How to Shrink Jeans Permanently?

If you think your jeans have been a bit big and baggy in some areas, you will have to go find a way to shrink them. In this article, we have made a list of various ways you can successfully do that.

We all want a pair of jeans that will fit perfectly on every part of our body, from the waist down – that’s the goal, right?

Although, whether you have lost some weight or it could be from constant usage, your best pair will start looking a bit loose in specific parts or all over.

So, now that you’ve lost your favorite pair, what are you going to do? Well, you should follow the methods mentioned here to be able to shrink our jeans permanently.

The several ways to shrink your jeans permanently can be classified into the home-based method and tailor amendment.

In the case of the last mentioned, you will only get a fit on a particular area in your jeans but the former gives you access to shrinking all over instead of trying to fix a specific area.

When it comes to shrinking the length of your jeans, the home-based methods are the most effective.

There are 10 ways you can shrink your jeans to get the perfect fit

Table of Contents

How to Shrink Jeans Permanently

  • Wash and dry your jeans at the highest temperature
  • Boil your jeans
  • Take a hot bath with your jeans and dry them out
  • Shrink targeted areas on your stretch jeans
  • Iron them
  • Go for replacement buttons
  • Hem your jeans
  • Get Denim-shrinking products
  • Get your jeans tailored
  • When all else fails, purchase a new pair

Here is a detailed description of these methods:

Wash and dry your jeans at the highest temperature

Although clothes are not to be washed in the hot cycle because they will definitely shrink.

But if you need to shrink your jeans, this is exactly what you need; having to put your jeans in your washer and dryer on a high heat setting is one of the best and most effective ways to achieve your aim.

Your jeans will shrink about half to one inch if you follow this method. All you have to do is;

Place your jeans inside the washing machine

It doesn’t matter if your jeans are clean or dirty. If you want to wash other clothes alongside, make sure they can take the high heat temperature.

Choose the highest temperature option and the fastest cycle rate

High heat temperature will make the cotton in your jeans contract the fabric. You can make use of a detergent and fabric softener as you normally do wash your jeans. They won’t have an effect on the shrinkage process.

Remove the jeans from the washer

To get the best results, remove the jeans immediately after the cycle ends while they’re still hot.

Place the jeans in the dryer

Remember that if you intend to dry other clothes with your jeans, ensure that they can take high temperatures.

The drying process will lead to a great amount of shrinkage and most fabric or clothing shouldn’t be dried at high temperatures.

Set the drying machine to its highest temperature

This is the real deal, the hotter the dryer, the more your wet jeans will shrink.

Remove the jeans as the dry cycle ends

Ensure that the jeans are dried thoroughly. Sometimes jeans can continue to have moisture and will require another dry cycle.

If you see that your jeans are not considerably damp, you should place the jeans on another dry cycle.

Try on the jeans to see the fitness

Wear and button up your jeans, then move around to give a visual measure of the jeans having a perfect fit. If you wish to continue shrinking your jeans, repeat this process until you reach your desired fit.

Repeatedly washing and drying your jeans on high heat might lead to some damage on your jeans and may likely cause the color to fade.

This method also consumes water and electricity. If you want to save energy and money, this may likely not be the right method.

Boil your jeans

Boiling your jeans is an easy and quick method with much effectiveness as the water use is hot. The heat will make the cotton in your jeans shrink.

Also, remember that boiling your jeans is not an accurate method, as it is not easy to estimate the exact time to which our jeans will shrink, it is in no way similar to boiling an egg, it all seems that more time will lead to more shrinkage.

Fill a large metal pot with water and place it on the stove

Allow the water to boil for approximately 10 minutes, ensure that the pot you use is big enough to contain the jeans and the water.

You can try this out before placing the pot on the stove by placing the jeans with water on the pot, then removing the jeans with excess water.

Place the jeans in the boiling water

Before placing the jeans in the water, turn them inside out as this helps to prevent discoloration and fabric damage, ensure the jeans remain fully under the boiling water, let the jeans boil for roughly 30 minutes.

Dry the jeans in a dryer

Choose the highest temperature settings to get the best result, place the jeans in the dryer as soon as you remove them from the boiling water.

Remove the jeans as the dry cycle ends

Check the jeans if there is any retained moisture and place the jeans back on the dryer if you find they’re still wet.

Try on the hand to see if you like the fit

Wear the jeans then move around to make sure they feel comfortable. If the jeans need more shrinkage, repeat this method.

Take a hot bath with your jeans and dry them out

If you are really interested in Denim, you almost certainly will love anyone you set your eyes on and you can swear that you know the popular clean rule; “Do not wash your jeans in hot water”.

In addition, it is a fact that natural heat can help create a modified and suitable fit, therefore if you aim to shrink your jeans without washing them using the general methods. It is ideal to wear them in a hot bath.

Fill a bathtub with hot water

The hotter the water, the more likely the jeans will shrink. Try out the water with your hand to ensure it is not too hot for your skin.

Put on the jeans that you intend to shrink

Ensure to button up to make sure it fits at the waistband.

Sit in the tub with your jeans on

Make sure not to move, continue being seated. In the tub, until you feel the water has cooled off. You are likely to sit in the tub for roughly 30 minutes to see the best results.

You can bring something good to listen to or read your favorite book while you are seated in the tub to pass time, just ensure that your electronics and book are not close to the water.

Keep standing after the water is cool and let yourself drip-dry

You should stay in the tub as the water drains, this will allow most of the water to go out of your jeans, once done, step out of the tub and lightly dry them with a towel

Wear the wet jeans until they’re completely dried

Take your time to remain standing to prevent the denim from stretching. Once the jeans are completely dried, they should be in your desired fitting.

While sitting in the tub with your jeans on is not a comfortable thing to do, this process, however, I’d ideal to make your jeans form-fitting while trying to avoid damage to the fabric or if you are worried about discoloration or shrinking your jeans too much.

Shrink targeted areas on your stretch jeans

In a spray bottle, create a thick mixture of hot water and fabric softener

Spray the area of your jeans that you intend to shrink

Keep spraying the targeted area until the area is soaked thoroughly, be fast with this process to avoid the mixture getting cold.

Place the jeans in a dryer

Remember to ensure other clothes can handle high temperatures if you wish to dry them with other clothes

Select the hottest setting

The more the wet area of your jeans will shrink when the dryer is hot

Remove the jeans when they are dry

Inspect the area you sprayed to ensure it did not retain any moisture

Try out your jeans to know the fitting

Iron them

You know that heat is your close friend when trying to shrink stretch jeans right? Iron is just the perfect equipment to use.

And just like placing your jeans in the washer, this method is best used for “spot shrinking” in areas like your knees, waistband, knees, and bum all you should do is find the area of your jeans you’d want to shrink a bit.

Make slightly wet with water, and move the iron directly over it until it gets completely dried. If you need an overall shrinkage, put the jeans in the washer and wash them with hot water.

Place them in the dryer until the jeans are slightly wet, but not dried completely. Take out the jeans from the dryer and use the iron to dry the pants until it gets fully dried.

Go for replacement buttons

When all you want to do is shrink the waist gap in your jeans, the replacement buttons will help out, and it is also based on the button type you make use of.

This is almost not a permanent way to shrink your jean, we can say it is a “Semi-permanent” way and it’s quite effective.

All you have to do is put the button right in the band at a comfortable and cozy place that will fit your waist.

Hemming your jeans

If you intend to shrink your jeans by length, hemming is the perfect method you should try out, all you possibly need is s sewing needles, thread, pins, and scissors.

A sewing machine is not necessarily needed as this method can be done manually.

However, if you still decide to put your jeans in the dryer, ensure to do so before hemming it as washing and drying your jeans after hemming will lead to your jeans getting too short.

Get Denim-shrinking products

There is no problem without a solution they say, and if there’s ever a problem, someone out there has the solution. There are a lot of Denim-shrinking sprays at the market.

There are soaps, sprays, and fabric softeners, all invented for shrinking jeans.

Get your jeans tailored

This is the right time to use the tailored alteration. That is, if you continuously have to use any of the aforementioned methods after getting to wear your jeans for a week or month even though all 8 methods are easily done and effective, they can never be as effective as a tailor’s skills.

In addition, if you are tending to shrink your jeans more than just the size, a tailor is your go-to.

When all method fails, purchase a new pair

You may not like this, but no matter how you try, some jeans won’t shrink the way you want or to their original size. If you have tried all the methods, try purchasing the exact pair of denim that you keep trying to shrink.

If it seems you can’t find the exact jean in the stores or online, don’t panic, try something new, you will get another pair that you might love even more.

We all know how it feels like to have a favorite pair of jeans, we just keep wearing them repeatedly until we can’t wear them anymore.

There is no need to be sad if you can’t see any means to shrink that pair, try out these safe methods before purchasing a new one still.

Why do people shrink their pants?

How to Shrink Jeans Permanently

To make your Jeans look slimmer.

Nobody likes to be told that they’re too big, so they see shrinking as a quick and safe way to make themselves feel better about their body size.

A plus-size person might not feel okay wearing baggy jeans because obviously, it will make them look bigger, shrinking their pants to be slim fitting is one way they can ever feel comfortable in a pair of Denim.

They feel the more they shrink their pants is the more fitting they will get and also, the smaller it will make them look.

They don’t want to lose the Jeans

Another reason people shrink their pants is if the pants are their favorite pair and they don’t want to spend money getting another pair.

Getting to lose your favorite pair of jeans because of how lose it is can be quite frustrating, the only way to keep the pants is if they shrink it a bit and also saves them from spending to get another pair, that is if purchasing another pair is not in their budget.

All they do is put that favorite pair on the dryer and allow the heat to do the magic.

People also shrink their pants because they think it’s fashionable.

A lot of people prefer not to wear loose pants nowadays, especially when they all want to follow fashion trends, it’s in every magazine’s cover photo, their favorite musician or role model per se all seem to be rocking that slim fitted denim.

They want to fit in and if shrinking their pants is the way to achieve their dream size, they will go for it.

Finally, people shrink their jeans because they are just plain lazy, they don’t see reasons to get a new pair after wearing them for a while.

Why not get a new pair instead and stop shrinking your pants! Just kidding though, everyone has got a choice, if shrinking your pants to your desired size or fit is what you intend to do, then go for it.

Just don’t hesitate to get a new pair when you’ve exhausted all the shrinking methods you know.

Where are the best places to shrink Jeans?

One of the most popular and best places to shrink your jeans is at the waist. This can be done by placing a hot iron on the inside of the waistband and then pulling it over your feet.

The second best area is at the ankles since there are usually gaps in between the pants and shoes. The third best spot to get shrunk is at the hips.

This option is often done by women who prefer their jeans to fit tighter around their hip area.

The fourth best place people shrink their jeans is at the inseam which is sometimes known as “Slimming” which consists of pinching areas of the jeans legs together.

How to care for your Jeans after shrinking

Your jeans are a needed part of your closet. They constantly serve as a go-to for your everyday life and you know how stunning you look while on them this is why you should take your time to take care of them with extra care.

Here are a few care tips on how you can keep your jeans in shape after shrinking them.

Hang your jeans

One hidden truth to extend the duration of wearing your jeans besides washing them is to spread them when you are not wearing them.

Doing this will go the fabric get back from stretch and stress, mainly in the seat and knee, especially as you don’t want your newly shrunk jeans reverting to its normal/loose shape.

Wash your Jeans inside out

If you want to keep the shape or size of your shrunk jeans, ensure to wash them inside out with cold water and with a multipurpose formulated detergent.

Note that using hot water will make the pair shrink even more or maybe you can use it once in a while to keep the shrunk size.

Wash your jeans occasionally

Only clean your jeans when it’s needed to be done. The process of washing your jeans in the washer can wear out the fabric over time, making the life of your denim short.


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