The Best Ways to Wash Raw Denim

There is a lot of arguments surrounding the way to wash raw denim.  If you ever have some moments to kill, you can gather up those denimheads and have them share their ideas of washing a pair of raw jeans.  Be sure you do not start a fire or leave them before they settle down, because the argument can boil up fast.  The simplest argument would be, that you should never wash your raw jeans.  Or should you?

First, let’s start on the idea of why you want a pair of raw jeans.  Most enthusiasts want to achieve high-contrast fades.  It is the effect of the dye wearing off the fabric after wear over a period of time.  The argument is if you wash the raw jeans immediately after purchase, the dye may be washed away too soon before the creases to form from your body parts.  So those whiskers and honeycombs may just not happen.

Next is that if you do not wash the raw jeans after lots of wear, the fabric may weaken.  Imagine the sweat, oil, and dirt buildup that may damage the cotton weave to the core.  Even the jeans makers recommend washing only sparingly.  But rancid smell, mud slide kind of dirt and anything alike should be enough reason for you to wash them off.

Now the secret is the most prized high-contrast fade can be achieved if you wear the raw jeans for a minimum of six months before it hits the first wash to allow time for creases to form and dye to fade.  As you wash it the dye would remain the way it should, and rub off from the spots the creases stay.

In between all that is the art of achieving high-contrast fade.  The way you take care of your raw jeans day-by-day affect the outcome, of course.

The freezing cold upkeep.

  • Raw denim enthusiasts may seem crazy most times, and when it comes to stowing away their legwear, they go so far as to keep them in the freezer.
  • The reason behind is to stop odor generating bacteria to spread, since a new pair of raw denim has to be broken-in with no wash for 6 months or more as recommended. The science is not proven, but try it if you will.

Spot Cleaning

  • It is unavoidable that during the break-in months, some stain may land on your raw jeans. If you have to wash, try a web cloth and dabbing on that stain without scrubbing repeatedly or intensely. Remember to minimize the amount of dye that the wet cloth picks up.  Let dry, and you can repeat as needed.


  • Washing your jeans in a big tub is the safest bet. Always use plenty of warm water around 30 - 40 degrees Celsius, and a small amount of Woolite Black detergent added. Any detergent should work, but that is our recommendation.  Soak well for half an hour, then start your foo.  First rough out the coarse unrefined dirt, if any.  Then gently wash by hand, rinse then hang to dry by the belt loops.

Washing Machine

  • Washing your jeans in machine cycle is so frowned upon and downright offensive for hardcore denimheads. You may witness significant shrinkage beyond recognition.  Thanks to modern technology, there is special kind of machine detergent to solve this problem.  Using just the Woolite Black with front load wash machine.  Nothing else is needed.  Hands off your jeans, and allow cold water in, and delicate cycle do the rest.


  • Some denimheads may even go so far as to rub the jeans with sand by the sea, after coming out of it well soaked. Yes, the sea!  The cold salt water, coarse sand, and hot sun create whiskers or unevenness of fading patterns so extremely profound.  Consider it a method of washing, which you do not do often anyways, to your jeans.