicated around the waist area or all over the clothes for the sake of fashion, and this can end up loosening the fibers in other delicate clothings or even causing a tear on their surface.
With this point in place, if your jeans fall into the category of those that bleed or trigger snagging, avoid pairing them up with other clothes in the washer.
When can you wash jeans with other clothes?
Aside from the two factors mentioned above, which are bleeding and snagging, there’s no other reason why you shouldn’t be able to wash jeans with other clothes in the washer!
Doing so in fact, will help save time and resources like water and detergent. Before you go out and embrace the practice wholeheartedly, ensure the clothes you’re pairing with the jeans do not actually bleed too. It would be counterintuitive to pair jeans that don’t bleed with clothes that do!
Even though jeans are made to be very dark in their coloration, and therefore very good at hiding stains, it’s still not going to be a good idea to have color transfered on them!
It’s easy to determine whether or not your jeans and colored clothes are colorfast. All you have to do is toss them in the washer together with a color catcher, or dab a moistened cotton swab on an inconspicuous area of the cloth and check for color transfer!
Another thing to consider is the wash settings of your jeans. You want to inspect and make sure that your “other clothes” have laundry instructions that match or nearly match that of your jeans.
Most jeans need only cold water and a gentle to moderate cycle. Not hot water wash, and certainly, not a heavy or long cycle wash.
So if your clothes, say towels, require hot washing and a long and heavy duty cycle, then avoid pairing them up with the jeans, otherwise you’ll end up compromising the washing instructions for one of the two, either the jeans or the clothes, depending on which instructions you’re following!
Now that we know when and how to pair jeans with other clothes in the washing machine, let us find out how we can actually do that.
Washing jeans with clothes in the washer is pretty easy. First put the jeans in a mesh bag to protect the surface from the agitation in the washer (this would help preserve the intensity of the colors also).
Then toss together with other clothes in the washer (preferably, cotton, cotton/polyester blend and polyester) and then clean. These are preferred because they have similar washing instructions to jeans.
If you do not go the route of putting the jeans in a mesh bag, know that the jeans will deteriorate in overall aesthetics faster.
In case you’re not using a mesh bag, just turn the jeans inside out and toss it in together with the rest of the articles in the washer. Run a wash cycle and then a rinse cycle.
Can you dry jeans with other clothes?
When it comes to drying jeans in general, most experts recommend ditching the dryer and going for air drying which is far less damaging to clothes. If you really need to do a quick round of jeans because you have somewhere to go, I won’t advise against the dryer!
As far as pairing jeans with all the clothes in the dryer is concerned, do not do that. Jeans, if not in the washer, will bleed colors under the heat of the dryer which can stain other clothes!
So dry your jeans alone, and when you’re done, fold it up and store properly!
If you go the route of air drying, you’ll most likely end up with a stiffened jeans. The way you can make it less stiff or even softer, is by tossing it into the dryer (on a cool setting) to tumble for at least 10 minutes.
Can you wash jeans with towels?
Towles? It depends on the color. If you have a white towel, wash it alone. If your towels are colored however, pair them up with jeans so long the jeans aren’t new or the ones that bleed.
Both materials are made sturdy, and they balance out in the washer. This way, it’s difficult for any tear to occur, although snagging can be a major issue considering the fact that towels have fibers that are already snagged to begin with.
How to wash new jeans without losing color?
There are two things to consider when washing jeans to preserve their colors.
The first is the detergent you’re using and second is the method you’re using to wash them.
The detergents you’re using to wash your jeans don’t have to be complicated. Go for those that seek to preserve the intensity of dyes, for example, Woolite Dark. Another option is any basic and simple laundry detergent.
These normally don’t add anything extra to your clothes, and they certainly won’t affect it negatively also. These are mostly simple detergents!
When it comes to the best technique for washing your jeans, it’s hand washing no doubt. Avoid putting them inside the washing machine whenever you can because the colors fade away faster.
Handwashing is gentler than machine washing as the agitation is far less pronounced.
Because of this, your clothes will maintain their colors to a much better degree than in the washer. When you’re washing clothes, especially new jeans, wash it inside out so the surface having the most contact with the skin is having more of the detergent. This way, the colors are preserved even longer too.
After washing, dry right side out and soften up stiffened jeans in the dryer under cool settings.
How to maintain your jeans
If you want to maintain the integrity of your jeans for a very long time, then follow the procedures below.
Wash less, air dry more
Unless your jeans are smelly or visibly dirty, make it a habit to always air dry them and and avoid submerging them in water.
Submersion removes some of the dyes and destroys the integrity of the fibers over time.
One good practice to make a habit of, is to always air dry your jeans whenever you pull them off, that way you’ll diffuse the smell properly so the wearable nature of the clothes is extended a bit.
Wash by hand
When your jeans finally get dirty and the need to use water and soap arises, make sure you’re washing them by hand. No doubt, machine washing is easier and more convenient, especially when it comes to jeans, but handwashing is gentler and would preserve the dyes and fiber integrity much better.
Washing jeans by hand doesn’t require any extra work, just turn the clothes inside out (as a double layer protection), then soak in a solution of water and detergent and agitate for a few minutes. Allow the jeans to soak for 20 to 30 minutes depending on how dirty they are, and then agitate a little more. Rinse properly and dry the jeans right side out.
Air dry after washing
When it comes to drying, you want to make sure you’re putting jeans outside to dry and not inside the dryer. The dryer machine has excessive heat which can cause the dyes on the clothes to runoff.
The heat can also destroy fibers and make the overall appearance of the clothes less attractive.
The best way to dry jeans to keep them looking good for longer is to air dry, and do so with the right side out on a clothesline.
You may notice hard and crips jeans whenever you do that, especially when you’re not using a fabric softener, it is fine as you can easily undo this effect.
Simply toss the jeans in the dryer on a very cool setting and let them run for about 10 minutes. That should solve the problem.
It’s also common to have stains on your jeans from day to day hustle. Make sure to treat the stains as the form to prevent them from setting in which can make it difficult to remove later on.
When tackling stains, adopt the right techniques, products and processes for the specific type of stain you have otherwise your venture might be futile, if not destructive!
If the stain is a water-based stain, and it just happened recently, you can turn the jeans inside out, then blot the affected spot using a moistened cotton swab or a moistened rag and then use another clean rag on the outside of the cloth directly on the affected spot to catch the stains that are coming out from the inside.
Do this until you have a small percentage of stain remaining or none remaining. Then launder using the washing machine or by hand. You should have a pretty decent jeans in the end.
What about raw denim? How do you wash them to preserve color?
Raw denim differs from regular jeans in the sense that raw denim is dyed using the rope-dyeing method whereas the regular jeans are made using the vet dyeing process.
The secret to the impressive look of a worn out raw denim is actually in that rope-dyeing process which avoids shocking jean yarns in an indigo solution for long enough to allow the dye to reach all the way to the center, unlike in vat-dyeing.
This method of shocking then calls for continuous submersion which later creates a thick layer of indigo shell with a white core — because the dye hasn’t fully reached the center of the yarns.
And the creases that reveal the white center of the jeans as we wear then is what makes us fall for raw denim!
Now, with this complex method of production, how do we wash raw denim clothes in order to preserve their colors?
The general consensus in the jeans industry is to avoid washing raw jeans until after the first 30 wears. Just keep rotating between them if you have many jeans, or between clothes, and air dry them whenever you pull them off.
Wearing the jeans for as long as 30 days without washing, would produce the pattern of folds which would reveal the inner white core of the yarns and make this contrasting look that is appealing to the eyes.
After the first 30 wears, you can start washing your raw denim by hand (and avoid pairing with other clothes). Go as gently as possible to prevent color bleeding.
It is possible to pair jeans with clothes in the washer, but you have to make sure the jeans and the clothes themselves do not bleed, and also that the clothes have the same washing instructions as the jeans.
Additionally, if you’re dealing with raw denim jeans, you want to avoid pairing them with other clothes because they typically have more layers of dye compared to regular jeans and so will bleed much heavier and for a longer duration of time before they stop completely!