I would try vinegar in the rinse water, and tennis balls, or dryer balls in the dryer.
To soften stiff blue jeans wash them in a washing machine with your favorite detergent and add 3/4 cup of plain white vinegar to the rinse cycle. You might have to do this twice but once usually works great. Don't worry they won't smell like vinegar and they also won't have any soap residue.
I have to agree with SnowyFilly. Not only does salt preserve the color, the jeans came out so soft.
To be really frugal don't worry about it. They'll soften up themselves after a few washes, and meanwhile enjoy the new jean smell and feel experience while it lasts. Wash new jeans together with old ones to brighten up the color of the old ones. Wash and dry them inside out, then turn them normal side out and steam iron with hot iron. (But avoid line drying or they really will be stiff as boards.)
Wash them with Coke. The really stiff ones that are dark blue will soften up nicely. Fill the washing machine with water pour in a can of Coke agitate it to mix it up, then throw in your jeans. I have even used diet coke and it worked( it's all I had).
Leave them in a bucket of water with a good bit of proctor and gamble fabric softener overnight. Rinse the next day. Works well Allan. Glasgow, UK
It takes a few washings to really soften up stiff jeans. One time I bought a pair if Levis that had a pumice stone that had been left in the pocket (apparently from when they were 'stone' washed). I guess this is how they are softened commercially, but I sure wouldn't try it in my dryer at home.
I read this long ago and used it a few times with good results. Put the jeans in the washing machine by themselves. Use the smallest size load. Put the water into the machine on the wash cycle, then add about a cup of liquid fabric softner. (no soap) Let the machine agitate. When that cycle stops, before the water drains out, move your machine control back and repeat the agitating cycle. Do this three or four times. Then allow the jeans to stay in the machine as it completes its wash.
Not sure on softening except for washing and wearing them...
1 cup of salt in the wash is used to set the color in the jeans to stop them from fading...
i have heard that you can wash your jeans with bath towels. the roughness on the towels are supposed to soften the jeans. i dont know but i think i read that on here actually.
It's been a long time since I've bought a stiff pair of jeans, but as a teenager we would wear our new jeans in the bath so that they would take our shape and add a cup of salt to the water to help soften them.
It still would take a good few washes before they were really softened though.
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