You’ve bought your new pair of raw denim. You’ve worn them a few times, broken them in and come to adore them. But the next stage will eventually be washing them.


Should you put them in your trusty washing machine or hand wash them? At what temperature? How should you dry them? And how long to wait between washes?


By following this guide, washing your raw denim will become an easy task and you will ensure the best fades and longevity to your favourite jeans.





You’ve probably heard from some hardcore fade fanatics that you should never wash your raw denim. Never. 


Well, at Bleu Brut we have a more reasonable approach, especially if you live amongst other people : wash your jeans when they need to be washed.


But “When is that?” you might ask. Well, that would for the most part depends on your lifestyle. Your jeans might be able to endure months at the office without getting really dirty, but only a few days in the woods or at the factory.


Put simply, if your jeans feel grubby, dusty, muddy, or if you don’t enjoy wearing them anymore because they are sweaty or smelly : it’s probably time to wash your jeans.





How frequently you wash your jeans will also have an effect on their appearance, more precisely on the way they will fade and on the fabric feel and resistance.


Starting with fades : 


The more you wait between washes, the more the creases and lines on your jeans will have time to establish themselves (think of those whiskers on your upper thighs and the honeycomb patterns behind your knees). Those lines is where the indigo will fade the fastest due to friction. So if you’re looking for that crisp, highly contrasted faded look, wait as long as possible before you wash your raw denim. If you’re going for more even and uniform fades, just wash them more often.


Now for the feel and resistance part : 


If raw unwashed denim have that rigid feel to them, the washing process will soften and relax the fabric. From then on, the creases, while still taking place, won’t be as sharp and defined. On the other hand, waiting too long before you wash your denim can put too much stress on those same lines, and on a rigid fabric, could lead to easier tear. So if you’re not a fan of destroyed denims, think of washing your jeans more regularly.





Never use a tumble dryer. Ever. Or you will end up with jeans that are too small and will never fit again. Always hang dry your denim and let the air work its magic.







Now that we understand when to wash our jeans and how it will affect their look and feel, let’s get to work.


Regarding the washing process there are two schools : washing them by hand (the ultra-safe way) or using a washing machine (the easy way).





  1. Wash them alone. Your denim will bleed blue indigo and unless you’re a unconditional light blue lover, keep it separate from any light garments. So washing them on their own is the best way.
  2. Turn them inside out. You can also give them a good shake if they are really dusty.
  3. Fill up a bathtub or sink with cold water.
  4. Add some mild detergent. A little goes a long way. Too much will lead to a buildup of detergent that will get dirty and smelly faster.
  5. Submerge your raw denim. Immerse them in the water until completely wet.
  6. Agitate a little bit. Just with your hands. No need to go crazy, we just want to loosen all the dirt and grime off of our jeans.
  7. Leave to soak. From 15 to 45 minutes is good practice.
  8. Rinse with cold water. You can just rinse them under the running tap or give them 2 to 3 rinse baths.
  9. Get rid of the excess water. Do not wring your jeans with your hands or it will create undesirable streaks. Just roll up the legs and press them firmly against the side of your sink or bathtub.
  10. Time to dry. You can use different methods for this part : hang them in your shower to dry, lay them flat, or hang them outside on a line, but avoid direct sunlight if your don’t want your jeans to become too light.





  1. Above all, use a washing machine you trust. Avoid using a machine that you don’t know well as different models or brands can vary slightly in terms of temperature and gentleness.
  2. Wash them alone. Or with other dark jeans. You don’t want the indigo to bleed all over your white tee-shirts.
  3. Turn them inside out. And shake them if necessary.
  4. Select the coldest, gentlest program on your machine. We don’t want to traumatise our jeans, just to give them a gentle clean. A “delicate” or “hand wash” program will do the trick. And no more than 800 rpm.
  5. Add your detergent. Once again, mild and not too much of it.
  6. Start the cycle. Go watch your favourite series or drink a nice cup of coffee, but don’t go too far or for too long.
  7. Get your jeans out of the washing machine as soon as the program is finished. Leaving them wet in the machine will cause the indigo to bleed in a irregular pattern and leave unwanted streaks on your freshly cleaned denim.
  8. Hang dry them. In your shower or on a line outside. Just don’t put them directly in the sun, or they will turn too light.

 Click here to browse our selection of selvedge denim.