As a big and tall or tall man it can be difficult to find clothing items that fit properly, and wearing jeans that are too baggy or too loose around the waist can be really uncomfortable. Thankfully there are several different methods you can use to shrink your jeans so that you don’t have to walk around in awkward, loose jeans.
Table of Contents
Supplies & Tools:
- Washing machine
- Drying machine
- Laundry detergent (optional)
How To Shrink Jeans
Total Time: 1 hr 45 min
There are several ways to shrink jeans, and the main ingredient in each method is heat. Hot air & hot water shrink fabrics. Using heat will allow you to get your jeans back to their original size after stretching them, and you may even be able to shrink them a full size down.
The degree to which you are able to shrink your jeans also depends on which material they are made from. Jeans made from or containing a high percentage of cotton will shrink to a greater degree because of how cotton fibers behave when they come into contact with heat.
Using the washing machine and dryer is the most effective way to shrink your jeans. Follow the steps below to properly shrink your jeans in the wash.
1. Turn your jeans inside out
Turn your jeans inside out to protect the outer surface of the denim.
2. Put jeans in washing machine
Place your jeans into the washing machine.
3. Add laundry detergent (optional)
Add liquid laundry detergent if you wish.
4. Adjust washer settings to hot
Adjust the settings on the washing machine to the hottest water temperature possible and push start.
5. Put jeans into dryer
6. Turn dryer to tumble dry high
Adjust the settings on the dryer to tumble dry high and push start.
7. Repeat as needed
Repeat the process until you have achieved your desired level of shrinkage.
Run through our guide on how to shrink jeans in the wash for a more detailed list. Plus learn how hot does a dryer get?
Shrink Jeans With Boiling Water
Total Time: 2 hr
Boiling your jeans may sound like a strange thing to do, but remember, heat is the key ingredient! This method is a great way to shrink your jeans, as long as you have a pot or cauldron large enough to fit in those big and tall jeans of yours.
Boiling your jeans will also help speed up the process in breaking in your jeans.
Although it is effective for shrinking the entire pair of jeans, the boiling method is best for simply shrinking the waistband. This method also has the potential to shrink the waistband on your jeans permanently!
Find a large pot or cauldron, fill it with clean water, and place it on the stove.
1. Bring a big pot of water to a boil before adding jeans
Bring a big pot of water to a boil before adding your jeans to it.
2. Add your jeans to the boiling pot of water
Carefully add your jeans to the boiling pot of water, use a pair of long handled tongs if you have them. Continue to boil the water, and be sure to keep the access fabric far and away from the flames if you are using a gas stove.
3. Boil your jeans for 30 min
Leave your jeans in the boiling water for 30 minutes. Slowly fully submerge them so no boiling water splashes out.
4. After 30 minutes turn down the heat and remove jeans
Turn off the burner and pull your jeans out of the water using tongs or other kitchen utensils. If you do not have any appropriate kitchen utensils, you can simply pour the entire pot into your clean kitchen sink like I am doing.
5. Dry your jeans to finish the shrinking process
There are two ways to finish this sequence. One is to put the jeans in the dryer and the second is to air dry the.
Using the dryer will shrink the jeans further and take less time, however they will damage the denim fabric.
Air drying the jeans will not add any additional shrinking and will take longer, but you will keep the integrity of your jeans and they will last longer.
Take you pick on which you want.
Shrink Jeans By Ironing Them
Total Time: 45 min
If you do not have the time or energy to boil or wash your jeans, you may also use the iron to shrink your jeans in certain spots. Follow the instructions below to try this method out.
1. Fill spray bottle with hot water
Use hot water to add moisture and dampen the loose fitting areas of your jeans.
2. Spray area on jeans you want to shrink till damp
You do not need to shrink the whole pant, just the area(s) you want to shrink. Spray the spots until they are damp, not soaking wet.
3. Turn iron onto high heat to use on denim jeans
Turn the iron to a high heat level. If your jeans are less denim and more of a mixed bag of fabrics then you will want to google what is safe for them on usage of heat.
4. Iron over the damp area till moisture is gone
Iron the area you sprayed, but do not just sit the iron on the area and wait. Move it around and let areas breath so they do not burn and warp.
Once your done shrinking your jeans, take the iron over your entire jeans for a second pass and get all the creases out that you created in the process.
Shrink Your Jeans In The Bath
Total Time: 2 hr 45 min
Ok, this one sounds even more weird than boiling your jeans, but it is a highly effective way to shrink your jeans! This method might be just a little uncomfortable, but it would also make for a pretty interesting Instagram story and it also works.
1. Fill the bathtub with warm water for your jeans
Fill a bathtub with warm water. The water should be hot but not too hot because you are going to sit in it.
2. Get into the filled bathtub while wearing the jeans
Once the bathtub is full, put your loose fitting jeans on, and get into the bathtub. That’s right, put your jeans on and get into the bathtub!
3. Sit in the tub of water for 15 minutes
Let the water shrink and mold the jeans to your body, which should take somewhere between 8 and 15 minutes. Be sure the water is covering all of the denim.
4. Get out and let the jeans air dry in the shrunken state
The ideal way to let your jeans dry is to keep wearing them till they are fully dry. This may not be possible for you.
If you can’t do this, then gently take the jeans off without stretching them and let them air dry.
Get Your Jeans Altered
If your jeans are still too loose you may want to consider heading down to the local dry cleaner, tailor, or alteration expert to get some of the excess fabric removed. This can be a cheap and effective way to tighten up your waistband if the difference between your body and the jeans is too great and cannot be fixed with any of the methods listed above.
While your at the tailor your can ask them to fix any issues you have with your jeans, like fixing that sticky zipper!
Can you tailor your jeans? Yes you 100% can.
Which materials shrink the best?
When purchasing your new pair of jeans one of the important things to consider is the material used to make the jeans, as some fibers will have a better ability to shrink than others.
Nowadays denim comes in many different varieties and blends. Among those varieties cotton has an especially high potential for shrinkage. Jeans that are 100% cotton can possibly shrink by 20%. If you plan to shrink your 100% cotton jeans you need to make sure that they won’t shrink so much that they become too tight for your body.
Some jeans are preshrunk which means you will have very little ability to shrink them further, which also needs to be noted and considered.
Some jeans are made with a cotton blend, such as 70% cotton and 30% polyester for example. These cotton poly or cotton spandex blends are stretchy but shrink much less than a 100% cotton garment. A cotton poly blend will shrink about 4%, which is far less than the 20% shrinkage that a 100% cotton garment will provide (but can you shrink polyester?)
It is possible to shrink jeans down a size if your jeans are made from cotton. By boiling, yes boiling, the waistline of your cotton jeans in hot water you will have a good opportunity to shrink your jeans down a size. When cotton comes into contact with heat a shrinkage of 20% may occur.
There are 5 ways to make your jeans tighter:
- By using a washing machine and dryer
- By Boiling the jeans
- By dampening and ironing the jeans
- By Taking a hot bath with the jeans on
- By getting an alteration
There are several ways to shrink your jeans after losing weight including washing your jeans in hot water, boiling your jeans, or spot ironing your jeans. The main consideration is about how much weight and size you have lost relative to how the pants should properly fit. If you lost a large amount of weight or size, it may not be possible to re-fit the jeans.
Yes you can shrink too big jeans by boiling or washing them in hot water. It is also possible to shrink your too big jeans by taking a hot bath with them on (seriously). Jeans that are made from 100% cotton have the greatest ability to shrink, and can shrink in size by up to 20%.
On rare occasions jeans may shrink all the way up to 10% in the wash, however, most jeans will shrink around 2%-3%.
The best way to make your jeans tighter is by using the washing machine and the dryer. Use both machines on the highest heat settings in order to shrink your jeans.