If you’ve ever worn a new pair of dark wash jeans, you probably ended up with blue hands. The dark dye used in these washes can easily transfer to skin, clothing and furniture. This transfer of dye is officially called “crocking”. Whatever it’s called, it’s annoying! Say no to smurf hands.
Luckily, there are a couple of easy steps you can take to prevent dark jeans from bleeding. If you buy a new pair of jeans and find a tag on them warning you of the potential dye transfer, you need to follow these steps first thing. If you already have a pair of dark jeans, you can still use these techniques to prevent the dye from bleeding in the future.
Step 1: Vinegar Soak
A vinegar soak will help set the dye into the fabric. Start by turning the jeans inside out and selecting a cold wash cycle. Wash the jeans by themselves and with some detergent and rinse well. If your washer has a “soak” setting, add 1 cup of white vinegar to the washer and soak up to 30 minutes. (If you washer doesn’t have a “soak” setting, just soak them with some water and the vinegar in a sink.) Run another cold water rinse cycle. Air dry the jeans.
Step 2: Scotchgard
Scotchgard is a fabric and upholstery protector. It is designed to protect fabrics from liquids and staining by providing an invisible barrier, which is a great solution for dark wash jeans. To apply, you spray on two light coats and let dry completely. Scotchgard can wash off over time, so you may need to reapply from time to time as needed.
Right now I’m loving my new pair of Kut from the Kloth Catherine Slim Fit Boyfriend jeans. I just did this treatment to them and I’m happy to report, no blue hands!