Why Do People Starch Their Jeans

Why Do People Starch Their Jeans | + How To Do It

It is common knowledge that denim does not need to be washed every time it is worn – you don’t want your brand new pair of jeans to lose their color within a month! In fact, even if you wear your jeans almost every day, you can get away with washing them every few weeks. That is, given that they don’t get unusually dirty. 

But for people who are prone to dirt and grime, what other option is there? That’s where starch comes to the rescue!  

Starching jeans is a way for people to make their denim more durable and easy to clean. Why not just make a trip to the dry cleaner? Well, keep reading to find out! 

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What Is Starching?

Starching clothes is simply the act of adding starch to them.

Fun fact: people have been starching their clothes since the 1500s! 

The concept of starching is to make the material stiffer and more durable. This is done by applying a layer of starch to the fabric and letting it set. 

Why Do People Starch Their Jeans

Jeans On A Hanger

Removes dirt and stains easily 

Starch essentially creates a barrier between the fabric and everything else. Once you starch your jeans, any dirt, dust, mud, or anything else you might be getting your hands dirty with, will stick to the layer of starch rather than the actual fabric of your jeans. And rather than soaking into the fabric, any potential stains remain on the outside of the layer of starch. This is why starching happens to be a very common practice amongst cowboys – gotta keep those jeans neat and clean whilst getting muddy with the horses!

Clothes retain their color for longer 

Starching clothes not only brings out the color, but also makes that color less likely to fade – almost like stopping them in time! The starch makes denim more durable against any potentially damaging substances such as chemicals, color bleeding from other fabrics and sunlight.

Fewer wrinkles

By making the denim extremely firm, you are less likely to see wrinkles because the fabric (literally) moves less. This makes it resistant to creases and folds, and inevitably means you will spend A LOT less time ironing your jeans right before you have to rush out the door.

Improves the look of jeans

Because starching denim makes jeans more durable, less likely to wrinkle and prevents stains, this gives them a better look and feel overall. This way, you can worry less about whether or not your jeans are fit for any occasion! 

Girl In Jeans With Hands In Pockets

How to Starch Jeans

The simplest and most convenient way to starch your jeans without getting into the nitty gritty process is to drop them off at your favorite dry cleaners. After all, the professionals know exactly what they’re doing. That being said, if you’re looking to save some cash or just feel like doing a DIY activity, there are ways to starch jeans yourself. 

Use cornstarch

Isn’t it great when household items turn out to have multiple, very useful purposes? In the past you probably used cornstarch to thicken your soups, but now you can also use them to starch your jeans with a DIY starch spray, making them almost dirtproof. 

To make this easy (and cheap) spray, combine 1 tablespoon of cornstarch with 2 cups of cold water in a bowl. Then stir until mixture becomes runny. Make sure it doesn’t turn into a paste – if it does, just add some more water. You want it to be the consistency of any regularly spray. 

Once that’s done, pour the mixture into a spray bottle and you’re ready to go! Just make sure whenever you want to use this homemade concoction, you give it a good shake because cornstarch tends to settle to the bottom. 

How to Starch Jeans by Ironing

Wait a minute – how exactly do you use that homemade cornstarch spray? 

Woman Is Ironing Jeans

Ironing is the best way to starch your jeans at home. Simply spritz your jeans with the liquid starch spray that you’ve just put together, let the starch sit for a minute or two and then iron the denim. Do this is sections and continue until you’ve covered all the material

Add Liquid Starch to Your Laundry

This is another easy way to starch your jeans because it can be done as part of your regular chores! You’ll just need one additional ingredient – liquid starch. This can be found at any regular supermarket and you can pick it up on your next grocery trip. 

The method is as follows:

  1. Add your jeans to the washing machine
  2. Add your usual laundry detergent 
  3. Now this is where you switch it up and add in your liquid starch. (If you usually add fabric softener, skip that for this load)
  4. And then dry as you usually would!

This should leave you with sufficiently starchy, firm jeans. 

Disadvantages of Starching Jeans

While there are many positives to starching your jeans, there are some cases in which they may cause more trouble than help.

Man In Jeans

Clothes may become weak

While starching your clothes may prevent stains and keep away dirt, the fabric itself may become weaker in the long run. By reducing the stretchiness of the material, it can make it more prone to cracking or tearing. So if you do decide to starch your jeans, make sure you wear them delicately.  


Since starching makes jeans firmer, this inevitably makes the material harder and less stretchy, which is not ideal for comfort, especially if you are someone who wears jeans everyday. Rougher fabric could also irritate those with sensitive skin. 


If your starch doesn’t keep well, it can start to give off a bad smell. You definitely don’t want to be walking around with stinky jeans, so make sure you’re using a good liquid starch product or using a fresh mixture if you’re making your own starch spray.


Because starched jeans become stiff, you may not be able to fold or hang them as normal. So make sure you create enough space in your closet to adewqualty store these new, tougher jeans. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Women In Jeans With Red Brick Wall On A Background

Can you starch any item of clothing?

While jeans are ideal for starching, not all fabrics are made alike. You should avoid starching wool, silk, and other delicate fabrics. 

How much does it cost to starch jeans?

If you decide to take the DIY route, starching your jeans can cost as little as nothing! This is dependent on what items you already have at your disposal at home, but they won’t cost you more than a few dollars to purchase. And if you take your jeans to the dry cleaners for professional treatment, it’ll cost about $10, give or take.

Can you remove starch from jeans?

If you decide you’re not a fan of your starchy jeans, just soak them in warm water for a few hours and then load into the washing machine as normal. This should remove all the starch. If it doesn’t, add some vinegar and soak them overnight to get rid of the last of the starch residue.