How to Wash Ripped Jeans

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The regular wash cycle is usually too rough for the fragile fabric of ripped jeans. But whether your jeans have developed holes from wear, or if you have purchased ripped jeans as a fashion statement, the pants still need to be washed. Treating the fabric like a fine washable instead of a durable denim will extend the life of the jeans.

Things You'll Need

  • Washing machine or large washtub

  • Laundry soap

  • Borax (optional)

  • Rubber gloves (optional)

  • Clothesline or dryer

Step 1

Set the washing machine on its warm water delicate cycle and let it begin to fill. If hand washing instead, run 6 inches of warm water into a large washtub.

Step 2

Pour a scoop of laundry soap into the warm water. If the jeans are deeply soiled add a scoop of borax to the water.

Step 3

Put the ripped jeans into the warm water. Let the washing machine agitate the water until it is bubbly and well mixed. If you are using a washtub, put on rubber gloves and mix the water until it is bubbly.

Step 4

Let the jeans soak in the detergent overnight. This will help to loosen any deep soil that is in the jeans so the gentle washing will be effective in removing the dirt.

Step 5

Confirm that the washing machine is still set on the delicate cycle after it has been allowed to set overnight. Run the washing machine or put on rubber gloves and scrub the jeans thoroughly by hand, but avoid excessive twisting or scrubbing near the rips.

Step 6

Rinse hand-washed jeans with clear water until all of the soap residue has been removed, and let them drip. Do not wring the jeans out with your hands. With machine washing, the rinse cycle is automatically part of the process.

Step 7

Hang the jeans to dry on a clothesline or use a dryer set on its gentle cycle. If using a dryer, it may take two times through the dryer cycle to get the jeans completely dry.