Keep Your Black Jeans Looking Fresh with These 5 Tips

Lady's casual black pants on a wooden background.

Beauty Buzz/Blog Biz

Editor’s Note

Have you ever wondered how to extend the deep, rich, shade of black in your favorite pair of black jeans? Today’s author, Lissa Lo of Fashionably Tardy, offers some simple tips to extend the life of your black denim. Enjoy! ~Steph

Keep Your Black Jeans Looking Fresh with These 5 Tips 

A young woman standing with her hand on hip, models a pair of black jeans paired with an animal print crop top.
Modeling black jeans

Black jeans are a staple in my wardrobe for great reason. Just a top and accessories can determine whether these pants will be dressy or casual. In all honesty, I have even worn black jeans to work, but don’t tell anyone! 

As a blind person, I often wonder if my once very cute black jeans have started to become too worn down. When this happens, the pants look very ashy and it’s obvious to anyone looking at me that I washed them way too much.

At some points, I remember feeling areas of my bottoms that were worn down with threads and small fabric balls on the surface. I made the mistake of thinking this was solely lint at times instead of a much larger issue. Once black pants turn ashy, there is nothing that can be done! 

For anyone sick of purchasing and repurchasing black jeans, I wrote these tips for you! Instead of waiting to the point where you may have to get rid of yet another pair, keep these tips in mind as soon as you get home from the store. Your pockets will thank you! And side note: I use these same tips for darker blue jeans as well. Better safe than sorry! 

Get Rid of Stains Without Washing 

If you are enjoying some greasy fries or a burger and suddenly it falls onto your jeans, did you know that some items you may have around the house can be more effective cleaners than laundry detergent? Pine-Sol, yes, the power of Pine, does a great job with grease stains and so does baking powder. Any absorbent powder would do actually. Simply pour some on the affected area, let it sit for a half-hour, then swipe it or rub it off gently with a wet rag.

If you would like your jeans to be one with nature, hang them outside to remove any odors if there are no visible stains. If using this method, be sure to avoid direct sunlight that can bleach them. Lastly, a good rag with laundry detergent followed by one with water will do wonders on stains. 

Pre-Soak Them Before Washing 

In order to set the dye in the pants, turn them inside-out and soak them before washing. Use cold water, one cup white distilled vinegar, and one tablespoon of salt. The vinegar locks in the color so your jeans don’t bleed and your furniture does not turn colors as well. Yes, your cream-colored couch can and will get stains from your dark pants, so be careful! 

Wash Properly 

When washing black jeans, do not mix them with light or bold colors. Also, use the hand wash or delicate setting and cold water. Adding a cup of vinegar helps with the dye bleeding, but it is also important to use detergents that are good for dark colors

Air Dry 

The dryer can be a bad place for black jeans. The fibers can break down leading to more wear and tear. Instead, turn the pants right-side out and hang them up using the back-belt loops. The first time I heard about this, I was confused. For years, I have used chairs and my bed as drying racks for all of my jeans. But then I realized that, as stated above—jeans can and do bleed on other fabrics. 

 Don’t go overboard! 

You do not need to feel the stress of caring for all of your dark and black jeans in this way. I personally would go crazy if that were the case! Instead, I determine which jeans I will give the most attention to and which ones can be washed carelessly. If you are anything like me, I had to start with only one pair that made the cut, and it happened to be these skinny form-fitting jeans!

I do the same with black shirts and dress pants because these can get ashy too. My advice to anyone who enjoys the color black as I do is to be mindful that clothes with this color can and do fade. There are steps that can prolong this process greatly, but in the end, it is important to accept that black clothes must be replaced a little more often. 

Connecting With Fashionably Tardy:

Author Bio

Lissa Lo in a waist shot. She is wearing a white shirt with thin pinstripes under a mustard yellow blazer. Paired with her outfit are a gold and black triangle necklace and matching earrings. Her hair is straight, and she is smiling.
Lissa Lo

Lissa Lo is dedicated to strengthening communities and empowering youth. She has spent six years developing and managing programs, mentoring, and providing college and career advice for blind youth. For over 10 years, she has focused on advocating for disabled persons nationally and internationally. She wishes to share the message that disabled people can and do make large contributions to society and should not be overlooked.

As co-founder of the Fashionably Tardy Podcast, she uses her advocacy and storytelling skills to create a space where disabled and non-disabled professionals can connect over shared experiences. Lissa also continues her dedication to empowering the disability community as a co-founder of WOC World: A Virtual Space for Blind Women of Color. She likewise uses her platform as a career advisor to promote body positivity, style exploration, self-confidence, and self-love through a series of workshops she designed for high school and college students interested in fashion and appearance.

Image Descriptions:

  • Header: Lady’s black jeans on a wooden background.
  • Modeling black jeans: A young woman standing with her hand on hip, models a pair of black jeans paired with an animal print crop top.

2 Comments

  1. Hi George, I didn’t know you could use vinegar as a fabric softner. It’s so awesome that vinegar is such a multi-use product. I’ve forwarded your question onto Lissa as I don’t know the answer. I’ve actually just tried an eco friendly detergent/softner option called Dropps. Have you heard of it?

  2. Great tips. Thank you. I don’t always have the option to pre-soak but can add vinegar in the washer. I use it as a fabric softener. Should I, instead, add it to the wash cycle via the unused bleach dispenser?

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