Three methods for washing your hand painted denim:
1. HAND-WASH: This is by far the best way to ensure your painting is not destroyed while your jacket or jeans still get fully washed. Hand-washing is gentle and you can manually scrub the areas you want to clean while avoiding the painted area. If your painted denim isn’t extremely dirty and just needs a regular wash, this is the best way to do it.
Only use a small amount of mild detergent and wash in cold or luke warm water.
2. MACHINE-WASH: Turn your jeans or jacket inside out and wash on the most delicate cycle your washing machine has. It is a bit riskier to machine wash your painted denim and can cause your painting to get partially get rubbed off. I only recommend using this option if your denim desperately needs a good wash. Use a small amount of mild detergent. The CEO of Levi Strauss famously recommends that we don't wash denim, and recommends hanging the piece inside out in the sunshine :) Be like him!
3. SPOT-CLEAN: Spot cleaning is my recommended method to protect your hand painted denim. This method is useful for removing stains or dirty spots from your denim when the rest of it is clean enough to go without a full wash. Use a wet cloth with detergent to scrub the spot that needs cleaning and rinse with cold or warm water.
Dry your jacket or jeans as usual on medium or high heat in the dryer, hang-dry, or lay flat to dry.
Things to know:
It is okay for the painted area of your jeans/jacket to get wet as it has been heat-set.
Washers and dryers vary – some may be more harsh than others.
Always use cold or luke warm water and remember hand washing will dramatically increase the life of your hand painted piece.
Do not use bleach, fabric softeners, or any alcohol-based cleaner. Alcohol of any kind will destroy the painting. A splash of tequila or a bit of wine spillage won't do any harm :)