How to Shrink Sweatpants in the Dryer: 5 Easy Steps

Follow our step-by-step guide to find out how to shrink sweatpants in the dryer.

How to Shrink Sweatpants in the Dryer

Tumble Dry High

Using your dryer is a sure-fire way to shrink your sweatpants. Start by washing your sweatpants in the washer, or you can soack them in the kitchen sink. Be sure to ring them out, you do not want the sweatpants dripping wet in the dryer. By using the dryer on tumble dry high you can successfully shrink your 100% cotton or cotton-polyester blend sweatpants. 

This is How to Shrink Sweatpants in the Dryer: 5 Easy Steps.

Use our detailed step-by-step guide to learn how to shrink sweatpants in the dryer. We have also included info on how to shrink sweatpants in the washing machine if you are looking for a more substantial degree of shrinkage. 

We have worked hard on understanding how all types of clothing can be shrunk properly, let these help you alter your whole wardrobe properly.

If you are a taller guy looking to find the perfect fitting sweatpants that you won’t need to shrink, I created these guides of the top brands just for you.

What are Sweatpants Made out of?

Sweatpants are usually made out of 100% cotton fleece or a cotton polyester blend. Any garment that contains cotton will shrink in the dryer, especially when dried on the tumble dry high setting.

100% cotton sweatpants will shrink easily in the dryer as well as the washing machine if washing machine is run on a high water temperature setting.

Sweatpants made from a cotton polyester blend will shrink to a lesser degree because polyester is made to be resistant to shrinkage and will maintain its size and shape better than cotton. Polyester is a man made synthetic fiber that has been treated during production so that it does not shrink or wrinkle. Cotton is a natural fiber and is one of the most shrinkable fabrics.

Do Sweatpants Shrink in the Dryer?

Yes, sweatpants shrink in the dryer.

100% cotton sweatpants will shrink a significant amount in the dryer, while sweatpants made from a cotton polyester blend will shrink to a lesser degree. To shrink sweatpants in the dryer you need to add moisture, either from a spray bottle or by washing machine, and then use the dryer on the tumble dry medium or tumble dry high settings.

How to Shrink Sweatpants in the Dryer

To shrink sweatpants in the dryer please follow these step by step instructions.

1. Check the Care Label

Before putting your sweatpants in the dryer, first check the care label to see if there are any specific instructions, and to check if your sweatpants are made from 100% cotton or a cotton polyester blend.

2. Turn Inside Out

Be sure to turn your sweatpants inside out as this will protect the delicate outer layer.

3. Add Moisture

Use a spray bottle filled with water or put your sweatpants into the washing machine before you attempt to shrink them in the dryer. Your sweatpants should be damp, but not soaking wet.

4. Tumble Dry

For 100% cotton sweatpants, run the dryer on tumble dry high and periodically pause and observe the process to make sure you don’t over shrink your sweatpants.

If your sweatpants are made from a cotton and polyester blend then you may want to consider using a tumble dry medium cycle, since polyester is intolerant to heat and the high temperatures might eventually damage your sweatpants. If you find that tumble dry medium doesn’t shrink your sweatpants enough, then you can try to use tumble dry high, however this should not be done too frequently or else it may damage the polyester fibers.

Not sure what we mean? Tumble Dry Low Meaning: Dry Your Clothes Properly.

5. Remove and Store

Once finished, remove your sweatpants from the dryer and store appropriately. If you find that your sweatpants have not shrunk enough then you may want to first use your washing machine to shrink your sweatpants before you put them into the dryer.

See our instructions below on how to shrink sweatpants in the washing machine.

How to Shrink Sweatpants in the Washing Machine

Follow these guidelines step-by-step in order to properly shrink your sweatpants in the washing machine. 

1. Turn Sweatpants Inside Out

Turn your sweatpants inside out to protect the delicate outer layer, so your sweatpants will look better for longer.

2. Use Hot Water

Adjust the washing machine to the highest heat setting and set the wash cycle to the longest duration possible.

If your sweatpants are made from a cotton polyester blend you may choose to use a medium heat setting or a shorter duration of wash cycle. Use your discretion.

3. Remove the Sweatpants from the Washing Machine

Remove the sweatpants from the washing machine and lay flat to dry or proceed to put them into the dryer to shrink further.

How to Shrink Sweatpants in the Dryer FAQ

You can make your sweatpants tighter by using the washing machine and dryer to shrink your waistband. By using the washing machine on the high heat setting, or the dryer on tumble dry high, your sweatpants will become tighter in the waist. You may also dampen the waistline on your sweatpants and then use the iron on the highest heat setting to press the waist and tighten the pants.

You can purposely shrink sweatpants by:

  • Using the washing machine on high heat
  • Using the dryer on tumble dry high
  • Using an iron on its highest heat setting
  • By boiling the sweatpants in water

Yes you can shrink pants in the dryer by dampening them and then setting the dryer to tumble dry high. To shrink your pants even more, use the washing machine on its highest heat setting before you use the dryer.

You can shrink clothes in the dryer by first adding moisture to the garment and then by adjusting the heat setting to tumble dry medium or tumble dryer high. If you want to further shrink your clothes, place them in the washing machine on a high heat setting before you place them into the dryer.

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.

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