How To Soften Denim With Vinegar In Seconds 2022

Being in stiff denim should be listed as one of the most uncomfortable things ever. Stiff denims do not make for ease of movement at all.

Thankfully, there are different softening agents that we can use in upturning the state of denim’s rigidity. In this article, we shall be focusing on one of these softening agents; Vinegar. Let us get straight down to brass tacks and find out the steps to follow in softening our jeans using vinegar.

Pro Steps To Soften Denim With Vinegar


Items needed

  • Hot water
  • White household vinegar
  • A bucket or basin

The method of preparing the right softening solution for your stiff denim is as follows:

  • Pour in about 7 – 8 cups of hot water into the bucket or basin provided.
  • Measure a cup full of white vinegar and pour it into the bucket of water.
  • The next step is to get the jeans turned to the other side, then thrown into the mixture. Use a long wooden spoon to press them down till you are sure they are fully submerged in the water.
  • Have them soaked for a long time, preferably, overnight.
  • After soaking, squeeze them thoroughly and place them in the dryer. Make sure the jeans are still turned to the other side in all of these processes. You must have the jeans properly dried before proceeding to the next set of steps. 

You should, however, consult the care tags on your jeans to be sure of the right temperature for drying your denim. Whether you use the hottest, medium, or the lowest setting to dry the denim is inconsequential, the important thing is to have the jeans completely dried.

  • When the denim is dried, do not wait for it to cool off. Proceed immediately to rolling them tightly into a ball. If it is a jean, start rolling from the foot of the jean to the waist area, leaving no part of it out of the roll.
  • What we are trying to do here is to get the material into the smallest possible size. When you are sure that you have rolled up tight enough, get a rope or some cut-out fabric or anything capable of tying the rolled-up fabric and keeping them in place.

The essence of rolling up the denim especially when it is just smoking hot out of the dryer is to enable it to stretch forcefully. When the denim stretches, you find out that the close-knitted fibers of the material break down and gets loosened excessively. 

  • Once tied up, leave to cool off for roughly about an hour. 
  • Have the denim sandpapered. I’m sure you are wondering what I’m on about but, you will find out soon enough if you read through to the end.
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Having your denims sandpapered is the final touch you need to get a much softer feel of your denim against your skin.

  • That said, once the denims are cool enough, untie the rope or whatever object used and have them unrolled. Keep the denims still turned inside out; remember that they are to stay that way for the whole of this exercise.
  • Next, get your sandpaper. Your sandpaper does not have to be big by the way; it could be in form of a small rectangular shape. Use them to gently scrape the internal surface of the denim. You can start from anywhere but, make sure that the scraping is done evenly while following a particular direction either, horizontally or vertically.

Do not be in a hurry while scraping, take time to patiently scrape along with every nook and cranny of the fabric. As you scrape, wipe off the tiny fragments of loosed fabric that you can see falling off.

Moving on, as soon as you are done scraping, have the denim washed preferably in warm water. (Remember that the denim should still be turned inside out).

Have the denim washed like that without using any detergent or other form of additives. Just wash with water only and alone too. If you have to wash them with other clothing, make sure they are of the same family of fabric too.

You wonder why we are having the denims rewashed? A second wash is totally necessary to get the smell and every residue of vinegar out of the fabric.

After washing, have them dried with some dryer balls. Place your washed denims into the dryer and throw in some dryer balls. The dryer balls function as some sort of instrument that strengthens and stretches fabrics.

While the dryer is on, it bumps into the fabric vigorously, making them forcefully stretch. The vigorous massage the fabrics get from the dryer balls helps in further loosening them. Alternatively, you can opt for tennis balls instead if you don’t have dryer balls.

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Also, note though, that the dryer is to be put on the lowest settings in order to stop the materials from shrinking. If you would, however, like the material to shrink, you can leave it to dry on very hot settings. All in all, it is still best to follow whatever you have on the care tag.

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What is a natural way to get stiff denim to loosen without using vinegar?

You can do without using vinegar. All that is needed is for you to wear the denim very often and have them undergo frequent wash sessions. The more you wear stiff denims, the softer they get upon the next wear and better mold to your body.

With every wash, you succeed in further breaking down the rigidity of the fabric and the more this happens, the less stiffness you feel when you wear them next time.

Why is a vinegar soak important?

While on a venture to soften rigid jeans, it is often advised that you soak in vinegar because apart from the fact that soaking for long hours help in getting the jeans truly softened, they assist also in preventing the jeans from bleeding.

Jeans bleeding is a situation whereby the dye used in producing the jean wears off uncontrollably causing the jean to look faded. That is not all; a vinegar soak would also safeguard the natural color of dark jeans and prevent them from being discolored.

If you have just purchased a new pair of denim, you should do well to give it a vinegar soak treatment to preserve its color for good.

Are stiff jeans better?

This would totally depend on you and the style of denim you find comfortable. The thing is, if you find stretchy denims to be more fitting, you might feel very uncomfortable in stiff jeans. This is because even lovers of stiff jeans find them almost unbearable at first but, endure because of its later rewards.

One of the advantages of stiff denim is its durability. They are sturdier and less prone to wear and tear. A close look at the many processes it takes to intentionally break them down should give you a hint of how hard it will be otherwise.

However, the foremost disadvantage is that the stiff denims are not the most comfortable pair of denim. Due to their rigidity, they tend to make walking and being generally in them very difficult.

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Stiff denims are the last thing you want to use for a race, exercise, or any form of sport ever. They will have your body feeling sore.

It becomes even worse because of the fact that most people are prone to buy a size smaller than their original size. They do this because, the stiff denim usually stretches but, that only happens after a couple of wear and wash. But then, not everyone can endure till it does break down and loosens, and therein lies the problem.

How To Soften Denim With Vinegar – Conclusion

Denims are listed among the most comfortable pair of clothing we have. But what you might not find explained, is that, not every type of denim is comfortable at least, not at the initial point of use.

A perfect example would be stiff denim. Walking in a stiff jean for instance causes a lot of friction between your skin and the rigid denim. It might lead to you having sores or even spraining your leg if you attempt to do any form of strong activity in them.

Stiff denims would, later on, break down and loosen on their own but, how do you cope with them before they do? You really do not have to wait for them to loosen up, enduring pain and so much discomfort as you wear waiting for it to do so. 

Most of us are familiar with the household white vinegar and might probably use it for other functions without knowing that they can also be used in getting our stiff denims softened too. 

With the steps listed above, you will successfully transform rigid denims into super soft and better feeling ones. The best part of the whole thing is that the vinegar can be easily gotten and comes at a very affordable amount too.

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