How to Prewash Original Levi's Jeans

Prewash jeans to set the dye and make them soft.

Photo: Liquidlibrary/liquidlibrary/Getty Images

Levi Strauss & Co. has been making high-quality leg-hugging jeans since the 1850s. Unless you want to try out for the Blue Man Group, however, new jeans come with one small problem. The indigo dye can rub off and make your legs and hips blue. Prewashing original Levi jeans is a way to keep the indigo color in the fabric and off your skin. If the jeans fit perfectly, avoid applying any heat to your wet Levi's. If the jeans are too loose, warm water washing and heat-drying will snug them up a size or two.


Fill the wash-basin half full with cold water or set the washing machine on a small load and pour in the vinegar or detergent.


Push your Levi jeans under the cold water's surface and thoroughly saturate the jeans by letting the water soak in for about five minutes.


Agitate the jeans by gently pushing on them with your hands for 10 to 15 minutes or allowing the washing machine to run through its regular cycle.


If you are hand-washing the jeans, rinse them with cold water, then fill the wash-basin half full with cold water and add liquid fabric softener. Work the softener through the denim fibers by moving the jeans around in the water with your hands. If you are using a washing machine, just add the liquid fabric softener to the rinse cycle.


Hang up the jeans and let them air dry, unless you want them to shrink, then it's okay to put them in the dryer.

Things You'll Need


1.Cold water

3.1/2 cup white vinegar or 1 cap liquid laundry detergent

5.Dryer (optional)

2.Wash basin or washing machine

4.Liquid fabric softener


Tips & Tricks


When hanging Levi's up to dry, smooth out wrinkles in the fabric so you won't need to iron the jeans later.

If you use a clothes dryer, you can use a dryer fabric softener sheet instead of adding liquid fabric softener to the rinse water.


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