Ever noticed that after you wear a new pair of dark jeans, you end up with Indigo dye on your hands, your shirt, your purse, and whatever else comes in contact with your pants? There’s actually a name for this—crocking—and it happens naturally with most denim. (You have to use a lot of ink to get a rich color.) Here’s how to handle, and maybe even prevent, blue stains:
▪ Look for a label warning the denim may bleed. If there isn’t one, rub white paper against the fabric to check for residue.
▪ If there is any risk of crocking, wash the jeans before wearing. Launder them alone in cold water so the dye won’t damage other items.
▪ If the dye has smudged onto other clothing, pretreat the area with a stain remover, then wash in cold. Repeat as necessary without using the dryer until the stain is gone.
▪ If the indigo rubs off on a dry-clean-only garment, upholstery, or leather, seek out a professional cleaner.
In the market for new jeans? Use our handy guide to find the perfect style for you.