Tall Mens Fashion Advice

How to Shrink Joggers: 4 Easy Ways!

Use heat to shrink your cotton and cotton blended joggers. Follow our step-by-step instructions to shrink your joggers properly!

How to Shrink Joggers

Cotton Joggers

Knowing how to shrink your joggers can save you $25. Instead of going to the tailor and paying for them to alter your joggers, you can instead do it for free at home. There are 4 easy ways to shrink them, and all you need is things you already have at home: Pot, tongs, stove, washer, dryer, iron. Shrinking your joggers should not take longer than 30-60 minutes.

This is How to Shrink Joggers: 4 Easy Ways!

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

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.

How to Shrink Joggers in the Washing Machine

Follow these instructions to shrink your joggers in the washing machine. 

  1. Turn your joggers inside out to protect the outer layer. It is optional to place your joggers into a mesh laundry bag. 
  2. Place your joggers into the washing machine. 
  3. Wash your joggers with other lightweight and delicate clothing items (how long does a washer take). 
  4. Add laundry detergent. Check the detergent’s instructions to find the right amount. 
  5. Adjust the washing machine’s water settings to the highest temperature possible and push start. 
  6. 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.

Dive deeper into the exact steps with How to Shrink Joggers in the Wash: Simple Instructions.

How to Shrink Joggers in the Dryer

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. Make sure your joggers are damp. You want your joggers to be damp but not soaking wet.
  2. Turn your joggers inside out.
  3. Place your joggers into the dryer.
  4. Adjust the dryer’s tumble dry settings to tumble dry high and push start. 
  5. Periodically check on your joggers to make sure you have not over-shrank them.
  6. Remove when satisfied then fold your sweatpants or roll to store properly.

How to Shrink Joggers With Boiling Water

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 pot or basin with water and bring it to a boil.
  2. Submerge your joggers in the boiling water. 
  3. Let your joggers soak for 10-15 minutes depending on the level of shrinkage you desire to achieve. 
  4. Remove with a pair of tongs and let cool. 
  5. 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

If you wish to shrink your joggers in one area only, such as the waistband, you may choose to use an iron. 

  1. Use a spray bottle filled with water to add moisture to your joggers.
  2. Turn an iron on to the highest heat setting. 
  3. Hand press the iron in the areas you wish to shrink.
  4. Once finished hang or lay your joggers flat to dry.

How Much Do 100% Cotton Joggers Shrink?

100% cotton joggers can shrink a great amount, especially if they are not pre-shrunk by the manufacturer. Cotton joggers may shrink up to 20% in size if you wash and dry them on high heat. Joggers that have been pre-shrunk by the manufacturer may shrink up to 5% as well. 

If you want to avoid shrinking your joggers be sure to wash them using cold water in the washing machine. If you use the dryer as well, be sure to dry your joggers on the air dry or tumble dry low settings. 

Instead of using the dryer, try out different ways to dry your clothes without a dryer. Line dry and dry flat are my two favorite options.

How to Shrink Joggers FAQ

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.

Written and reviewed by
Tall Paul
Tall Paul
Paul Marlow, standing at an impressive 6'7 (201cm) and weighing 225lb (102kg), is a mental health speaker, fashion expert, and ex-athlete who excels at helping tall men find well-fitting clothing and teaching them how to style it effectively. As a model in the fashion and film industries, Paul shares his expertise in tall men's fashion, offering valuable advice on measurements, tailoring, and alterations. In addition, he founded Never Alone, an organization that provides mental health and therapy inspiration, and started the Mental Growth Newsletter to support those facing mental health challenges, drawing from his own experiences.

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