Why Do Chinos Fade? (How Do You Maintain Chinos?)

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Chinos are forever… but that doesn’t mean they’re indestructible. In fact… like with anything made of cotton… chinos can fade and get white lines if you’re not careful.

Trouble is… there’s no magic trick to keep your chinos looking new forever. But there are some things you can do to make them last as long as possible.

If you’ve ever owned a pair of chinos… you’ve probably noticed that they can fade. This can be a problem if you want to maintain the original color as long as possible. What causes chinos to fade… and what can you do about it?

Why Do Chinos Fade?

The short answer to why chinos fade is that they’re made of cotton. Cotton is a plant-based fiber… and all plant-based fibers eventually decompose because they’re biodegradable.

The long answer is more complicated than that. Cotton… like any other natural fiber… has two components: the cotton fibers themselves and the cellulose found in the cotton’s cell walls.

The cellulose is what makes cotton fade-resistant. Cellulose molecules are connected by hydrogen bonds… which break down when exposed to water and light… so the more cellulose present in the cotton fiber… the faster it will fade.

The amount of cellulose in a given fiber depends on its quality. Pima cotton… for example… has a high percentage of cellulose and thus tends to fade at a faster rate than standard Upland cotton or Egyptian cotton.

Thus… choosing a pair of chinos made from high-quality fabric can help prevent fading… as long as you take good care of them!

While it may eventually decompose into nothingness… your pair of chinos will maintain its color if you wash it with cold water (as opposed to warm or hot)… avoid exposing it to sunlight whenever possible… and always hang it up to dry after washing or laundering.


Levi's Men's XX Standard Tapered Chino Pants... Mineral Black-Stretch... 34W x 32L


Trouble Spots for Fading

In general… your pants will fade in any spot that is exposed to the sun on a regular basis.

  1. The first area to show wear is the hems.
  2. After that… the pockets are affected.
  3. Finally… the knees and seat of your pants usually start to wear out after about six months of daily wear and tear.
  4. You’ll also see fading on areas of your pants that aren’t exposed to sunlight… but this occurs at a slower rate than in spots that get lots of sun exposure.

Why Do Chinos Get White Lines?

That’s just the appearance of the weave at work. The colored threads in the fabric get twisted around each other before they’re sewn together… so they form a pattern called a twill weave.

As you wear your chinos and wash them over time… the fibers get stressed and the weave loosens a bit… which makes it more likely for you to see white lines where those threads aren’t aligned straight anymore.

There are a few other reasons why white lines appear on chinos.

  1. Chinos are typically made from cotton or polyester blends. Polyester is a synthetic fiber that is sometimes treated with chemicals to create permanent creases in the fabric. Over time… these creases become permanent markings in the fabric that cannot be removed. They are often referred to as “poly-creases” or “permanent creases.”
  2. Your line of work can also cause chino pants to fade and develop white lines over time.
  3. Oftentimes… these lines appear where your pockets are located because of the friction from placing things in your pockets repeatedly over time and the stress that places on the fabric.

How Do You Maintain Chinos?

Treat your chino pants like any other pants you own. If you’re going to be wearing them on special occasions… make sure they’re clean… pressed… and pressed with a good crease. You might want to wash them by hand or send them out to be cleaned so they look their best when you wear them.


Dockers Men's Slim Fit Ultimate Chino Pants... new british khaki... 34W x 32L


The best way to maintain your chinos is to always wash them inside out so you don’t have any color bleeding onto other parts of your pants. When you’re hanging them up to dry… don’t put them away until they’re completely dry — otherwise… you might end up with white marks from damp fabric on other parts of your pants.

The fading of chinos is often caused by exposure to sunlight or heat. Chinos that have been washed and dried in high heat setting will start to fade easily. Washing the pants in cold water will help prevent fading because it prevents shrinkage and color bleeding.

Alternatively… if you want your chinos to acquire a worn look… washing them in hot water will make this happen faster. If you don’t mind the pants looking a bit worn out… but not faded or shrunk… then you can wash your chinos with half a cup of vinegar to prevent them from shrinking and fading.

How Do You Get Rid of White Lines on Chinos?

There are several methods you can use to get rid of white lines on chinos… but none of them will work if you haven’t taken steps to prevent them from happening in the first place.

How do you keep chinos from getting white lines? You have to pay special attention to the care and cleaning of your chinos. If you don’t follow a few simple steps… those white lines will eventually appear on your pants.

While you can’t get rid of white lines on chinos entirely… you can make them less noticeable. You’ll need to iron the pants and remove the stain completely before your white lines begin to fade.

The Easy Way: Ironing and Washing

Iron out any wrinkles. Wash the pants in cool water and mild detergent. Do not use hot water because it will set the staining process and you’ll end up with darker marks in the future. The chemical reaction that causes your pants to turn white happens when two substances mix together: sweat from your body and fabric dyes from the chinos.

After you wash them… this reaction should stop and fade your pants back to their original color. If they don’t return to their original color after several washes… apply a fabric softener sheet directly onto the stained areas while they are still wet… then let them dry completely before wearing again.

If This Doesn’t Work: Try an OxiClean Treatment

Oxiclean is an environmentally friendly stain remover that works well on removing stubborn stains from clothing… including white lines on chinos.

The process is pretty easy:

  1. Fill up a bucket with lukewarm water… as hot water will set the stains.
  2. Add 1/2 cup of OxiClean powder… which can be found in the laundry aisle at Walmart and most supermarkets. The powder turns into suds when it touches water.
  3. Put your pants in the bucket and make sure they are completely submerged in the water… otherwise… they’ll come out discolored. Leave them in there for 2 hours… stirring occasionally.
  4. Take your pants out of the bucket and rinse them off with cold water. Hang them outside on a clothesline or lay them flat to dry–don’t put them in the dryer!
  5. After they are completely dry… iron them to see if the white lines are gone.

Are Chino Pants Durable?

Of the various types of pants that men have at their disposal… chinos are easily some of the most commonly worn. Among other things… they are known as being durable and tough… two characteristics that make them great for casual wear.

The answer to this question is a resounding yes! Chinos are known for their durability and resistance to damage… fading… and wrinkling. This makes them ideal for everyday wear… especially if you’re an active individual who finds yourself doing outdoor activities on a regular basis.

What makes chino pants so great? Chino pants are durable… comfortable… and stylish.

  1. Durability: Chino pants are made from cotton or a cotton blend that makes them very durable. The fibers of these fabrics resist dirt and stains… and they hold up well to repeated washings. In addition… the fabric is typically tightly woven… which means it doesn’t tear easily.
  2. Comfort: Chinos are made from soft fabrics that feel good against your skin. They’re also relatively lightweight… which is why they’re so popular during warmer months.
  3. Style: Chinos come in a wide range of colors and patterns that allow you to get the look you want without compromising comfort. Chino pants can be worn for work or play and can even be dressed up for special occasions like weddings or job interviews.

How Do You Make Chinos Look New?

If you are like most men… there is a good chance that your chinos have been worn out and washed countless times over the years. As a result of this wear and tear… the color of your chinos might not be as dark as it used to be.

Here are a few things you can try to make them look like new again:

  1. You can restore the appearance of your chinos by washing them in an enzyme-based detergent… like Woolite… before you wear them.
  2. Treat stains by applying a prewash stain remover… like Shout or Cheer. Then wash in hot water with soap… and dry on a hot cycle.
  3. You can also add baking soda to the wash water on the next wash. This will also restore the color of your garment to its original brilliance by removing yellowing caused by repeated exposure to chlorine bleach.
  4. If you have time… turn your jeans inside out and spray them with hairspray before placing them in the washer. The hairspray helps keep wrinkles from setting into the fabric… so when you take them out of the wash they appear to be new again.
  5. You can restore the appearance of your chinos by dying them in order to make them look new again.

In summary, Chino pants are one of the most popular types of pants in men’s fashion. They’re comfortable… durable… and look great. Chinos come in a wide variety of colors… fabrics… and designs to suit everyone’s tastes.

Chinos are so durable that they’re often labeled as being “stain-resistant” or “stain-proof.” This is only partially true because a stain-resistant material can be stained; it’s just that stains are easier to remove than with other types of material. Stain-resistant doesn’t mean stain-proof.

You may also be interested in. Can You Tailor Sweatpants? and Do Chinos Have a Crease?