Why Do People Starch Their Jeans ? [How To Starch Jeans]

  • By: Tiffany Peris
  • Time to read: 8 min.

There are different ways that you can fit your jeans. Some people like their jeans tight while others like them loose. Others, and in particular cowboys, prefer to wear starched jeans. Those are personal preferences, and no one can question your choice. I like my jeans to fit perfectly fine, which sometimes implies the jeans are running slightly big.

If I told you that the number of people wearing starched jeans in the USA has consistently increased, would you be surprised? In this article, I discuss starched jeans in detail as I explain starched jeans, why people starch jeans, why cowboys starch their jeans, where you can get starched jeans, and whether starched jeans shrink.

What Are Starched Jeans?

Starched jeans have starch applied on so that the jeans have a better folding and visible creases. Starched jeans have more crisps and an enhanced structure.

To better understand what starch does to a fabric, think about the collar of your shirt. Usually, when you compare your shirt’s collar to other parts of the shirt, you know that the collar is hard and crisp. This is because the starching process causes the hardness and crispness around the collar.

Why Do People Starch Jeans?

Different people starch their jeans for various reasons. Let’s now look at some common reasons people starch their jeans.

To Make Jeans Resistant To Wrinkles

In the past, jeans were casual wear. However, for the last couple of years, jeans have informally become the new formal clothing. So it’s not a surprise that many CEOs of leading IT companies unveil new products donning jeans while they used to be dressed in suits in the past.

As jeans become formal clothing, they are expected to fit perfectly and have no wrinkles, although one could be sited in one location for many hours. To ensure that jeans do not wrinkle easily, people prefer to starch their jeans.

Prevent Jeans From Soiling Or Getting Dirt Easily

When jeans are starched, the fibers making up the fabric of the cloth are sealed. Thus, dirt or dust sticks on the starch instead of the material with starched jeans. As a result, cleaning the clothes becomes easy as dirt and dust is the only thing that needs to be removed during the cleaning process.

Moreover, starching jeans makes it possible to wear the jeans a couple of times before washing them. Likewise, if you prefer to dry clean your jeans, you can wear starched jeans a couple of times before dry cleaning them, as starch helps protect jeans from dust and dirt.

Makes The Jeans Fit Better As Starched Jeans Do Not Have Wrinkles

As I already pointed out, starched jeans are less prone to wrinkles. Thus, one can have a good fit by starching jeans as the jeans do not get wrinkled quickly. When jeans have wrinkles, they make you appear unkempt, and they can even look baggy. However, by starching the jeans, those issues are addressed.

Why Do Cowboys Starch Their Jeans?

To understand why cowboys starch their jeans, it is essential to understand what qualifies one to become a cowboy.

According to your dictionary, a cowboy is a person who herds cattle in North America and mainly herds the cattle while on horseback. The cowboy works on ranches, and on most ranches, dust and dirt are everywhere.

The cowboy and cowgirls love to starch their jeans since the starch on the jeans seals the fiber of the jeans fabric, and as a result, when starched jeans come into contact with dirt or dust, it slides off rather than stick to the jeans.

Moreover, starched jeans also ensure that cowboy jeans cannot be easily scratched as the cowboys go about their duties on the ranches. Typically, on the ranches, there are bushes, thorns, and other objects that could scratch and damage the jeans. However, when the jeans are starched, they are protected from scratches and other damages on the ranch.

By having their jeans starched, cowboys can walk in mud and easily scrub off the mud from the starched jeans, and you would never know that the jeans were dirty. Thus, cowboys wearing starched jeans can ensure that the jeans are always neat irrespective of the dust and dirt present in the ranches where the cowboys mainly work daily.

Where To Get Jeans Starched

If you want your jeans starched, you can either starch the jeans yourself or enlist the services of denim repair shops to get your jeans starched at a fee. A simple search of jeans starching services will give you numerous service providers to choose from.

You can also check whether your local fabric cleaners and dry cleaner service provider offers starching services; many dry cleaners use starch in the dry-cleaning process and can therefore starch your jeans.

How To Starch Jeans At Home

Instead of paying to have your jeans starched, why not starch your jeans at home? The process is quite simple and can be carried out by anyone. You don’t need to have any experience for you to be able to starch your jeans.

The two main methods that you can use to starch your jeans comprise starching jeans with a washing machine and starching jeans with an iron.

Starching Jeans With A Washing Machine

You will require


Washing machine

Liquid starch

Step 1: Load your jeans into the washing machine

Turn your jeans inside out and load them into the washing machine.

Step 2: Set washing machine to either cool or warm water setting

Even if denim can be washed in a hot water setting, especially if you want to shrink them, when you want to starch your jeans with a machine, you have to make sure that the washing machine is set at a cool or warm water setting.

If you use hot water settings, your jeans will shrink, and you will also not be able to have your jeans well starched.

Step 3: Add detergent and liquid starch to the washing machine

Add some detergent to the washing machine. Put the required dosage of liquid starch on your washing machine’s dispenser compartment. To find out the correct dosage of liquid starch, refer to the instructions given by the liquid starch manufacturer on the packaging.

Step 4: Turn on the washing machine and let the jeans go through the entire wash cycle.

Turn on the washing machine and ensure that the wash cycle is completed with the jeans inside the machine.

Step 5: Dry your starched jeans

Once the wash cycle is complete, remove your jeans from the washing machine and dry the jeans in the dryer. Alternatively, you can also air dry your jeans on a clothesline.

To have denim crisp, you can iron your jeans once they have dried.

Starching Jeans With Iron

You will need


Iron board or a craft table

Spray bottle

Liquid starch


Step 1: Preparation

Make sure that you have all the items needed to ensure that you will be able to complete it once you start the process. Failing to plan is planning to fail. Therefore, ensure you are well prepared and have good results.

Step 2: Pour liquid detergent into the spray bottle.

Pour a good amount of the liquid detergent into the spray bottle (halfway full is fine). Next, fill the spray bottle with water. Finally, shake the spray bottle well to ensure that liquid starch and water mix well.

Step 3: Place your jeans on the iron board or the craft table

Place your jeans on the iron board or the craft table and organize them as you would do when you want to iron the jeans.

If you prefer to have a crease at the center of the legs, then arrange jeans to ensure that once you iron the jeans, the crease will be there. Again, make sure that the jeans are straight.

Step 4: Turn the iron on and set it to medium heat setting

Turn your iron on. Set the iron to medium heat setting as this is usually the recommended iron setting for denim.

Step 5: With your spray bottle, spray the mixture of water and liquid starch on the jeans

Use your spray bottle to spray water and liquid starch on your jeans. Then, leave the jeans to rest for at least 20 minutes.

Step 6: Iron the jeans 

After 20 minutes, iron your jeans to get crisp denim. If you want the crease to be sharp, you can respray the wrinkles and iron – this process is what makes starched jeans stand up.

After ironing the jeans, you can wear them or hang them in your wardrobe.

How To Make Liquid Starch To Starch Jeans At Home

If you don’t want to buy liquid starch when starching your jeans, you can make your liquid starch at home.

You will mix one cup of water with two tablespoons of corn starch in the spray bottle. Shake the mixture well, and you will have liquid starch, which is heavily starched and better than most starches that you would buy from the store.

Starched Jeans Standing Up 

Starched jeans can stand up on their own. However, to make sure that your starched jeans stand up, you need to use heavily starched liquid starch. Moreover, after starching the jeans, you will need to spray liquid starch on the center crease and iron it again.

The second starching will be important in making sure that your jeans will be stiff along the center creases, and this stiffness will make the starched jeans stand up.

How Much Does It Cost To Starch Jeans?

Many businesses that offer laundry cleaning services can starch your jeans at a cost. From the research I conducted and interviewed five cleaners offering garment cleaning services, I found that you can pay anything between $5 – $10 to starch your jeans.

If you don’t want to pay anything, you can starch your jeans at home. The starching process I have already detailed is not complicated and can be done by anyone who knows how to iron jeans.

Can Starched Jeans Shrink?

By applying starch to your jeans, you make your jeans stiff, which impacts the cotton fibers that make the denim fabric. When your jeans’ cotton fibers are stiff, they are weak, which means that your jeans will now be more susceptible to shrinking.

Starched jeans can shrink. The starch applied to the jeans affects the flexibility of your jeans as they become stiff. Thus, when the starched jeans are subjected to high temperatures and moisture, they quickly shrink.

Final Remarks

If you are working in a dirty and dusty environment, you might consider starching your jeans. For example, cowboys and welders are known to starch their jeans so that they prevent the jeans from getting dirty quickly while at the same time making sure that the jeans are free from wrinkles for a long time.

You don’t need any expertise to starch your jeans. If you can iron your jeans, then you can be able to starch the jeans.