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How to shrink jeans in the washer

Updated April 17, 2017

Shrinking clothes in the washer is a great way to tailor your wardrobe without having to pay someone to do it for you. Blue jeans are one article of clothing that is very susceptible to this process. Shrinking jeans in the washer is simple; anyone can do it. If your jeans are a little loose or a little long, try shrinking them for the perfect fit.

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  1. If this is the first time washing the jeans, set the temperature to cold on the washer. The dye in blue jeans tend to fade heavily during the first few washes, so to maintain their colour, they must first be washed in cold water. Set the load size to small and wash the jeans on a cold temperature, normal cycle, by themselves. For very dark-washed jeans you may want to wash them twice at a cold temperature to prevent as much fading as possible.

  2. Now you're ready to begin the shrinking process. There is no need to use washing powder for any of these steps if the jeans are brand new. If not, any detergent will do. With the load size still set to small, choose the hottest temperature you can for your washer. Wash the jeans on a normal cycle at this temperature.

  3. Remove the jeans from the washer and place them in the dryer. You can either choose the "Time Dry" option for 60 minutes or more, or the "More Dry" option which will also dry the jeans completely. If your dryer has a heat setting, turn it to the highest level. If not, don't worry, all dryers use heat to dry. Turn the dryer on and wait for the cycle to finish.

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Things You'll Need

  • Washer
  • Dryer

About the Author

Angela Chapman

Angela Chapman has been writing professionally since 2010. She enjoys writing on a variety of subjects including design, fashion and nutrition. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in psychology from McKendree University in Lebanon, Ill. While at McKendree, she also studied marketing and is pursuing her Master of Business Administration.

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