How to Shrink Jeans and Pants

Written by meredith jameson
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How to Shrink Jeans and Pants
Jeans (jeans image by Tijara Images from

Many people who have lost weight changed clothing sizes and look for options to help them resize their current clothes instead of purchasing new ones. This includes jeans and trousers, which are a basic element of most wardrobes. It is possible to shrink jeans and trousers to a certain degree but note that these items will only shrink somewhat and may stretch back out during normal wear. However, jeans and trousers that are 100-percent cotton will provide the greatest degree of success in terms of shrinkage.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Washing machine
  • Clothes dryer
  • Large pot
  • Laundromat

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  1. 1

    Place the trousers or jeans into the washing machine and choose the hot water setting. If there are other settings on the washer that provide for washing in high temperatures, choose those settings as well.

  2. 2

    Put the trousers or jeans into the clothes dryer after washing and choose the highest temperature setting possible. Repeat as necessary until the trousers have shrunk. Air-drying jeans or trousers in the sun is an option but the items will not shrink as much.

  3. 3

    Try boiling the jeans or trousers in a large pot of boiling water. Repeat Step 2 to dry.

  4. 4

    Wear the jeans or trousers and sit in a bath filled with cool water for thirty minutes or more. Note that wet jeans are not terribly comfortable and some colour may transfer to your legs. Repeat Step 2 to dry.

  5. 5

    Take the jeans or trousers to a local laundromat and wash and dry on the highest settings possible in the machines there. Industrial washers and dryers often use higher levels of heat than standard machines and may do a better job of shrinking the trousers.

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