Raw Denim Care In the Real World: A Survivor’s Guide To Remove Stains (and Blood) From Raw Denim

Looking back through our articles about how best to care for raw denim and how to get the sickest, bestest fades, we admit that we come across as being a little obsessive and perhaps even a little puritanical at times.

We assume that our premium jeans are always going to be blessed with all the protection of a first-born daughter and constantly shielded from the big, bad world. But, the world is big and it can be seriously bad.

Not all of us live lives of blameless sobriety in strictly temperature-controlled environments. Some of us live for the weekend and wouldn’t dream of introducing our buddies to our church-going, maiden aunt.

So, if you like it large, hang around in grimy clubs and divey bars, and know the meaning of “sweat,” this is the guide for you.

Rotation, Rotation, Rotation

Would you dream of wearing a Rolex Oyster for a night out dancing like a deranged hamster while everyone around you has been slugging beers and powdering their nose since 1985? Of course you wouldn’t!

Tempting as it might be, slipping in to that sublime selvedge which demolished last week’s paycheck is just plain dumb. Accidents happen and they will – you’ll go from show-off to pissed-off as soon as the high-jinx start.

Drinks get knocked over, there’s the constant threat of splash-back in the men’s room and there’s always that pitch-black, oily grime that slithers across the floor. In short, it ain’t a pretty sight.

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That’s why you should always wear your jeans that have already been broken in on such nights. They were probably due their third wash anyway and there’s always the added bonus that your girlfriend will have second thoughts about leaving your stinking, sorry ass. Possibly.

When the morning comes and if the hangover has still got the upper-hand, you’ll find the Rope Dye guides to washing raw denim here.

Thrills and Spills

As night follows day, snacks follow beers, even on those nights when it doesn’t go nuts.

And, just as you munch down on to that döner kebab (with extra chilli sauce) or juicy, succulent burger, you just know it is always going to make one last, desperate bid for freedom.

Here’s Denimhunters’ quick guide to removing common battle scars;

  • Lay your jeans out flat so you can concentrate on the affected area
  • Fat and food grease: Apply talcum powder and rub it in with your fingertips. This will loosen the fatty matter and absorb it. Gently brush away and repeat if necessary
  • Red wine: Again, use talc to soak up any wet areas. That crazy friend of your mother who made all those inappropriate comments is also correct; white wine or white wine vinegar does a great job in removing red wine stains on raw denim
  • Grass stains: Carefully rubbing with vodka or vinegar usually does the trick. But, if the grass stain is either larger or deeper, steeping the affected area in vinegar for at least 30 minutes might be necessary
  • Finally, and this is where you need to use your judgement, it might be wise to give your jeans a full soak-rinse before then letting them dry naturally. Give them a sniff and you’ll know for sure
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Sometimes though, when these tips are not enough, you need to cut your losses. The trick then is roll down the cuffs while remembering hand the contents therein to the local law-enforcement authorities, to turn them inside-out and lay them in a lukewarm bathtub with a squirt of shower gel and a liberal sprinkling of salt.

Try to keep the temperature under control. About 30°C / 85°F is plenty and don’t even think of using a shower gel with skin moisturiser. You have precious little idea what effect it will have on raw denim and you’ll end up smelling like a whore’s handbag.

Pay special attention to rinsing the crotch area; it’s a little-known fact that ball-sweat feasts on precious indigo. Get rid of it, now!

Blood Brothers

The evening doesn’t have to turn into World War III for the ketchup to start flowing. A simple accident is enough to leave you with blood on your jeans. Some advocate that the solution for removing blood from raw denim is hydrogen peroxide. Yes, you read that right – BLEACH! Don’t be so 4ckin’ stupid!

Either just leave it – epically cool – or follow this five-step process to removing blood from your raw denim;

  1. Lay your jeans out flat so you can concentrate on the blood stain
  2. Soak a cloth in mineral water taken straight from the refrigerator
  3. Dab the offending area until you have removed as much blood as possible – do not scrub or you’ll remove the indigo dye, too
  4. Treat any stubborn areas with spit (saliva). The enzymes will break down the blood further
  5. Carefully rinse the cleaned area with cold water and allow your jeans to dry naturally
WELL WORTH A READ >  Denimhunters' Expert Guide - Your DIY Guide To Jeans Repair with Nudie

If everything has gone according to plan, there’s only one thing to do – go out a celebrate with a few beers. What could possibly go wrong?

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comments

  • driftwoode

    Let’s be honest here. It seems that most denimheads–a group that includes myself–are far too obsessed with the wash regimen of their jeans, especially their raw denim. In principle, I agree with certain fundamentals like not washing too often or using Woolite Darks or even trying to avoid using the dryer if possible. But come on, we’re talking about jeans here, not cashmere wool. Denim is tough stuff and you will not ruin it if you wash in a machine or God forbid, put it in a dryer. Growing up, my Levi’s 501’s were washed at least once a month and–hold on to your hats–were put into a clothes dryer. And you know what, they often lasted for years. That’s right, years! And those years included racing my BMX bike, playing baseball and football, among other activities. I say stop worrying so much and just live in your jeans and wash the damn things when needed and stop treating them like tissue paper.

  • driftwoode

    Let’s be honest here. It seems that most denimheads–a group that includes myself–are far too obsessed with the wash regimen of their jeans, especially their raw denim. In principle, I agree with certain fundamentals like not washing too often or using Woolite Darks or even trying to avoid using the dryer if possible. But come on, we’re talking about jeans here, not cashmere wool. Denim is tough stuff and you will not ruin it if you wash in a machine or God forbid, put it in a dryer. Growing up, my Levi’s 501’s were washed at least once a month and–hold on to your hats–were put into a clothes dryer. And you know what, they often lasted for years. That’s right, years! And those years included racing my BMX bike, playing baseball and football, among other activities. I say stop worrying so much and just live in your jeans and wash the damn things when needed and stop treating them like tissue paper.

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