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Jeans and trousers

How to keep white jeans white

How to keep white jeans white

So you bought a pair of white jeans. First of all, well done. They're an all-round classic and you'll find yourself reaching for them far more often than you expected. But therein lies the rub. The more you wear them, the more likely they are to get dirty, and the more you'll need to wash them

To that end, we've gathered the best denim care advice to help you keep your white jeans white.

1. Thou shalt not bleach

Nope. Not even a stain-remover pen. Bleach will eventually turn your white denim yellow, and that's not the look you're going for. While we're at it, skip the vinegar home remedies as well, because they're not doing your white jeans any favours.

2. Wash only after five wears

If you’ve been chucking your jeans into the machine after every wear then you’ve just been breaking down the fibres and weakening the fabric. Instead, we recommend washing once every five wears and using a special denim detergent if you can. Something like Norfolk Natural Living's Denim Wash is ideal.

3. Try steaming them

If you don't have a garment steamer knocking around at home, then just hang your jeans in the bathroom while you take a hot shower. The steam will reinvigorate your jeans, without being too harsh on the cotton. It'll also help get rid of any weird smells that linger around as bacteria builds up in the fibres.

4. Different stains, different treatments

If you spill your coffee, then fight your instincts and resist the urge to start scrubbing. All you're doing is pushing the stain deeper into the fibres. Instead, you want to match the treatment to the source.

For coffee and grass: Add a small bit of washing-up liquid.

For ink: Use a glycerin-based soap. We've also had success with hand sanitiser, but test this for colour-fastness first.

For red wine: Raid your first aid kit for hydrogen peroxide. Stat.

Using warm water, mix the cleaning ingredient and blot the stain from the inside and outside of your jeans. Gently, gently, rub the solution into the fabric. Rinse.

5. Find some sun

Skip the tumble dryer and hang your white jeans in the sun. Not only will this air them out, but sunlight has a natural bleaching and anti-bacterial effect. Admittedly, that’s easier said than done in the UK.


Words: Theresa Harold
Illustration: Simon Landrein