How to Wash Levi’s Jeans for the First Time? - Waistmade (2023)

Levi’s are one of the iconic jeans we have today in the world. It is very important to note that this particular brand has come a long way and have been giving out the best for ages.

It is also important to note that with time, Levi’s jeans manufacturers adapted to the trend which is the production of quality denim jeans among other clothing.

In this article, we shall review some of the ways you are advised to wash your Levi’s jeans with direct recommendation from the manufacturers, the CEO himself who is known as Chip Bergh.

This is going to be in methods so you can go back to any method you feel comfortable and convenient doing.

Let’s dive in already!!

How to Wash Levi’s Jeans for the First Time? (3 Great Methods)

Table of Contents

Method One: Turn your Levi’s Jeans inside out

This is more like a first step in whatever way you chose to wash your Levis.

The purpose for this is to make sure you don’t end up washing and making them bleed and in the process having them fade since there is every possibility of this happening considering the fact that we are dealing with denim pair of Levi’s Jeans.

Note that the turning in and out of your Levi’s Jeans is not just applicable to your denim pairs.

You can decide to turn in and out, any pair of jeans from Levi’s and frankly any other brand as this help to reduce the impact of you washing them on the exterior.


This method extends the newness of your pairs regardless of how long you have owned them.

Method Two: Do not let them soak in water before washing

Many people with me inclusive are fond of soaking their wears for a period of time before washing them.

This is cool with other wears especially clothes that are not jeans at all. soaking your jeans regularly does not only make them weak, it makes them bleed regardless of the fabric they are made of.

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When washing your Levis jeans, put them for a limited time in the water, and soon after follow up with an anti-color washing detergent and wash them immediately with cold water.

Wash and rinse with cold water, this is also another format or method of washing that you can follow in order to extend the lifespan of your new set of Levi’s Jeans.

Method Three: Wash just the hem and the waistline

A lot of people always want to wash their jeans as a whole, soaking them and washing the whole thing on and on and on.

It is advisable that when you intend to wash your Levi’s jeans for the first time, you wash just the hem and then the Waistline and then if necessary take a brush and brush the knee as those are the places that are bound to get dirty after a few days’ use.

This will boost their durability, especially the fact that they are still new.

Take Note!!

Do not forget to make use of cold water as it is very important in extending the lifespan of your Levi’s jeans.

Wash with cold water and also rinse with cold water. This way you are avoiding heat which is one of the factors that always affect new jeans and also make them shrink and bleed.

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Should you wash Levi’s Jeans before first wear?

Yes, you should wash your Levi’s jeans first before wearing them.

Although this is arguable, I will go ahead to discuss why it is advisable to wash your Brand new Levi’s jeans before wearing them.

Levi’s jeans as we know them are mostly made with denim jeans. This makes it possible for these new jeans of yours to have in them some chemicals that were used in manufacturing them.

When you don’t wash your Levi’s jeans before wearing them, you stand the risk of making your body come in contact with these chemicals when you sweat and some of these chemicals might be harmful to the body and might leave you having some kinds of skin irritations to deal with.

Apart from health-wise, another reason why it is important that you wash your Levi’s jeans before wearing them for the first time is to know if they will bleed or not.

This is advised in the sense that you might want to mix them with other clothes while washing and might end up ruining or staining the other clothes you mix them with for washing.

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How often should you wash Levi’s Jeans?

It is recommended that you wash your Levi’s jeans once after every ten wears.

This is in order for you to be able to enjoy the value of your money and not have them fading in just a few days of wear.

Regular washing of your Levi’s Jeans is capable of reducing their durability.

Do Levi’s Jeans get loose after washing?

No, they don’t. majority of Levi’s jeans are made with Denim material that is gotten from cotton.

Cotton is known to compress further after washing and not loosen. If anything then you should try to avoid washing them with hot water as this will guarantee them shrinking or tightening more.

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If you want your Levi’s jeans to loosen then this is something you will have to do yourself, there are many ways you can loosen your Levi’s jeans.

However, considering the fact that most denims are a combination of cotton and spandex, this makes them capable of stretching a bit.

Keep an eye out.

How to care for your Levi’s Jeans

In this part of the article, we will discuss ways you can care for your Levi’s jeans regardless of the amount of cotton they are made with.

The ways to be discussed here have been tested and trusted and you have a guarantee of extending the lifespan of your Levi’s jeans if you do just as I have listed in this article.

Let’s get to it!!

  • Always wash with cold water
  • Avoid washing with a washing machine
  • Line dry under room temperature
  • Avoid regular washing

Always wash with cold water

This is a very important factor in ensuring your Levi’s jeans last long as supposed.

Washing Levi’s jeans with cold water guarantees longevity and also, cold water hinders your denim from bleeding as much as it would if you wash with hot water.

With the intention of taking good care of your Levi’s jeans, you should avoid hot water and anything that will cost them heat in any form.

Avoid washing with a washing machine

Washing machine will cause your jeans to fade as soon as possible, regardless of whether you wash them after ten wears or not.

The washing machine gives them a spin of their lifetime. A beating that is done in order to be able to wash off the oil or stains and dirt that has stayed on your Levi’s Jeans.

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With each spin that your Levi’s jean undergoes in the washing machine, the fabric quality is broken and this is due to the heat in the machine.

This will further damage the exterior and rid it of its initial color and also disorganize its composure making it loose its form in no time.

Line dry under room temperature

I am sure by now you know that heat is Levi’s jeans worst enemy. The more you avoid exposing your Levi’s jeans to heat the more you are able to enjoy the value of your money.

Heat makes them shrink and with this happening constantly you are going to end up losing them because they will eventually run small.

It is advisable that you allow them dry under room temperature, by so there is no chance of any complication.

Avoid regular washing

Just as discussed earlier, if you intend to make sure your Levi’s are well taken care of, ensure you don’t wash them regularly.

Wear them ten times before washing them, it is advisable that you get yourself a pair or two or more than to enable shuffling.

Should your new Levi’s Jeans be washed separately?

Yes, but only if you have discovered that your Levi’s jeans bleed.

If your Levi’s jeans are the type that bleeds, then you might want to wash them separately in order to not risk them staining your other clothes as the case may be.

However, if after the first wash you see that your Levi’s jeans do not bleed, then it is safe for you to wash them with other clothes but preferable dark-colored clothes not to play a high-risk game as jeans are to naturally turn the color of the water they are washed in.


In this part of the article, with the conclusion I am going to be giving you a bonus idea on how to ensure your Levi’s receive the best care that will sure extend their longevity.

Do not wash your jeans with detergents of any kind. Some detergents are made with high concentration of bleaching agents that are bound to wash and make your Levi’s jeans fade in no time.

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Some soaps are more convenient but, an anti-colour washing detergent is recommended.


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Should you wash Levi's jeans before first wear? ›

New denim, especially new dark wash denim, has a tendency to bleed its excess dye during its first wash. Put a light-colored piece of clothing in there with that bleeding dye and it could come out with a blue or black tint. To avoid that, we recommend washing your new jeans by themselves for the first go-round.

How do you wash Levi jeans for the first time? ›

Wash Cold.

Turn your jeans inside out and avoid harsher soaps to preserve that indigo shade. Cold water also saves energy (and money), making it better for your jeans, your wallet and the environment.

Should I wash Levis after buying? ›

One of the most common questions after getting a new pair of jeans is whether you should wash them before wearing. The answer is YES, with the exception of raw denim. Washing jeans before wearing them the first time helps to prevent dyes from bleeding onto your skin and other clothes.

How do you break in new Levi jeans? ›

Soak Your Jeans

After giving them an initial cold soak, let them air dry to a slightly damp level. At that close-but-not-completely-dry stage, put the jeans on and go about your day. Not only will the wet fibers stretch more easily, but the pair will also conform to your body.

Do Levis get tighter after washing? ›

If you throw them in the wash, they'll shrink. But if you wear them in the tub (our favorite method), they'll shrink and break in just right. When buying our raw denim, make sure to purchase jeans that are true to size in your waist, but two or three sizes up in length.

Do Levis jeans shrink after first wash? ›

Most of our jeans have been preshrunk, so they shouldn't really shrink that much, if at all. We recommend you purchase the size that fits you best before washing. Because they don't really shrink, they should still fit you fine after washing.

Why don't you wash Levis jeans? ›

The sheer amount of water that they are exposed to in a washing machine can be the culprit for affecting the look and colour of the denim by fading over time. Cotton-based denim jeans with little stretch to them will become more comfortable over time.”

Should you machine wash Levi jeans? ›

If you often find yourself shoving your jeans in the washing machine, you need to stop - because Chip Bergh, CEO of Levi, says you should never, ever wash your jeans in a machine.

How many washes until jeans stop bleeding? ›

Even after several washes, always be sure it is only washed along with other dark items in the future. You can get past the major bleeding stage faster by washing and drying the denim 3-4 times before wearing. The hotter the water, the more the dye will come off—using a little detergent will also help.

How do you wash jeans before first use? ›

Before you start wearing the jeans, give them a soak (a hand-wash without detergent). The warmer the water the higher the shrinkage. After the first soak, wash the jeans whenever needed with either hand-washing or machine-washing. If you want high contrasts, postpone machine-washing as long as possible.

How many wears before washing Levis? ›

If you're wearing denim jeans, Levi's suggests washing them every 10 wears. You can even go longer, according to the brand, and can wear them until they smell funky.

Should Levis be tight at first? ›

Yes, they will be tight at first and they should be if you want them to mold to your body and give you that perfect fit or in Miles John's words (Levi Strauss & Co's former creative director): “They should feel tight.

How do you loosen the waist of Levis jeans? ›

How to Stretch Out Jeans
  1. Grab a pair of too-tight jeans and submerge them in lukewarm water. ...
  2. After the jeans are completely wet, put them on. ...
  3. After you've put in a few minutes of movement, take off the jeans and hang them up to air dry. ...
  4. After your jeans have fully dried, put them on and enjoy the extra wiggle room.
Jun 28, 2022

How tight should new Levis be? ›

Jeans should be comfortably tight at first. If the jeans your trying on are really uncomfortably tight then they will probably only stretch a few inches. The best way to see if the jeans are going to be good for you is to do the sitting test. Sit down as you would in a car, and see how it feels.

Do new Levis stretch out? ›

When buying: Will new jeans really stretch a whole size? All jeans will stretch to varying degrees over time, explains Dean Brough, academic program director of QUT's school of design. "Jeans by nature actually do stretch. The fabric is meant to morph and form to the body which is why we love them," he says.

How do you wash Levis without them shrinking? ›

Set your washer to a gentle cycle using cold water with mild detergent. Hot water makes denim shrink. So does the intense spinning of a high spin cycle. Use a cold water cycle with a low spin setting to wash your jeans.

Does washing new jeans loosen them up? ›

Over time, it's normal for the cotton fibers in denim fabric to lose their structure. Frequent washing and constant wear can cause the material to loosen, but the good news is that the baggy shape doesn't have to be permanent.

Do jeans get bigger after first wash? ›

The first wash cycle usually causes most of the shrinkage a garment will undergo through relaxation. Additional shrinkage in the next few wash cycles is called progressive shrinkage. Usually after 5 wash cycles, shrinkage is complete and clothing won't shrink anymore over time.

Do Levi's 501 stretch out? ›

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They do start out pretty stiff and then stretch out with wear. I couldn't button my normal size so I went up, but then the size up does stretch out to be pretty relaxed on me. I recommend reading reviews on the exact wash you're looking to purchase.

How much do jeans shrink after first wash? ›

Let us explain: A pair of raw-denim jeans typically shrinks 7% to 10% after the first wash and continues to conform to the wearer's body after every wash and wear. That's why it's crucial to keep shrinkage in mind when buying a pair of raw-denim jeans.

Should I turn my jeans inside out when washing? ›

The Best Way to Wash Jeans

Turn your jeans inside out before chucking them in the washing machine—that will help to preserve the color, as well as allow the dirtiest part of the jeans, the inside, to get more exposure to water and detergent.

Should I tumble dry Levi jeans? ›

Don't Tumble Dry: Not unless you have to. The movement and heat will add wear and tear, and will shorten the life of your jean…instead… Line Dry: Let nature do the work.

How do I stop my Levis from bleeding? ›

Add a cup of white vinegar to your cold water rinse. The vinegar will help seal the dye within the fabric so that they won't continue to bleed. At the very minimum, the added vinegar should at least lesson the amount in which the indigo dye bleeds and stains other fabrics.

Does vinegar stop jeans from bleeding? ›

Add Vinegar to Your Cold Water Rinse

Vinegar will help seal the dye within the fabric of dark denim jeans, reducing the chance that your jeans will continue to bleed (and potentially stain other fabrics) when you wear or wash them in the future.

Does cold water make jeans bleed? ›

Hot water opens up the fibers in clothes to release the dye, while cold water keeps them closed, trapping the dye inside to prevent bleeding. Choosing the cold setting on your washing machine will eliminate most problems with color bleeding, and may also help clothes last longer.

How many days should you wear jeans before washing? ›

Jeans can typically be worn 3 times before washing. Leggings and tights should be washed after every wear to get rid of the baggy knees. Suits typically can be worn several times during normal use before dry cleaning (3-4 times for wool and 4-5 times for synthetics).

Why do jeans say wash before wearing? ›

There are a couple of reasons to wash new clothes once before you wear them for the first time. One is to remove or diminish the chemical finishes that manufacturers put on clothes to make them look better, and the other is to rinse out excess dye.

Should I use fabric softener on Levis? ›

Never use fabric softener or dryer sheets

To give jeans that soft feel, fabric softeners coat the surface of the denim with a thin layer of chemicals, which, albeit mildly, abrade the fibers. Over time this stress adds up and unnecessarily wears out the fabric.

How long should Levi jeans last? ›

The average lifespan for a pair of jeans, according to the International Fabric Institute Fair Claims Guide, is 2-3 years.

Should you wash jeans alone the first time? ›

When you get a new pair of jeans, early loving care is important when it comes to long-lasting denim. The best way you can do this is to wash your jeans by hand and wash them alone. Turn them inside out, and either wash them in cold water in the sink or in the bathtub, where they can be placed down flat.

Can you wear Levis without washing? ›

"There is one rule to washing your jeans: Do it as seldom as possible to preserve their shape, quality, and color. This is especially true when it comes to dry denim, which gets its good looks and personality by wearing—not washing.

Are most jeans pre-washed? ›

All Jeans Start Raw, But the Majority of them are Sold as Pre-Washed. The starting point for any jean is the raw and unwashed state.

Should you turn jeans inside out when washing? ›

Turn your jeans inside out when washing them to help protect the fibers on the outside of the jeans from friction and direct exposure from detergent, which helps prevent fading. However, it's not rare for jeans to bleed dye, especially if they're new.

Is it better to buy jeans bigger or smaller? ›

Always take the smaller size as cotton tends to grow when it doesn't have a stretch fabric mixed into the cotton. It will shrink slightly on washing and stretch again when worn.

Do new jeans run in the wash? ›

Wash New Jeans

Most jeans have a disclaimer tag indicating that the indigo dye process used to manufacture the jeans will cause the color to bleed and to wash them pronto. Wash your dark denim jeans inside out with cold water, as it's more gentle on fabric dyes and hot water will cause your jeans to shrink.


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