Joggers made from 100% cotton or majority cotton will be much easier to shrink than joggers made from polyester or other synthetic fibers. Fabrics such as spandex can shrink, however, spandex is usually paired with polyester which nullifies the ability to shrink.
In order to shrink joggers you must use a high level of heat in both the washer and dryer. The washing machine should be set to the hottest water temperature and the dryer should be set to tumble dry high (find out how hot a dryer gets.)
If you do not have access to a washing machine or dryer, you may use boiling water or a hot iron in order to shrink your joggers.
Continue reading to learn how to shrink joggers.
Table of Contents
Supplies & Tools
- Washing machine
- Laundry detergent
- Mesh laundry bag (optional)
How To Shrink Joggers
Before attempting to shrink your joggers you must first check the care label to check for specific care instructions and fabric information.
If your joggers are made from 100% polyester or a polyester blend then you will have difficulty trying to shrink them because polyester is a synthetic fiber that is resistant to shrinkage. Your joggers may contain spandex or cotton, both of which are shrinkable fabrics, but if they are blended with polyester then you will experience significantly less shrinkage.
Learn more about polyester with, can you shrink polyester?
If your joggers are made from polyester you can still follow the steps below to try and shrink them, however, you should not try to shrink your polyester joggers too frequently. Some synthetic fibers, such as polyester and spandex, are non-heat resistant and will become melted or damaged in the washer and dryer if paired with high levels of heat. If you want to maintain the quality of you joggers then you should wash in cold water and lay flat to dry.
Dry your joggers without dryer if your focus is to keep their current form.
1. Turn your joggers inside out before shrinking
Turn your joggers inside out to protect the outer layer. It is optional to place your joggers into a mesh laundry bag.
2. Add like colored clothes
Add like colored clothes into the washing machine with your joggers. Lightweight and delicate clothing items are ideal.
3. Add detergent to the joggers
Add laundry detergent. Check the detergent’s instructions to find the right amount.
4. Use high heat setting to shrink
Adjust the washing machine’s water settings to the highest temperature possible and push start.
5. Repeat the process if joggers not shrunk enough
Once the wash cycle finishes, remove the joggers and check the shrinkage. Repeat the process if you wish to continue shrinking your joggers.
If you forget to tie up your joggers waistband and the string comes out, follow this guide to putting it back in: How to put string back in joggers.
How To Shrink Joggers In The Dryer
Total Time: 45 min
The dryer is a very effective way to shrink your joggers. Understand how long a dryer takes to best gauge your times. Follow the instructions below to shrink joggers in the dryer.
1. Dampen joggers with a spray bottle before dryer
Using a spray bottle, dampen your joggers with water. Make sure your joggers are damp, you want your joggers to be damp but not soaking wet.
2. Turn the joggers inside out before shrinking in dryer
Take the freshly dampened joggers and turn them inside out. I also suggest you tie the waist band so it doesn’t come out in the dryer.
3. Shrink joggers on tumble dry high
Adjust the dryer’s tumble dry settings to tumble dry high, put the jogger in and push start.
4. Check on your shrinking joggers often
Check on your joggers every 15-20 min to make sure you have not over-shrank them.
5. Put shrunken joggers away
Remove when satisfied then fold your sweatpants or roll to store properly.
How To Shrink Joggers With Boiling Water
Total Time: 2 hrs 30 min
Another method for shrinking your joggers that you may not have heard about is by boiling them in hot water. Hot water will shrink your joggers, no matter what fabric it is, just the amount of shrinking will vary. Follow the steps below to learn how to shrink joggers with boiling water.
1. Fill a large pot of water that your joggers will fit in
Fill a pot of water with 3/4 tap water. Make sure the put is big enough that your joggers will not spill boiling water once added.
2. Bring the pot of water to boil to shrink your joggers
Put a lid on the pot and turn the heat on high. Bring the water to a rolling boil.
3. Carefully add your joggers to the boiling water
I suggest you add the joggers with a pair of tongs, so you don’t burn yourself. Let your joggers soak for 10-15 minutes depending on the level of shrinkage you desire to achieve.
4. Remove joggers once shrunk in boiling water
After the 10-15 minutes, remove your joggers from the boiling water. You can remove them with the same tongs you put them in, or simply dump the joggers out into your clean kitchen sink.
5. Dry your shrunken joggers appropriately
Wring out the excess water and lay flat to dry. If you want to further shrink your joggers then proceed to place them into the dryer and use the tumble dry high setting.
How To Shrink Joggers With An Iron
Total Time: 45 min
If you wish to shrink your joggers in one area only, such as the waistband, you may choose to use an iron.
1. Lay your joggers flat onto an ironing board before shrinking
Lay your joggers flat on an ironing board, smoothing them out wih your hand.
2. Turn on the iron to high to shrink the joggers fabric
Make sure your iron is turned to the highest temperature possible. Heat is need to shrink.
3. Spray the joggers with water on specific areas
Using the spray bottle, spray the areas on your joggers you want shrunk, or the entire jogger. Spray until damp NOT soaking wet.
4. Iron damp areas of your joggers until shrunk
Iron the damp areas of your joggers, moving the iron back and forth or in circular patterns. Do this until the water has evaporated.
5. Lay shrunken joggers flat to finish drying
Lay the joggers flat on a table or drying rack to finish drying. Do not put into a dryer unless you want the joggers to be shrunken even more.
To shrink joggers that are too big you can place them into the washing machine on the high temperature setting. After the joggers finish in the washing machine you can continue to shrink them by placing them into the dryer on tumble dry high. The best solution is to buy the right size joggers.
You can make your joggers tighter by washing them on high heat, drying them on tumble dry high, ironing them while damp, or boiling them in water. The most common method on how to make joggers tighter is by using the washing machine and dryer.
Before altering your joggers, make sure you understand how long joggers should be. If your joggers are too long you may shrink them or cuff them at the ends. To shrink them, use the washing machine and dryer on the high heat settings. To cuff them simply fold the bottom up 2 inches, and then fold the bottom upwards once again by 1 inch.
Joggers will only shrink after the first wash if they were washed on the hot water setting. If you wish to avoid shrinking your joggers then be sure to adjust the settings to delicate or cold water. Hot water will shrink your joggers, cold water will not. As long as you know how to wash joggers in the washing machine you will avoid shrinking them.