How to Shrink Chinos: 10 Easy Ways

Chinos are one of the most versatile pants you can own and should be a staple in every man’s wardrobe.

You can wear them casually with sneakers and a T-shirt all the way up to dress shoes and ties and a sports coat. They are good all year round and come in different colors so you always look interesting.

After so much wear or washing, the chinos can stretch and lose their grip and did on your body. But here’s the good news- you can shrink your favorite pair of jeans to fit you just the way you like them to.

A majority of the shrinking methods we will be looking at involves heat because chinos are made with a hundred percent cotton and sometimes a cotton and elastin blend.

High-temperature settings have a great impact on the cotton fiber of Levi’s jeans, it makes them shrink more than the size they were before the heat was applied.

Do you know how to shrink your chinos in the right place it should be shrunk?

Here are 10 easy ways for you to shrink your Chinos

  1. Use a washer to wash your Chinos
  2. Wearing your Chinos in a bathtub
  3. Use Hair dryer to dry your Chinos
  4. Soak Chinos hot water shrinks it too
  5. Sew in a new seam eliminates all stretchiness
  6. Iron them to shrink the fabrics
  7. Use a drying machine to dry them
  8. Boiling your Chinos does the ultimate shrinking work
  9. Employ the use of Fabric softener
  10. Preferably fold them instead of hanging them on a hanger

Use a washer to wash your Chinos

How to Shrink Chinos

To shrink chinos, your ill want to put it in the washing machine and put it to hot that is really going to shrink it down.

It is preferable to use a warm cycle a permanent press or heavy-duty so that the fibers can really be roughed around in the washing machine.

You can make use of your desired detergent or bar soap and just a little bit of fabric softener to give it a little flexibility.

Throw them in the dryer and regulate them on high heat or permanent press.

Chinos will shrink in a washer because a large percentage of their fabric are made from cotton and are naturally curly and tangled and before they are waved into chinos, they are stretched to make them straight.

If they find the slightest opportunity to shrink, they will. Heat and mechanical energy in laundry make them do just that.

The warmth from the washer will make the fabric. The mechanical bouncing action of your washer beats up the fiber causing the chinos causing them to shrink all the way down.

Wearing your Chinos in a bathtub

Put the water to be in-between warm and got, not hot enough that it will be unpleasant to seat in or hard to when getting in the water.

What you are going to do next is to seat with your jean inside the bathtub for half an hour

You will notice some indigo going out of the jeans while in the water which is okay but us you are afraid that it may leave stains in your bathtub, you can use bleach to easily clean it up.

After staying in the bathtub for half an hour, you may feel a little bit ridiculous because the chinos will be soaking wet.

If you must employ this method, then it should be on a sunny day because after seating in the bathtub, you are going to hop out and seat in the sun.

You would not want to seat in cold wet jeans but will rather be in the sun in hot-wet jeans. You may not be patient enough to seat with the jeans all the way to their drying point, after you notice some level of dryness, you can take them off and let them dry in open space.

It is preferable to let them dry while you are still putting them on because as they dry they conform perfectly to your body fit.

Use a Hair dryer to dry your Chinos

How to Shrink Chinos

We often times restrict the use of hair dryers to draining water off our hair but it is also a tool you can use to shrink your chinos.

Hair dryers are mostly used when you want to shrink a particular area of your chinos.  Let’s say for instance most ladies love their jeans to tightly fit them at the butt and hip region.

Or the guys do not want their jeans giving them a loose fit at the thigh or a baggy fit through their legs.

Here’s what to do with a dryer to enhance the shrinkage of that particular part of the chinos:

  • Put a mixture of some warm water and some softener in an empty sprayer and then spray it specifically on the part you desire to shrink.
  • The softer helps to keep that portion of the chinos flexible even after shrinking so that it isn’t so visible that that portion of the chinos was shrunk. 
  • After damping the chinos with your mixture of water and softener, turn on the drier on high heat and then apply that heat to the chinos until it dries up properly.

Soak Chinos hot water shrinks it too

Get a container of hot water, not so hot that will burn you but at the temperature where you won’t scream in pain when you dip your hand in it.

Next, take your jeans and unfold them, and put them in water. Soak them in until they are completely saturated. After getting them silly submerged in the water, wait for one hour.

After an hour, take the chinos out and hang them to dry. Do not put them in a dryer or else they will shrink to be smaller in size.

The effect of hot water is enough to shrink a pair of chinos so putting them in a dryer is another process to shrink them further.

Since you do not want to attain a size that is smaller than what you wear, when using the hot water method, air dry them.

Sew in a new seam eliminates all stretchiness

After so many attempts to shrink your chinos and they come to the point where they are all stretchy, you are tempted to discard them because the material seems all weak and won’t shrink any longer.

But here is another method you would want to consider before discarding your chinos – Sewing a new seem.

You may interpret this as reducing your chinos, well it’s not far from that.

Take your chinos to a tailor to measure you, ensuring it is the size you want them to shrink to. Using your measurement, the tailor should sew a new seam and this will make your chinos conform to your body for a longer time.

After sewing the chinos to your fit, you would not want to repeat this method but rather discard them if you have been shrinking them all along.

Here is why – at this point of sewing a new seam, the material is super stretchy and almost wearing out so sewing them over and over won’t give them a good look as they will have bumpy looks at the sides of the chinos and look like aged chinos.

If you haven’t been shrinking your pair of chinos, tailoring them will make them look as good as new and you won’t have to go through the shrinking process as they would fit you perfectly.

Iron them to shrink the fabrics

How to Shrink Chinos

Ironing is another swift method of shrinking your chinos to fit you. Preferably, you should use a flat-faced iron and not steam iron.

To go about this process and obtain an incredible result, do it after washing your chinos.

If you are not washing them, then you would want to make them damp. After ensuring they are properly wet, regulate the iron to high heat and then begin to iron the chinos until they get totally dried up.

The heat from the iron will Compress chinos fiber until it shrinks.

Use a drying machine to dry them

How to Shrink Chinos

After washing, the chinos soak a lot of water making them swell up, and then the heat of the dryer comes in and shrinks them back to their normal or smaller size.

When your Chinos dries, it starts to curl, and that leads to the pants getting increasingly smaller. The tumbling effect of the dryer causes the fiber to constrict, leading to the shrinkage of the chinos.

Put the chinos in the dryer for five minutes at a time. Some tumble dryers have a silk setting of yours do, and use a heatless air setting.

If you place it in the dryer, at the hottest temperature setting even if it is completely dry when you do so, it is possible that your chinos will shrink.

The heat has an enormous effect on the fibers of your clothing which can cause them to shrink.

Ensure to check it often so the cotton doesn’t get damaged.

Boil your Chinos does the ultimate work

Unbelievable right? Well, the temperature of your washer can get your jean shrunk minimally, but to give you a shrink that will last more time, the temperature of the hot water does the job better.

Clothes will most likely shrink at 90-degree wash. Any boiling hot water is likely to shrink the clothes because 90 degrees is one of the hottest temperatures it is certain that the chinos will shrink in this wash type.

Turn your jeans inside out and drop them in a pot of boiling water (make sure they fully submerge in the water) and let them boil for twenty to forty minutes.

Boiling your jeans will shrink them fast putting them in a washing machine.

Employ the use of Fabric softener

Fabric softener is used to shrink specific spots in your chinos, it helps to loosen the cotton fiber in the chinos material.

To carry out this procedure, you will need some fabric softener, hot water, a spray bottle, and clothe dryer.

  • Mix the fabric softer with the hot water to ensure that the quantity of water supersedes the fabric softener quantity.
  • Shake properly securing a good mixture, then lay the chinos down on a flat surface, and administer the solution to the areas you want to shrink.
  • After spraying the solution, leave the chinos on the flat surface to dry. You can take it under the sun but ensure it is placed on a very flat surface.

Preferably fold them instead of hanging them on a hanger

Hanging your chinos will no doubt keep them straight and void of wrinkles but they tend to stitch out when hung. To keep your chinos fit, fold them together.

If you do not have a wardrobe or drawer where you can keep them, and your only option is hanging them, then watch the hangers you use.

You would want to use a huggable hanger that carries vast part of the weight and not acrylic hangers as they would leave the bottom of the trouser to carry the weight thereby enhancing it to stretch.


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