Explained: Getting Salt Out of Denim

For most Americans outside of L.A., winter weather means snow. The most recent blizzard (which the twitterverse rightfully named “the snowpocalypse”) nearly paralyzed all of the central plains, and before that, cold weather threatened crops as far south as Florida.  

Any time it snows, the plows come out and drop their own “wintry mix” of sand and rock salt. Walk around long enough in a snowy city or brush up against a dirty car, and you will get a wet spot that dries into a dull white ring or stain towards the bottom of your pants. So in honor of the record breaking amount of snow this winter season, here are some tips for removing salt from your favorite denim:

  • Try to remove the salt as soon as possible. As with most stains, drying can set the stain and the salt will have extra time to damage the dye or cloth.
  • Put the lower part of the jeans (or the affected area) in warm water and gently swish them around or rub the cloth to remove excess salt.
  • If the salt has already dried, let the pants soak in warm water overnight.
  • Wash in a washing machine with cool water, and air dry to prevent shrinking. Note that not all denim can go in the washer, so read the label and make sure it is washer safe.
  • As a preventative, try to avoid wearing dark jeans when the roads are salty, or wear boots high enough to protect the bottom of your jeans.

If all else fails, just leave it and let it become a part of the denim. It is after all a pair of jeans! And sometimes salt can make the denim look worn in. We recently did a salt wash called Jupiter, designed to mimic the effect of walking into the ocean and then letting the jeans dry.

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