How to Iron Jeans Properly – without damaging the denim

We all hate it when our jeans get rumpled and wrinkled – it’s OK, you can admit it annoys you too! Ironing your jeans can smoothen them out and make them look crisp, but wrinkled jeans are tricky. If you do it wrong, you could damage the fabric, whether you’re ironing a simple pair of regular jeans or a harder-to-iron denim jacket.

Like everyone else, you have probably googled “how to iron jeans”. Maybe that is how you got here. Fear not, you are in the right place. We have an easy-to-follow step-by-step guide on how to iron jeans without ruining the material.

Ironing Jeans – The Step By Step Guide

In this article, we answer how to iron jeans with a conventional lightweight iron so your jeans and denim outfits can have that smooth look you desire. You can also use a steam generator iron which functions in a similar way but has a lot more steaming power to it which should speed the job up for you. Let’s get right to it, shall we?

Step 1: Prepping the Jeans

You first need to prepare your jeans for ironing by setting them out on the ironing board. Make sure to lay them out straight, just like they would look if you were wearing them. While the same process applies if you are ironing a denim jean jacket, we’re going to focus on how to iron blue jeans, or really any colour. The front pockets should face each other. Make sure to spread them as flat as possible on the ironing board.

We emphasise laying the denim wear as flat as possible on the ironing board because it allows the steam iron to move freely across them with no bumps or interferences, making your work relatively easier. Use your hands to smooth them out as much as possible before ironing.

Do not skip emptying the pockets, make sure to remove loose change, tissues, etc. Also, make sure you remove the belt, zip up the fly, and button any loose buttons. Remove anything that would prevent the denim fabric from being spread evenly and flat on your ironing board.

Step 2: Prepping the Iron

Most conventional steam irons have inbuilt small water reservoirs. Locate the opening of this water reservoir and then fill it up. Do not exceed the designated fill level because this will cause the excess water to spill on your jeans, ironing board, or anything else in the area.

The water in the reservoir creates the steam as you iron. Steam is extremely helpful in removing creases. It makes the denim softer, so it is easier to manipulate and get smooth.

Top up your reservoir with distilled water or even regular tap water. Either option will eliminate creases perfectly. If you decide to use distilled water for your steam iron, you can buy it at a shop or make your own.

Next, select an appropriate temperature setting. Some conventional steam irons have dials that display the temperature setting from low to high, while others have dials that indicate temperature based on the material to be ironed.

Wrinkled jeans require a relatively hot iron temperature setting, depending on the thickness of the material. When you iron men’s jeans you will often find them to be thicker, so the higher the temperature, the better, but typically a cotton setting (not linen setting) on your iron should do. If you have a thinner pair of jeans that is not that wrinkled, then lower the temperature on your iron.

Step 3: Plug in the Iron

Plug in your iron. If you use a cordless or battery-powered iron, switch it on. Your iron should start heating up right away. Wait for the heat indicator to go off (or signify it is hot enough) and you are ready to go.

Burnt iron

Step 4: Ironing Over the Jeans

Lightly press your already steaming hot iron over the jeans until the creases smooth out. Take each leg or sleeve (on a jacket) and work on them exclusively one at a time.

Patience is key when ironing denim, especially with the edges, pockets, and waistband. You must spend extra time on these bits because they are usually the thickest part of the jeans. Do not press heavily on the thick parts of the denim because that might damage the fabric.

Ensure you patiently smooth over these parts, then continue with the rest of the jeans, again, taking each leg at a time. Iron over both the front and back sides of your jeans.

Step 5: Storing Your Jeans

It helps if you let your jeans cool down for a few minutes before folding or hanging them. Afterward, store them properly. This step is crucial because it prevents additional wrinkles from forming on your jeans as they are still tender from steaming.

Correctly hanging and storing your jeans also allows your denim to air out evenly, preventing any discolouration that might occur post ironing. Folded once if going on a shelf or in a drawer is fine, and hang them at the mid-leg point if using a hanger is recommended. For denim jackets, always hang them and allow for plenty of space around them in the wardrobe or wherever they will be hung.

Some Precautions You Should Know

Burns can often be an issue when working with conventional steam irons since heat is actively involved in the process. Because of this, you must follow certain safety measures, especially when ironing rigid materials like denim.

  • Do not allow the heated iron to rest on one spot for too long, keep it flowing and moving at all times.
  • Reduce and avoid body contact with heated portions of the denim. The hot material could burn you.
  • Beware of hot water leaks from your iron, and do not let it touch your body.
  • Do not over-steam as it may damage the denim and make it saggy and loose-fitting.


Jeans will never go out of style, which is why they are a staple in every wardrobe. Jeans, like other clothing materials, are more appealing when they aren’t dishevelled and wrinkled. It is pretty easy to iron jeans without damaging the fabric. Follow the above steps, and you are on your way to enjoying your smooth denim jeans again.

If you want to learn how to iron other materials, like linen, wool or polyester, we have the right resources for you. In these articles, we list the steps needed to get better results when ironing any of these fabrics.