How To Prevent Crocking--When The Dye From Your Jeans Rubs Off On Everything

September 10, 2014 by Julia Welling
shefinds | Shop

Have you ever put on a new pair of jeans without washing them first and noticed that your hands and shirt turned blue by the end of the day? Well, there’s a name for this problem. Nope, it’s not called smurfing (I wish. That would be funny). It’s actually called crocking, which is also a silly name. When I first heard the term, I thought someone was referring to the act of wearing Crocs shoes(Hey girl! Look at my new shoes. I’m crocking), but I was sadly mistaken.

Crocking is the term used in the fashion biz to describe what happens when dye is removed from fabric by rubbing. When jeans crock, they can stain your clothes, pants, hands, furniture or anything else you lean against or sit on. This is most common with denim that is dyed with indigo dye, but it can happen with anything denim if you don’t take precautions. Luckily, we found an easy way to stop crocking so your belongings don’t get ruined and to keep your hands from looking like you held hands with a Smurf. All you’ll need is a washing machine, liquid laundry detergent for delicates, white vinegar and an iron to follow these steps.

Once you have all of your materials gathered, you can begin:

Step 1: Fill your washing machine with cold water and pour in a capful of laundry detergent. Then, throw your jeans in. The water will probably turn blue, but that’s totally normal. Don’t worry.

Step 2: Stop the washing machine right before the rinse cycle starts.

Step 3: Add two cups of white vinegar to the rinse water, but do not let the washing machine finish the cycle. Let your jeans soak in the vinegar concoction for 2 hours.

Step 4: After 2 hours have passed, turn the washing machine back on and let it finish washing your jeans.

Step 5: DO NOT put your jeans in the dryer. Let them air dry.

Step 6: When your jeans are dry, iron them on the hottest setting that they can handle. The exact temperature should be indicated on the tag. Ironing your jeans will help set in the vinegar to prevent crocking.

Step 7: Wash your jeans in the washing machine one more time as normal. Do not put anything else in the machine with them, just in case they bleed a little bit. You can dry them this time if you want.

Note: If you have a denim clothing item that crocks, always wash it on your washing machine’s coldest setting with like colors. You’re better safe than sorry. You wouldn’t want all of your clothes to turn blue by accident.

You should also check out: how to weather-proof your boots, our fall denim guide and J.Crew denim on sale.

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