How to Set Jean Dye


A new pair of jeans or other denim garment with a dark wash often fades a bit with washing. During the first wash, denim that bleeds can cause dye transfer stains on other garments. Jean dye that's not set can also rub off on furniture upholstery and other surfaces. To avoid both faded denim garments and dye transfer stains, use supplies found around the home and the proper techniques to set the jean dye.

Things You'll Need

  • Bucket
  • White vinegar
  • Laundry detergent
  • Drying rack
  • Place your jeans or denim garment in a bucket. Pour 3 cups white vinegar, or more if needed, over the garment. Soak the jeans for 15 minutes to prevent the denim dye from bleeding in the wash.

  • Turn your jeans inside out and place them in the wash.

  • Wash the jeans with laundry detergent and add 1 cup white vinegar to the wash cycle to keep the dye from running.

  • Dry the jeans by hanging them on a drying rack out of direct sunlight. Using the dryer repeatedly can cause colors to fade.

Tips & Warnings

  • Add 1 cup vinegar to the rinse cycle, instead of the wash cycle, to preserve denim color.
  • Bring jeans and denim clothing to the dry cleaner for cleaning to preserve color.
  • Avoid washing jeans every time you wear them. Instead, hang them outdoors to freshen them and wear them another time or two before you launder them.

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  • Photo Credit Photodisc/Photodisc/Getty Images Jupiterimages/Polka Dot/Getty Images
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