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How to Spot Clean Your Raw Denim Jeans

Picture this: You’re eating burger with all the works and it’s impossibly delicious. It’s that kind of deliciousness that has you eating that burger with a fervor that makes your friends a little embarrassed for you and it doesn’t even matter to you. This is the best moment of your life until you look down and realize that there are a couple drops of ketchup and meat juice on your jeans that you JUST washed. Crap. What do you do now?

Raw denim and water have had a strained relationship at best. If you look at any forum, website (including ours), or really anywhere that talks about raw denim, you’ll undoubtedly find people sharing their fears of having their jeans touch water when it’s time to clean them.

The fear of water, mostly fueled by articles talking about how you should never wash so you can achieve maximum sick fades, has somewhat decreased as more and more people gain experience with raw denim and wash their jeans without experiencing catastrophe. However, there is a little ambiguity of how to clean, specifically spot clean, when you only need to clean a small part of the jeans so we thought let’s get this in writing and put together a Heddels guide to spot cleaning.

1. Don't Freak Out

Wipe away those manly tears or those “meat sweats”. It’s going to be ok.

2. Remove Any Residue and Wet the Area

It’ll be important to wipe off any of the excess stuff on your jeans so that it doesn’t have a chance to set or stain any further. Using a wet towel (cloth is better but paper towel is fine as long but just be mindful of it leaving paper residue while you’re cleaning) with any kind of soap, gently wipe to get the remaining residue off and and dab the spot to get some water to soak in.

3. Allow it to dry

When the fabric looks relatively wet or the stain looks mostly gone, let it air dry. With minor stains, these quick steps should be enough to minimize the staining. If not, proceed to step 4.

4. Repeat Steps 1 Through 3

All joking aside, sometimes repeating the process can remove the remaining stains. Alternatively, if the stain is a little deeper, saturate the stained area again with tepid water and then use a little bit of powered detergent or a little liquid detergent that you’d normally use to wash your jeans and lightly rub it into the stain.

After a couple minutes, wash it out and let it air dry one more time.

5. Wear Your Jeans!

As with any weird creasing from storage or washing, the more you wear your jeans, the more the stain will disappear. As long as the stain isn’t obvious or smells, just start wearing the jeans again.

Remember, part of the reason you bought jeans was so that all the fading and wear marks on the jeans are made by you and stains are part of that story. So embrace anything that happens while you’re wearing the jeans and maybe use more napkins next time.

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