How to Shrink a Hoodie: 2 Simple Choices

Learn how to shrink your oversized hoodie.

How to Shrink a Hoodie

Sizing Down

To shrink your hoodie you will want to use both hot water and hot air. Shrinking your hoodie in the washer and dryer is the smartest option to see success. Varying the overall heat of the water you use will shrink your hoodie from 1-2 sizes. Using an iron is another method to use.

This is How to Shrink a Hoodie: 2 Simple Choices.

Welcome to our article on how to shrink a hoodie. 

There are many reasons to want to shrink a hoodie. However, if you’re looking this up because the hoodie you ordered online was too big, send it back and get the clothing company to send you the proper size.

Anytime you add heat to fabric to alter its shape, the overall life of that piece of clothing will shorten. Also, shrinking your hoodie will not give you an exact outcome you can be sure of.

It may come out perfect.

It may come out 1-2 sizes too small.

It may come out with the right fit on your shoulders but an extra shortened and billowy waist. 

Only attempt to shrink your hoodie if it has put in some solid years for you leading up till now or is a hand-me-down that needs some work to be of use to you.

Let our other articles help you shrink the specific piece of clothing you desire.

How to Shrink a Hoodie

Below you will find two ways to shrink your hoodie at home. Please pay attention to the fact that heat is a critical factor in both processes. 

With this knowledge, gauge the temperatures you will use for the shrinkage you want to achieve.

While your addressing your hoodies size, use our other guides to always have a perfect fitting and looking hoodie.

1. How to Shrink a Hoodie in the Washer & Dryer

  1. Review the tag on your shirt for specific washing instructions. If the tag tells you to wash your hoodie in cool water, you can wash it in warm water to shrink it. If the tag tells you to clean the hoodie in warm water, then you can shrink it in hot water.
  2. First, try washing your sweatshirt in hot water to shrink it. Put your sweatshirt in a clean sink, and run hot water over the hoodie for 5-10 minutes. Check the size once the hoodie has cooled to room temp.
  3. If the hot water didn’t work, put a pot of water on to boil. When your water comes to a boil, cautiously put in the hoodie, add the lid, and then turn off the heat.
  4. Select the hot water setting on your machine. After you’ve soaked your hoodie in hot/boiling water, put it in the wash. You can wash your hoodie with other garments you want to shrink, as seen above. Select the appropriate load size, and pour in 1 cap full of laundry detergent. After the hoodie is washed (how long does a washer take?), check the sizing before you put it in the dryer (learn how to use a dryer).
  5. Use the hottest heat setting if you want your hoodie to shrink more in the dryer. If you don’t want anymore shrinkage use the tumble dry low setting or dry it without a dryer.
  6. Try on the hoodie when the dryer is finished to see how it fits. Some brands may tell you to wait till it’s room temperature, but we all know a warm hoodie out of the dryer is the best feeling!

Once your hoodie is dry, don’t chuck it onto the floor at the corner of your room. Fold your hoodie or hang it up.

How to Shrink a Hoodie in the Washer & Dryer: Tips

  • Submerge in boiling water: If you want to shrink your shirt 1 size, leave it in the water for 10-15 minutes.
  • Submerge in boiling water: If you hope to shrink your shirt 2 sizes, let it cool to room temperature.
  • Submerge in boiling water: Do not do this if washing a polyester sweatshirt. Polyester should not be heated above 178 °F (81 °C).
  • Submerge in boiling water: Another way to do this is to put your hoodie in the sink and pour boiling water over the top of the hoodie. Then, let it cool to room temperature.
  • In the washing machine: use the longest washing size to shrink the most. Use a normal wash cycle to shrink only 1 size.
  • In the washing machine: Hold the wet sweater in front of you and eyeball the size in the mirror. Once the sweater is dry, you can try it on to check the fit.
  • In the dryer: If your hoodie is shrunk to your liking, follow the drying directions on your garment tag.
  • Cotton easily shrinks, as do cotton and polyester blends.
  • Synthetic fabrics like rayon and nylon do not shrink.
  • Wool will shrink the most; beware.

2. How to Shrink a Hoodie with an Iron

  1. Wet your hoodie with warm water. Wring out excess moisture, and lay the sweatshirt on your ironing board.
  2. Lay a cotton cloth on top of your hoodie if it is more than 50% polyesterPolyester can easily damage or harden up if exposed to direct high temperatures. You can use a large t-shirt or towel.
  3. Use medium heat. If you use a high heat setting, it can burn your hoodie rather than shrink it. Playing it safe with low heat will most likely not shrink the clothing.
  4. Apply moderate pressure to the iron when in contact with the hoodie. Run your iron across the garment slowly, leaving the iron in 1 spot for no more than 10 seconds.
  5. Iron the hoodie until most of the water evaporates away. If there is steam, you know the iron is hot enough, and you’re doing it right. 
  6. Once the hoodie is dry, let it cool for a second, then try it on to see if the sizing is correct.

How to Shrink a Hoodie with an Iron: Tips

  • Using an iron can shrink your clothes up to one additional size.
  • If you are ironing a cotton sweatshirt, you do not need a layer of protection.
  • If the iron stays in one place for too long, it will burn your sweatshirt.

How to Shrink a Hoodie FAQ

Yes, you can shrink your hoodie in the dryer. First, get it wet with hot water (if you want it shrunk substantially), then use the dryer on high for the longest duration.

To fashionably wear a hoodie that is too big, you can wear a t-shirt that is longer than the hoodie to give it a layer. You can also put on a baggie pair of jeans or sweatpants to compliment the baggy hoodie.

Written and reviewed by:
Tall Paul
Tall Paul
I am 6'7 (203cm) / 235lb (106 kg) model and ex-athlete. Since I was a teen I had trouble finding clothes. I was too tall for off the rack and was too lean for Big & Tall.

Get Men's Fashion Tips