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  • Writer's pictureDavid Connolly

Best ways to Wash a Trucker Jacket

Updated: May 29, 2021

The denim trucker jacket is a fun, versatile piece of clothing that can be worn almost anywhere—from a baseball game to a weekend brunch to a trip to the farmers market. Keeping it clean without decreasing the quality of the denim, though, can be a struggle. By learning how to wash a jean jacket in the washing machine or by hand, you can decide best how you want to keep your jacket clean.

Method 1: Using the Washing Machine for Heavy Stains

1. Clean out the pockets and turn the Trucker Jacket inside out.

Turning the jacket inside out minimizes color loss in the fabric. You’ll be washing your jean jacket by itself to help protect it and your other clothing items, but you still want to avoid having a forgotten pen break in the wash and dye your jacket a different shade of blue!

2. Use 1/2 the recommended amount of a color-preserving detergent.

One of the dangers with washing denim is the potential for fading—but using a color preserving detergent will combat this. They have ingredients in them that help the fabric hold onto dyes and simultaneously deactivate the chlorine in the water (which is what fades the color).

3. Run the gentle cycle with cold water to protect your jacket.

Cold water means the color in the fabric is less likely to run, and the gentle cycle should prevent the material from stretching out too much in the wash. You want some agitation to clean the denim, but too much will break it down.

4. Dry the jacket on the lowest temperature setting for a faster dry.

You always want to avoid any extreme heat when washing denim because the heat can shrink the material, change its color, and deteriorate the fabric. Drying on a low temperature will preserve the integrity of your jacket for longer.

5. Reshape the jacket and hang it dry to protect it from excess heat.

Take the jacket out of the washing machine and straighten the arms and body of the jacket. This will let it dry in the right shape and you’ll avoid having any weird creases or wrinkles in the material. Put the jacket on a hanger or lay it flat on a nonporous surface to dry.

Method 2: Washing by Hand for Lightly Soiled Jackets

1. Spot-clean small stains with undiluted white vinegar.

Let the stain soak for about 5 minutes, then rinse that section with cold water. Spot-cleaning rather than immersing your jacket in water and detergent is a great way to treat small stains while protecting the integrity of the denim fabric.

2. Wash the entire jacket by hand for a gentler cleaning option.

This reduces the amount of friction your jacket endures versus what it would experience in an actual washing machine. Fill a tub with lukewarm water and mix in a small amount of color-preserving detergent. Let the detergent fully dissolve in the water.

3. Soak your inside-out jacket for 45 minutes, and then drain the tub.

Continue to rinse the jacket under lukewarm water to get rid of any excess detergent (no more subs should be visible in the bottom of the tub).

4. Squeeze the excess water out of the jacket and reshape it.

Don’t wring the arms and body of the jacket—this can twist and damage the fabric. Just gently squeeze until most of the water is out of the jacket and it can hang to dry without dripping water.

5. Send the jacket to the dry cleaners for a hands-off approach.

Especially if you have any big stains on your jacket (like salad dressing or a marker), sending your jacket off to the cleaners is the best way to get out that stain without ruining the fabric of the jacket.


You should rarely wash your denim jacket—once every 6 months unless you have heavy stains or discernible odors should be sufficient.

The more you wash it, the more quickly the fabric will break down.

If you are in a pinch, you can try spraying your jean jacket with an air freshener or essential oils and hanging it outside to air out.

Put your jacket in a large plastic bag and put it in the freezer overnight to eliminate odors. The cold temperature will kill odor-causing bacteria.

Author: wikihow staff

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