Air-Drying vs Machine-Drying Denim Jeans

Air-Drying vs Machine-Drying Denim Jeans

Should you air-dry (AKA line-dry) your denim jeans, or should you place them in the clothes dryer? This age-old question has been around for years, with some people believing that air-drying is the best way to dry jeans, whereas others believe that machine-drying delivers better results. While they can both be used to effectively dry jeans, there are some key differences between these two methods.

Protection Against Fading

One of the benefits of air-drying your denim jeans is the protection it offers against fading. Like all fabrics, denim will naturally fade over time. This isn’t something that happens overnight, but wearing jeans for months or even years will inevitably cause it to fade. The once dark indigo color may now resemble more of a light blue. The good news is that fading shouldn’t affect the structural integrity of your jeans. The bad news is that it will affect how the jeans the look; many people prefer the look of dark jeans.

Air-drying your jeans will help protect them against fading. When jeans are placed in a machine dryer, the constant back-and-forth beating may cause them to fade. So if you are worried about your jeans fading, try to get into the habit of air-drying them instead.


A lesser-known benefit of air-drying jeans is the aromatic scent it offers, assuming you dry them outside and not inside. The combination of fresh air and sunshine will leave your jeans with a pleasant aroma. It’s not overwhelming by any means, but rather it’s just enough to make them a little more enjoyable to wear. Don’t take my word for it, though, try air-drying your jeans the next time you wash them to see for yourself.

But if you are dead set on machine drying your jeans and want to create a similar scent, you c an always used a scented dryer sheet. There are dozens of different varieties of scented dryer sheets, all of which will leave a pleasant aroma on your denim.


There are some advantages to machine-drying denim, including the time. It takes around half an hour to dry a pair of jeans in the clothes dryer (give or take). Drying jeans on a line outside, however, may take two or more hours. If you are in a bind and need your jeans dried fast, you may not have the luxury of waiting for them to finish in the clothes dryer.

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