How to Wash New Wrangler Jeans So They Don't Shrink

by S.R. Becker ; Updated September 28, 2017

Hand-wash your new Wranglers in the sink or bathtub.

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Since the first pair was made in 1947, Wrangler jeans have become synonymous with cowboys and rodeos. Even those who don't ride horses to work love the durability of Wranglers, which come in a variety of cuts, styles and shades. Whether you choose the classic raw blue denim or a pair of Cowgirl Cut straight-legs, proper washing will help keep your new Wranglers from shrinking. To maintain your jeans' original size and shape, forgo the washer and dryer in favor of hand-washing.

Fill a clean sink or bathtub with enough lukewarm water to fully submerge your Wrangler jeans. As the water runs, add just enough mild laundry detergent to make suds.

Add the jeans to the water. Swish them around until they're completely wet.

Soak your jeans for one hour.

Drain the suds and rinse the jeans in cold running water, squeezing the suds out with your hands. Rinse for two minutes or until all of the soap is out.

Lay your Wranglers flat on a thick bath towel. Roll the towel up like a jelly roll to squeeze out excess water.

Hang your Wranglers to dry on a clothesline or clip hanger. If using a clip hanger, hang it in your shower and place a towel on the floor to prevent puddles.


  • To help preserve the color of dark jeans, turn them inside-out before washing. Choose a laundry detergent made for dark colors if your Wranglers are black or indigo. Direct sunlight can fade clothing, so turn jeans inside-out before hanging them on the clothesline.

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About the Author

S.R. Becker is a certified yoga teacher based in Queens, N.Y. She has a Master of Fine Arts in creative writing and has worked as a writer and editor for more than 15 years. Becker often writes for "Yoga in Astoria," a newsletter about studios throughout New York City.