How to Soften Denim Jacket without Washing?

Denim jackets are a go-to staple for any wardrobe. They are versatile, stylish, and long-lasting, but sometimes they can be a bit too stiff and rigid. However, with the right know-how, you can soften your denim jacket without even having to wash it. Read on to learn more!

Packing with Steam

Pro Tip: A great tip for softening denim without washing it is to reverse the process of pre-washing. This entails lightly spraying water onto the item and then tumble drying it on a low heat setting for about 10 minutes. The low heat helps to relax the fibers, but just make sure not to overdo it or else you may damage your garment!


One way to soften denim without washing is by freezing it! Just place the item in a plastic bag and keep it in the freezer overnight. The ice crystals will penetrate the fibers of the material which will help break down the fabric's windings and relax them. This should help soften the material significantly.

Packing with Steam

Another way to soften denim is by packing it with steam. You can purchase a hand steamer or you can use an iron set to “Damp” level over a damp cloth placed over your denim jacket and press gently for no more than 5 seconds at each spot. The heat and moisture should help relax the fabric fibers giving them extra softness. Make sure not to stay in one area for too long or else your garment might get damaged!

Massaging with Balls

For an extra boost of break-in softness, try massaging the fibers of your denim jacket with a dryer ball or tennis ball! This will also help to loosen any areas that are especially rigid. Wrap your jacket around the ball and then roll, press and twist it all throughout until all areas have been covered (make sure not to exert too much pressure). Once done, hang up your Softened Denim Jacket for display!

Dos and Don’ts 


  • Freeze your denim jacket overnight in a plastic bag

  • Press with a hand steamer or iron set to “Damp” level over a damp cloth

  • Massage the fibers of the denim with a dryer ball or tennis ball


  • Don't leave the item in the freezer for too long or it can damage the material

  • Don't stay in one area when steaming for more than 5 seconds

  • Don't exert too much pressure when massaging with balls


These methods should allow you to soften your denim jacket without ever having to put it through water or harsh detergents - allowing you to save time and money while still keeping your jacket looking great! Have fun trying these out - happy de-stiffening


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