How to stop black jeans from fading

Updated February 21, 2017

If you've just bought a new pair of black jeans, you may expect them to fade over time--but they don't have to. Instead of reaching for fabric dye or buying another new pair of jeans, work to prevent fading from happening in the first place. Clothes fade for many reasons during the washing and drying processes. To keep your black denim jeans looking fresh and perfectly dark, follow a few simple techniques during your regular washing ritual.

Turn the jeans inside out before inserting them into your washing machine. Put the washing machine on the cold water or delicate cycle.

Use a mild, eco-friendly detergent in the washing machine. This type of detergent is less harsh on dark clothing, keeping the colour fresher.

Wash your jeans as little as possible. Only wash them when they are truly dirty. Jeans can be worn several times before needing a wash.

Hang your freshly washed jeans over a shower rod or indoor clothesline to dry. Hang-drying versus using a hot dryer prevents fading. Always hang clothes indoors to protect the colour from bleaching in the sun.


Soak your black jeans in cool water with a small amount of vinegar. Vinegar helps remove detergent build-up on your jeans that can cause the appearance of fading. Dry-clean your jeans to keep them from fading.

Things You'll Need

  • Mild detergent
  • Indoor clothesline (optional)
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