Have you ever had a thought to throw away your jeans because it is way too baggy and loose fitting? Or did you lose some pounds and those old pair of jeans do not hug your legs as firmly as they did before? Was the life cycle of your jeans shorter than expected? Maybe you bought jeans from a brand that your friend recommended and it came out to be looser than expected.
In these cases, you either think of throwing away your beloved jeans or getting them tailored to lose out on your whole month’s salary. We have a third and a better option for you which tells you how to shrink jeans at your home. Yes, you can shrink your jeans with style at home with few easy steps (or, maybe not) in a quick, easy, and extremely affordable way.
The most important component in the process of shrinking your jeans is heat: hot water and dryer. Cotton is an element that is naturally susceptible to shrinking when exposed to moisture, dampness, and warmth. More the cotton fibers jeans have, the easier is the process to shrink your jeans to get a perfect fit. All you need is to have the right knowledge on how to shrink jeans and you will get a perfectly form-fitting pair of denim in less than an hour.
5 Easy Ways to Shrink Your Jeans
1. Using a Washer and Dryer
This is the most common method to shrink your jeans because of their relative easiness and effectiveness. The heat formula used by the washer and dryer shrink jeans by just the right amount.
Place the jeans in the washing machine and put on the highest heat setting and the fastest cycle rate. High temperature causes the cotton in the jeans to contract and shrink the fabric.
Use detergent and liquid fabric softener in the normal quantities because they do not affect the shrinkage pattern but the fabric softener prevents the jeans from becoming extra stiff as it shrinks.
Remove the jeans from the washing machine as soon as the washing cycle gets completed while they are still hot and place them immediately in the drying machine which will cause significant shrinking with most fabrics.
Make sure to set the dryer at the highest heat setting because the hotter the dryer is, the more will wet cotton in jeans will shrink.
Remove the jeans from the dryer when the dry cycle ends and check if the jeans are completely dry because the cotton fabric of the jeans can retain a lot of moisture even after going through the drying process and thus might need another cycle of drying. Put the jeans in the dryer even if there is a small hint of dampness and do NOT air dry your jeans because that will make them very stiff.
Check the jeans for comfort and fitting quality by wearing them and moving around. If the jeans shrink is not up to your standards then you can repeat the heating and drying process until you get the desired jeans fit and results.
Washing and drying your denim at high temperatures can cause the denim color to fade, especially if it’s dark-colored or black jeans. If you would like to retain the denim’s original color, you should turn them inside out before washing.
2. Boiling Method
If you want to know how to shrink jeans in a huge amount then this is the method for you. The high heat of the water ensures that the fibers of the denim are tightened and contracted.
Turn your jeans inside out and loosely fold them to avoid discoloration and reduce the fading amount that occurs with a new pair of jeans or dark denim. it also helps to reduce fabric damage.
Boil a large pot of water and place it on the stove and make sure it is filled with enough water to submerge the jeans. Boil the water till bubbles appear on its surface and let the water simmer for roughly 10 minutes.
Make sure that the pot of water is large enough to contain your jeans by testing it beforehand by putting your jeans in the pot.
Keep tongs in handy and use them to place your jeans inside the boiling water with utmost care. Let the jeans soak in the boiling water for 20-30 mins and make sure that it is fully submerged by pushing them with the help of tongs. Drain out any excess water if there is which can cause color loss.
Using tongs, remove the denim from the hot water and immediately place them in a dryer with the hottest dryer setting. The immense heat of the dryer will tighten and contract the already hot fibers of the jeans causing shrinkage. The higher the heat setting of the dryer is, the more dramatic will be the shrinkage that takes place.
Once the drying cycle is completed, remove the jeans from the dryer and wear them to see if you have achieved the desired shape and fit. Ensure that you wear the jeans after they have cooled down to prevent any burns on your body. No denim is worth any pain on your body.
If the jeans are still damp after the drying process, dry them one more time and see if you have got the desired shrink jeans fit.
3. Taking a Bath in Jeans
This is a very effective method to shrink your jeans but for some people, it would be very weird and uncomfortable to take a bath in jeans. It is also one of the easiest ways to shrink jeans that have a unsanforized fit.
Fill your bathtub with hot water and make sure that the water is hot enough to cause shrinkage and tighten the fibers but not boiling water which can give you burns.
Wear the jeans that you want to shrink and make sure that the waist fits so that you get the required fit after completion. Use a cloth to separate the metal button from your skin which can burn your skin.
Ease yourself into the bathtub and remain there till the hot water in the bathtub cools down to room temperature which will take about 20-30 minutes if the water is hot enough. Make sure that the waist and the legs are completely submerged and no piece of clothing is outside the water which can disturb the shape of your denim.
Once the water has cooled down, allow yourself to get up and let yourself drip dry by letting most of the waterfall into the bathtub.
The next step might be regarded as very uncomfortable because it takes several hours but the shape that the jeans conform to according to your legs is noteworthy.
You need to sit in a sunny location to air dry your jeans which helps them to shrink according to the shape of your legs providing you the best style you can aim for. For this method, you should choose a day when it is hot enough to prevent yourself from getting sick.
You should sit on a plastic or metal chair and avoid any absorbent surfaces which can soak up water and give you a slightly disturbed fit.
If the jeans feel too tight, then you can perform some leg exercises or walk around to stretch your jeans slightly and get a custom fit.
4. Spot Shrink your Jeans
Most commonly, we find that some parts of the jeans fit perfectly while some other parts are very baggy and loose. However, you do not want to shrink those parts which fit perfectly, then shrinking a particular spot is the best method for you to get your desired customized denim shape.
Grab a standard spray bottle and fill three parts of the bottle with hot water while the rest one part with fabric softener. Do NOT use a detergent instead of a fabric softener because you will need to wash your jeans after that making the process lengthy and more hectic.
Shake the spray bottle forcibly for a minute or two to completely mix the hot water and the fabric softener.
Spread out your jeans on a flat surface and spray those areas that you want to shrink with the mixture from the spray bottle. Soak the area wet to get the best results.
Throw the jeans into the dryer and set the hottest setting on the dryer to achieve the required shrinkage on the sprayed areas while the dry areas will remain unaffected giving you the favorable shape of your denim.
Remove the jeans from the dryer when they are completely dry and check if the damp area has been dried and wear your jeans to see if you got the required fit. Repeat the process if there is any margin of error.
5. The Ironing Method
This method is the best for those people who have a shortage of time and want to get the preferred fit as quickly as possible. This method is also only effective when you need some slight tweaks in adjustment.
Spread out your jeans on an ironing table and dampen the areas that you want to shrink with hot water like the waistband, knee area, or thigh area.
Make sure not to soak the area wet but to dampen it with hot water to get the right amount of shrinkage.
Grab your iron from your closet and iron the dampened areas but remember not to stay on one particular area for too long which can even cause blackness in that particular area.
Once you have dried the wet areas completely, wear your jeans to check if you achieved the preferred fit and repeat the procedure if there is an error.
Maintenance of Shrinked Denim
Once you have got that perfect fit on your legs with jeans you need to take utmost care of your denim to ensure that it stays that way for as long as possible. Some points to consider are:
- Try not to wash and dry your jeans again in high temperatures once you have got the desired fit because it will cause further shrinkage affecting the fit of the jeans.
- Avoid washing your jeans regularly to elongate their life because it affects the size, shape, and color of the denim which is the last thing you want after going through such hectic procedures.
- If you feel that you have been wearing your jeans over and over again for a very long time then you can clean the denim by spraying some particular areas and patting them dry.
- If you still feel that the jeans do not fit according to your need then you can choose to go to your trusted tailor to get the correct alterations.
Jeans are an important accessory in men’s wardrobe and having the right fit of denim makes you go a long way in making a fashion statement.
The right pair of denim shows your class and your particularity with your clothes. It shows that you are an alpha male who wears everything according to his needs and you do not shy away from flaunting your leg muscles and ripped body through the perfect pair of jeans.
There is no specific way to shrink your jeans, instead, we listed numerous ways above. Shrinking your jeans at home is a cost-effective way to make a fashion statement and get the best results with the application of a very simple scientific procedure: heat. We wish you all the luck in your future endeavors and may you rock the denim you own.