Rope Dye Crafted Goods
Apparel

The 5 Basic Steps of How To Soak Raw Denim Before Wearing It

How to soak denim jeans

In our raw denim wash guide, we recommend you to give your jeans a quick soak in the sink before you start wearing them. In this article we’ll take you through a step by step guide on how to do it.

The main reason to soak your jeans before you start wearing them is that they will simply last longer, as starch (and chemicals) are removed, which softens the fabric.

Please be aware that there are no right or wrongs in how you choose to wear in your raw denim jeans. But after years of experience, we’ve learned that this method works. Okay, let’s get to it – here’s what you do:

Step 1 to 3

  • Turn your jeans inside out.
  • Fill your sink (or wherever you wish to do the soak) with lukewarm water.
  • Use something to keep the jeans submerged. You might see bubbles in the water, which are caused by the air escaping the jeans.

Step 4 and 5

  • Let the jeans soak for an hour or two. You might see a slight colour change of the water. This is completely normal and a result of starch (and a tiny bit of indigo) being washed out.
  • After the soak, hang your jeans to dry in the shower or outside if the weather allows it.

You Can Learn Much More About Buying and Wearing In Raw Denim Jeans in Our Comprehensive Raw Denim Buying Guide!

Related posts

Levi’s Vintage Clothing 1947 501XX (555)

Editorial | Marc

The Best Places to Hunt for Denim in Amsterdam

Brand Profile: The Flat Head

Kyle Robinson

12 comments

Avatar
Henry April 11, 2013 at 12:40

Probably too late now, but heat will be the main contributor to shrinking. But if you rinse them too hot, they’ll loose more colour. Rinse them as above in warm water, then dry them on a radiator or even tumble dry them. Drying them quickly will really shrink them down.
Henry @ Lizard Menswear http://www.lizardmenswear.co.uk

Avatar
Reuben Quinnell Cleaver May 13, 2013 at 11:55

Hi. I’m completely new to this as I bought my first pair of raw denim from Hiut as a part of my attempt to buy less but get more when it comes to clothes. I’ve now fallen in love with the jeans and the idea of raw denim. Your site has provided me with lots of great reading and useful inormation, however I now have one major worry. I’ve been wearing my jeans everyday for a month but did not soak them first. I now know that that is not in accordance with received wisdom, especially with regards to avoiding early crotch blow out. Would you recommend soaking my jeans now despite the 30 days or so of wear? Will it still contribute to avoiding early crotch blowout?

Avatar
Arie van den Berg October 28, 2013 at 09:32

Did it this weekend with a Levi´s 501xx shrink-to-fit (no selvedge) USA-made (W34 L36)and turned out good. Left an hour under water and dried outside on a windy Wadden Isle in the north of the Netherlands. Put it on 2 hours later still wet and now the jeans is showing my body perfectly. No more soaks or washes anymore, because the fit is perfect now. Only wear wear wear, airing outside and sometimes spraying Mr. Black Denim Refresh.

Avatar
Arie van den Berg October 28, 2013 at 09:32

Did it this weekend with a Levi´s 501xx shrink-to-fit (no selvedge) USA-made (W34 L36)and turned out good. Left an hour under water and dried outside on a windy Wadden Isle in the north of the Netherlands. Put it on 2 hours later still wet and now the jeans is showing my body perfectly. No more soaks or washes anymore, because the fit is perfect now. Only wear wear wear, airing outside and sometimes spraying Mr. Black Denim Refresh.

Avatar
Mikkel Bukholt Nielsen April 23, 2014 at 23:20

I just rinsed a new pair of Nudie Steady Eddie Dry Selvedge jeans. And there was a little bit of color after an hour and I took them out. When I took them out, the water became almost completely brown. Is that normal? I mean, that can’t be all starch and chemical. That has to be a lot of indigo color too, right?

Avatar
Denimhunters April 24, 2014 at 06:22

Hi Mikkel,
That is normal, you don’t need to worry at all. It’s probably not all starch and chemicals, some of if will be indigo as well.

Avatar
Mike May 26, 2014 at 22:40

I just bought my first pair of unsanforized SDA 106s, and was told to buy a size up, they shrank in the waist about 1.5″ after a hot wash, but then stretched right back out again on first 1 or 2 wears, size up? No, in future I just buy my size! Now I have to take these to the tailors to get the waist taken in an inch, or just wear a belt may’be, cos they ain’t that bad! But anyway, just ordered a pair of 103s from Blue Owl website, $285 with free postage to UK ,thats only £170 when converted, yes! Beats being taken for a ride in a London ’boutique’! This time I order my size and hot wash them! I don’t care too much for ‘correct denim protocol’,fades etc, just love this Jap denim and its quality, cut, and just ‘the right look’, i.e. no horrid logos or dodgy pocket stitching!

Avatar
denimsalvage May 30, 2014 at 02:32

Hey, Keith! What size did you buy and what did they shrink to? I’m interested in buying a pair, but want to make sure I get the right ones. Thanks!

Avatar
sklep internetowy April 15, 2024 at 19:40

Wow, superb weblog layout! How long have you ever been running a blog for?
you make running a blog look easy. The whole glance of
your website is magnificent, as well as the content!

You can see similar here sklep internetowy

Avatar
tlover tonet April 16, 2024 at 20:12

Do you have a spam issue on this site; I also am a blogger, and I was wanting to know your situation; we have developed some nice procedures and we are looking to exchange solutions with other folks, why not shoot me an email if interested.

Avatar
rudog March 15, 2014 at 01:53

Whats a “presto”?

Avatar
denimsalvage May 30, 2014 at 02:32

Hey, Keith! What size did you buy and what did they shrink to? I’m interested in buying a pair, but want to make sure I get the right ones. Thanks!

Leave a Comment